5p bag charge? Not blummin likely…!

Good Thing Number – 15

Classification – homemade with love

Time taken – 2 hours

Well, after my last bag make my friend Julie wasted no time in sending me the measurements of her sandwich box and drinks bottle and requesting a tailor made bag of her own. Its taken me a little whike to get round to this. One, because I wanted to get some stronger canvas to reinforce the bag (as thats one mighty butty box!) and two, poorliness has hindered concentration in the evening for a little while. However, this week, I managed to settle down and get it done to the standard I liked.

I LOVE this one and have realised that after all this is over I’m hitting my fabric stash and my cupboard full of plastic bags (or carrier bag breeding programme as my friend Claire calls it… genius that one!) will be no more.

Julie shall be the most stylist I.T. teacher at school with this little beauty and the best bit? Its fully reversible, washable and designed so her drinks bottle stays upright and her butty box flat (no spilling a faffing about here!).

Wanna see? Its a beaut

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Fully loaded (husband's arm not included!)

Fully loaded (husband’s arm not included!)

DF memory

As this one is a make, I decided to reflect on some of the things that happen beind the scenes at DF. Now I may not get all the details in here as I’m pretty new to the game so apologies to anyone I don’t mention over the next few posts (feel free to message me and I’ll update in future posts or edit as needed :)

One thing that blew me away when I got involved with the charity last year was the huge commitment of the volunteers. All unpaid. All working hard to achieve that goal of FUN and a smooth trouble free, worry free experience for the children and their families/carers alike.

I’m going to focus on what happens in the lead up to a trip. Preparations for next year’s trip are well underway! Flights are booked. group leaders and deputies appointed and applications for volunteer roles submitted. Nominations have been opened for children and by the end of January teams will be established.

Right now…. in one years time …….we’ll be in Florida!! (well, fingers crossed if my application is accepted).

In advance of that an awful lot of things need to happen. I’m going to list just a few to give you some insight.

  1. Nominations for children received
  2. Nominatons reviewed
  3. Children allocated to groups for assessment.
  4. Group leaders (&/or Deputies) & Lead Nurses visit each chid to complete a full needs assessment, meet the children and families and confirm places on the trip
  5. Medical clearances with airline completed (this can take some time)
  6. Several group meetings to discuss team expectations, itinerary, individual children’s needs and timetables
  7. Group leaders plan days & book restaurants
  8. Teams go a bit crazy planning extra bits and pieces (special themed days, fancy dress etc)
  9. Mandatory training day & Meet the children and their families
  10. Medication charts are drawn up for all children
  11. Treatment plans drawn up
  12. Liaison with usual care teams to ensure seamless transition of care
  13. Equipment ordered
  14. Money for teams allocated including daily spending money for children (75 envelopes every single day.. thats gotta take some time!)
  15. Rooms allocated for all staff and children
  16. Liaison with hotel to remove beds from two rooms to set up base room and medical room
  17. Insurances arranged and paid for all children (these can sometimes be hugely costly)
  18. Liaison with local hospital in Florida to brief on any pre-arranged treatment requirements & to plan for emergencies.
  19. DBS checks and registration checks for all professional staff including calling on references where needed
  20. Working with all parks and shows to purchase tickets, arrange fast-passes and book wheelchairs to be ready on arrival each day (thats more than 70 wheelchairs used each day!!)
  21. Booking coaches (one per group) for travel around Florida
  22. Booking coaches for travel from/to Leeds to Manchester airport for Yorksire based children

………. and thats just the tip of the iceberg.

The vast majority of this work is done entirely by volunteers. Volunteers who feel so passionately about what this charity does that they dont think twice about it. Volunteers who work tirelessly to raise funds to make this happen and this is before the hard work on the actial trip begins!

……and do you know what…. its worth every single second.

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