Feedback 2008

 

Operation Sunshine logo1

 

 

Registered Charity Number 1121315

Some of the photos from our week 1 group

Melanie on boatWe had people in wheelchairs on both weeks and as you can see from the comments below the Bradley Family gained much from the experience. Melanie Carrington however was disappointed that her son Stephen was unable to swim with the dolphins, because of the severity of his disability and in hindsight Operation Sunshine was not suitable for someone like Stephen, who is totally wheelchair dependant. We have always said that the dolphins are not the only focus of the programme and families have the opportunity to participate in other therapeutic activities. We have learnt from this programme that facilities for severely physically disabled will need to be improved before embarking on another trip.

Following our 2 x one week programmes, these are some of the comments received:

Irene BradleyIrene Bradley said “I felt the holiday was very therapeutic not only for children, but also for the parents/carers. We all experienced a bonding - it was simply wonderful. I will treasure my memories of this week, the very best holiday we have ever had. A holiday in the true meaning of what a holiday should be, we will never better it in our lifetime. The people (all of them) were so kind and understanding of the needs of the children and parents/carers”.

Alastair BradleyAlistair Bradley said “The programme exceeded my expectations - it was like a breath of fresh air”. When asked, did you receive good support throughout the programme? he replied “Thoroughly, everyone cared and gave physical and mental support - it was a great adventure being in the water with dolphins”.

Ruth & Boys by RuthRuth Scarlett said “I must admit the holiday was too short, I could have stayed forever.  We did a lot of firsts on this holiday:

  • Swam with fish
  • Explored an old shipwreck
  • Rode on a golf cart - kids loved this
  • Made shell paintings - Dominic loved this
  • Tried Yoga
  • Went on a very small plane - very brave of me
  • Travelled overseas
  • Saw dolphins in the wild

My boys had a fantastic time and Alex is raving about swimming with all those fish and has approached his school to raise money to send other children away. To see the joy and happiness in my children’s faces makes everything all the more worthwhile”.

David & RyanDavid McGahey e-mailed from Canada “Jackie, what a week and what a life changing experience for me. Ryan was amazing the entire trip back and his workers have commented on how much Ryan smiles now. There were tonnes of laughs and his connection to me was great. I'll tell you that this experience was something special for Ryan. In fact, he found my mask and snorkel and brought it to me. I almost cried. I took him swimming that afternoon at the local indoor pool. There is a tonne of love in both Ryan's and my heart for everyone on the trip, especially you Jackie. I can't thank you enough. I have already began fund-raising for next years trip and I hope Operation Sunshine continues. I realize it would be difficult for you to have Ryan and I again, but we will contribute so another special child can have this experience. In saying this, I will be at Wildquest again and I will continue to help”.

Sheila & JosephSheila Stevenson when asked - Overall, given the challenges, are you glad you came and do you think it’s been a worthwhile experience? she replied ”Oh yes it’s been very good to be with people who are not in judgement vein and who have all been supportive in different ways, very different ways really, but completely supportive... everyone...and you can’t buy that”.

KaranKaran said “I think, as great as it was for Ryan and Dave, I felt that I did have an amazing experience. I mean, I didn’t think that I would feel overwhelmed, I didn’t think that I would feel anything for me, it was not my major focus, but at the same time I thought - Wow, I can’t believe I’m getting something out of this too”

JanJan Bowler said “It's certainly been enjoyable. The people on the island are so friendly, I've never met such....so many friendly people, they are fantastic. You go down the road and they shout and wave at you....so generous....and.......and the people at Wildquest are very friendly people, they make you feel very welcome. Its a beautiful place here, like paradise. Bimini was beautiful, the people were lovely. I now feel very upbeat and more confident about the things I do.”

Craig & Abby Wed

When asked - How do you feel after the programme? Craig said “I feel I’m more relaxed and can achieve anything I want in life.”

Abby said “The minute I saw the dolphins I was dying to get in there with them. The whole experience was out of this world and one I will definitely never forget. I’ve made some life long friends”

Some of the photos from our week 2 group

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