REPORT - Summer 2011 Residential Courses, Finland

Readers will recall that at the beginning of the summer, the recession, for the first time, threatened to impact on our programme with the children. We were short of the finances necessary to use our cottage facilities in Finland as we normally do. In particular a Fathers and sons week that we had promised to two families was under threat. I am so pleased to say that following your generous support we were not only able to fulfil that commitment but also engage in a further weeks residential with 8 particularly needful youngsters.


         


We want to say thank you and also through a few photographs give you a flavour of what went on during those residential courses. The impact on the young people has been significant, The ‘Dads and Lads’ week was movingly effective and I for one felt very humbled to see an extraordinary turn around in the relationships between fathers and sons. It was definitely a two way street and the youngsters learned how to respect their fathers as the fathers came alive to the possibilities of enjoying their sons company and directing them in positive ways.


As we watched those distressing images of similar aged young people running riot on our streets with no evidence of parental control we were at the cottage watching a father and son learn respect for each other and discover the benefits of a healthy relationship. Yes, it's old fashioned but boy is it effective!! Set in the middle of the thick Finnish forest right beside the Baltic Ocean, our facilities are ideal. The youngsters enjoy much freedom but learn they have to abide within a few simple rules and show respect for everyone. It wasn’t long before they learned the benefit of co-operation. They thrive on having boundaries set knowing just where they stand. On one week 6 out of 8 were on medication for hyper activity, given the choice they decided they did not need that support and managed and were managed without any chemical re-alignment. Again, old fashioned but very effective!


 


     


We affected these children’s lives in an immeasurable way this summer. They will never be the same again. 5 of them either didn’t attend school or were on a substantially reduced timetable. I am pleased to report 3 weeks into the new term that all five are in full time education and going strong. They may not all maintain this but it is an indication of the effect that has been had on them. None of this would have been possible without your support. I and the staff team are indebted to you.


Doug Hulme


Chief Executive


The second Chance Children’s Charity