Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


What is Holiday at Home?

Holiday at Home is run by Dorking United Reformed Church working with several other Dorking churches including St Paul’s, The Christian Centre, and Quakers. 2018 marked its 6th year. It provides a “Holiday” in Dorking for people who cannot get away, including many living alone. It tends to attract the elderly, but no age range is specified, and people come from Dorking and many surrounding villages.

Holiday at Home runs for a week each August with a different theme each year. This year’s theme was 'A Walk on the Wild Side'. Brochures are produced in June and sent to past participants as well as being made widely available. These detail the week’s events which include free talks, films, activities and three coach trips. Morning coffee and afternoon teas are available at Dorking URC and lunches at Dorking Christian Centre. You can view the 2018 brochure here: Nearly all those planning Holiday at Home during the year, and helping over the week it runs are voluntary. Speakers often give their time freely too.

Many participants of Holiday at Home have been coming for several years. They look forward to it and there is a reunion tea in February to keep people in touch and brighten winter days. The week in August is a very happy and caring occasion with around 120 people attending, and many volunteers helping.

What would help Holiday at Home?

Some elderly people coming to Holiday @Home have done so since the start 6 years ago. They are becoming less mobile and less able to climb into a coach for the outings, or easily walk around some destinations. Others joining more recently have similar mobility issues preventing them participating in outings. In response we have introduced some scenic coach trips that do not require participants leaving their seats, it’s just once up into the coach and once down. These have quickly become fully booked. We would love to find ways of making the other outings more accessible for those who struggle with coaches or cannot manage them at all. People using wheelchairs, walking frames and crutches.

So, we would like to:

1. In addition to the usual coach, provide a Dial a Ride minibus and driver. These vehicles can take someone sitting in a wheelchair or otherwise needing help up into a seat. This would cost around £86 per minibus per outing (Minibus 4 hours is £50, Driver £25, Mileage rate of 55p/mile after the first free 20 miles, so approximately £11 for a 40 mile round trip). Approximately £86 in total.

2. Lay on additional taxis for outings and to get less mobile participants from their homes to the church, as it would take too long for the minibuses to collect them directly. Taxi services in Dorking that can take someone sitting in a wheelchair include:
- A.M. Taxis, who will take someone able to transfer from a wheelchair into the taxi. They can take a folding wheelchair in the boot of the vehicle. The cost of this is variable depending on fuel charges at the time.
- 1st Chariot’s Taxis, who can take one person sitting in a wheelchair and 2 other passengers. The maximum length of wheelchair they can carry is 1.2 metres. Pre-booking costs £15 and the cost of a trip depends on distance and fuel charges.

3. Purchase some safe, lightweight wheelchairs to assist people during the Holiday @ Home week. These would be used to help the less able move between Dorking URC and the Christian Centre for lunch and also be suitable to fit in a taxi. Such a wheelchair would cost £ 110 from Care Co.

4 Offer assistance with pushing wheelchairs on outings to people with mobility issues. Whilst some can bring and pay for their own helper, others are not able to. Help with transport costs on trips and entrance fees for these carers would therefore be very beneficial.

Additional funding would enable us to help more elderly people to enjoy Holiday @ Home and be really appreciated.

Thank you

Project Video

Holiday at Home is a joint project involving several churches overseen by Dorking United Reformed Church

Moment of Pride

Holiday at Home is proud of:
Many relationships seen developing between people leading isolated lives.
Letters of gratitude. Particularly moving are those from people no longer able to come, or their families.
Teamwork and collaboration between the many helpers of all ages and backgrounds.

Location: Dorking