Supported by Oxford Health Charity funding, staff at Marlborough House Adolescent Inpatient Unit in Swindon arranged a visit this summer to the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Burford for the young people in their care.

This is an experience our charity has funded for the past couple of a years, and this year's day trip proved yet again to be one of the highlights of their summer activities programme. Bringing a real, positive focus and incentive to those in the unit over the holiday period, the charity team were thrilled to learn that record numbers were able to attend this year’s visit. 

Speaking to Oxford Health Charity about the impact of the event, Libby Pannett-Smith (Occupational Therapist at the unit), noted:

"…without charity funding, I’m not sure we would have been able to go. This kind of trip is outside our normal therapy programme. It is, however, lovely to offer as a motivation during the summer holidays to the young people who are in hospital during this time."


All those who went enjoyed watching the many different animals basking in the sunshine – with the giraffes, penguins and reptiles proving particularly popular! – and everyone benefitted from having a relaxing, picnic lunch together in the stunning park gardens. Further highlights of the day included the mini-train tour around the park and the widely anticipated visit to the gift shop!


For many, the day out gave them the opportunity to practise skills they had been learning as part of their treatment while, for one young person, it offered the chance to explore their keen interest in photography through documenting the trip with the ward camera.


When asked about their visit, one young person summed up the thoughts of many: stating simply –

"It was the best day ever!"

This sentiment was echoed in the messages written in the lovely Thank You card sent to the Charity team.

Some of these can be seen below –

"Thank you so much for funding the trip. It was such a good day!"
"It was really nice to have a break off the unit. Thank you very, very much."
"Thank you for the amazing experience that has been provided!"
"We had a really good day out, thank you."

After the event, staff also commented on how much they enjoyed spending time with other members of the team, as well as having the chance to get to know the young people in their care more informally.

Oxford Health Charity are delighted to have been able to support this wonderfully positive day trip once again; a trip which has clearly helped to enhance the experiences of, and relationships between, the staff and many of the young people they care for at Marlborough House.