Pete, Just a note to say a huge thank you for providing us with such an amazing experience again last week. Every year our stay is better than the previous one. Your amazing staff make the whole experience so enjoyable, not only for the children, but for us as well. I actually returned feeling as though I had been on an enjoyable activity break this time – certainly not away with a class of Year 6 children. I can honestly say that the Red Ridge Experience really and truly changes lives. It enables children to be so much better young people for having worked with you and your staff. It allows children to challenge themselves and to try things that they would never, ever think they could do. It offers the less academic children huge successes and builds their self confidence amonst peers who they often struggle to keep up with in the classroom situation. Enough …… Thanks again – for an absolutely brilliant week.

Christine Norman, Head teacher, Winnington Park Primary School, 2009

I just wanted to email and say what a wonderful week we had at the centre at the end of April. Every child loved the week, and despite being pleased to see their parents when they got back they were all more excited to tell them all about how much they had enjoyed their experiences. We had the chance to see the children in a different light than we get to see them in school. A couple of children were more organised than they have ever been, others were braver and pushed themselves further than before, and there were some that achieved more than anyone, including their parents, would ever believe. All the instructors were great with our children and managed their quirks really well, and enabled them to experience things that they won’t ever get a chance to do again. Again, the food was fantastic, and regardless of our many dietry needs the children ate really well. Thank you for everything that you did for us – Red Ridge really is a wonderful centre. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting and taking part in all of the activities myself over the last three years.

Joanna Lee, Brookside Primary School,Oadby, Leicestershire 2010

Our staff and students are always warmly welcomed back year after year. Red Ridge staff are excellent with our students meeting their needs and making every day and every activity fun and memorable. The head of centre works hard to accommodate every need and requirement and makes the whole experience a pleasure. We look forward to our next trip.

Mrs Ladan Harper, Deputy Headteacher, Portfield School, Pembrokeshire

Hi - this is (very!) long overdue! Did a Lecturers` Taster w/e with you in (?May?) 1998 - one of the most memorable things I`ve ever done. We were a small group, and you not only guided us through some fascinating and life-changing activities and exercises, (I ended up doing a 140ft abseil.....to my surprise....!) but also generously shared lots of your stories and secrets with us...."The blind kids always hit the target" ....."one potential cause of abseiling accidents is people fiddling nervously with their karabiners - hands off!" In particular, had some brilliant conversations with Neil about fear - "people think we instructors don`t feel fear, but we`ve just learnt to manage it effectively" - and he calmly talked me out of copping out at a tricky bit near the top of the rock climb - I could hear the other instructor calling across - "Neil, we need to change over soon", and did my typical, polite "well, I think I`ll come down now - it`s been great..." and Neil said, "Well, Sue - yes, you could, but I think you`d be disappointed - look, there`s a handhold just to your left, and there`s all the time in the world........" Spot on! He was right - and I did it! (Also useful feedback afterwards, eg about legs good but trusting hands more.) Lots more I could say - but thought I must finally send this to you . A couple more soundbites...... As we approached the 140 ft abseil site, I made a mental note always to wear a hard hat and carry coils of rope even if out for a stroll in the park in future, such were the admiring glances from passing walkers......! The fact that I had abseiled off something higher than my college building, and not far off the height of Nelson`s column, made a lasting impression on me ....I still go round eyeing the heights of things! And it was only 14 times the 10 ft one! Eternal thanks! Sue Shorter (Retired Lecturer)

Sue Shorter

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