Q. Do you have any criteria for who can attend Odyssians?
If you are up for an ACTIVE, ADVENTUROUS CAMPING holiday, Odyssians is the holiday for you!
Q. Is Odyssians a respite service?
Odyssians is not a respite service. We provide a active and adventurous camping holiday for adults with disabilities.
Q. How much does camp cost?
For a full week of activities, food and accommodation we ask for £120. This is really great value for the amazing week you will have! This fee effectively covers the food and accommodation for the week, and activities are primarily funded by fundraising. If you are interested in donating more, please see our donate page.
We are now registered with PayPal and we will send you an invoice via email once we have accepted your application. You can also pay using internet or telephone banking, or in a branch of your bank. Please contact [email protected] for our bank details.
Even if you can’t afford to pay, we still want you to come! Please contact us to ask about our friendship fund, where our donors and our other members anonymously pay camp fees for people who can’t afford to pay their own.
Q. Can you meet my care needs?
We have lots of well-trained and enthusiastic helpers, who work well with all kinds of disabilities, including mobility, sensory, communication, learning and behaviour. We appoint someone responsible to look after your medicine, but we don’t have qualified nurses, so we can’t help you if you have more complex needs that would require a nurse, like catheterising you.
Q. Do you provide tents?
Yes, you can bring your own tent or share one of ours. If you share one of our tents, we will probably ask you to share with other people. Alternatively, you can bring your own tent. See the What to bring page to find out more about what you’ll need.
Q. Do you provide food?
Yes, it’s all included in the price. Our volunteer cooks proudly serve two or three hot meals a day with at least one vegetarian option and some lovely puddings. Our food is amongst the most popular things we do: we have a rule that no-one should go hungry. We’ll work with your food allergies or religious diet too – our application form has a space for you to tell us what you need.
Q. What’s it like? What will I have to do?
It’s great! We wrote a story about your first day to help you understand what it’s like. You can also read stories from our previous Duke of Edinburgh helpers.
Q. What if I forget my toothbrush?
We arrange for one person to visit a local supermarket at least once a day; they will happily buy one for you.
Q. How strict is the volunteer regime?
We expect you to work hard, but we understand that everyone gets tired at different times. We schedule an hour or two of quiet time most afternoons. If you like, you can also relax by staying up in the evenings and socialising. Alternatively, you can talk to your team leader about taking rest in your tent during the day. We normally ask you to choose one but not both of these approaches.
Q. Do you want to see my DBS (CRB) check?
Yes please, unless you receive personal care for your disability. We will often accept a disclosure (DBS or CRB certificate) from the last three years, or we can use the DBS Update Service if you’re already member of that. Don’t worry if you haven’t got one: we will tell you if you need one and send you everything you need. If you’re a volunteer, we’ll pay for it too.
Q. Do you have policies and booking conditions?
Q. I’ve applied! But you’ve told me in on a waiting list – what does this mean?
Odyssians is regularly oversubscribed with people who require care during their holiday. As a result, we are not able to accept everyone who applies. We can only accept you if we have enough helpers to cover your care needs for the week. We therefore place you on a waiting list whilst we wait for more helpers to apply.
Q. What about if I can bring my own helper/PA/carer?
We’d love you to bring along friends who would enjoy Odyssians! However, we cannot accept your application based on the fact that you are offering to bring your own assistance. It may disadvantage those who do not communicate verbally or who have higher care needs if we did this. We always need more helpers at Odyssians, and we’d love to receive your application.
Odyssians is also reluctant to encourage paid carers to attend with you. This is due to the fact that Odyssians has long days (often around 7am to 11pm) and irregular breaks/down-times. We also encourage people to work as a patrol, meaning you may be working with one person in the morning, and another at lunch. We like people to create new friendships, and working with a paid carer at Odyssians can inhibit this.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact [email protected]
Q. Who runs Odyssians?
Odyssians is run by a committee of volunteers, which includes trustees nominated by our members. Our committee follows the rules in our constitution. You can see who your committee members and trustees are here.
Q. What time should I arrive and depart?
If you need care for your disability, on the first day, please arrive between 5pm and 6pm (and not before); on the last day, please arrange to leave between 9am and 10am (and not after). We set these times to make sure we have enough well-trained volunteers to care for you: please ask us if you need to arrive or depart at different times.
If you’re a volunteer, on the first day, please arrive arrive between 2:15pm and 3pm (and not before); on the last day, please arrange to leave between 10:30am and 11:30am (and not after). If you’re early, it’s not our campsite yet, so please spend some time in Farnham, so we don’t get into trouble.
Q. Can I visit the site or meet you before camp?
Unfortunately Odyssians does not have access to Woodlarks Campsite before our week of camp. If you need to visit the site before our allotted week, you’ll have to discuss this directly with the Woodlarks Caretakers – Nick and Sarah can be contacted via email ( [email protected] ) or by phone 01252 716279 –
The Odyssians members who organise the holiday are spread far and wide over the UK, so meeting anyone face-to-face can be difficult! However, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we may be able to arrange a video call.
Q. Can I ask you another question?
Yes please! Contact our secretary at [email protected], and they’ll be able to help you out!