We were recently introduced to Mel from WILDHOOD festival, and we instantly fell in love with the children's festival that she's created. It is very clear that she wants to make WILDHOOD an accessible festival for the whole family, and her commitment to making it a truly magical event. We loved it so much that we asked her if she could please tell us a bit more about it to share with everyone as we're pretty sure that it'll be a hit with any family!
Here's what she had to say...
One of our enduring WILDHOOD goals is to ensure that our annual festival - created for children and their fun-loving families - continues to be a truly accessible event. More than just an add-on, we stay focused on accessibility when planning our camping festival as a whole because we want immersive, sensory experiences to be integral to the weekend. Nature-based arts and crafts, up-close ecology workshops, interactive music and storytelling, the storytelling tree, and relaxation activities including massage and meditation are woven throughout the festival. In addition, the grounds of our venue, Tullibole Castle, offer access to calming open spaces including woodlands and castle lawns, and designated quiet areas.
With all this in mind, we’re also delighted to confirm that, once again, PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society) will be joining us for WILDHOOD Festival 2023. PAMIS is the only organisation in Scotland that works solely with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families for a better life.
PAMIS Co-ordinator, Maureen Philip, believes their presence at WILDHOOD brings 'love, fun and laughter, and the opportunity for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families to experience the festival atmosphere and to feel included in the festival experience.’
Maureen also explains why the presence of PAMIS at WILDHOOD is so vital to facilitating a truly accessible experience. 'Having PAMIS at the festival means children and families know there will be a changing places toilet, (the PAMILOO) and there will be fun and accessible activities, too.’ This year, a gorgeous new yurt will be part of the PAMIS offering.
We're also excited to confirm that Pony AxeS will be joining us again in 2023 with pony and trap rides specifically designed for wheelchairs.
In addition, while some of the forest areas may be a little bumpy, the rest of our site - in the grounds of magical Tullibole Castle - is designed to ensure that all can enjoy a multitude of joyful, multi-sensory experiences across the weekend.
As a society - and specifically as WILDHOOD festival-goers - we can also play a collective role in creating welcoming spaces and experiences for all.
'People with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families enjoy being out and about along with everyone else,' Maureen says. 'They want to enjoy purposeful and meaningful activities in their communities, just like everyone else. They want to have fun. As a society, we can make this happen for them if we accept them for who they are, and if we create spaces in our communities that consider their physical abilities, and provide opportunities for them to have access to environments that facilitate and support their lifelong learning .People with profound and multiple learning disabilities are our best educators if only we took the time to listen.'
Accessible, inclusive, and welcoming is the WILDHOOD way and we're excited to see you at our award-winning children's camping festival in June…
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Meanwhile, if you have any questions about accessiblity at WILDHOOD Festival, please just drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll do our very best to help.