The Jumbulance Trust, a Harpenden-based travel charity which provides holidays and trips for those with disabilities and serious illnesses, will be taking a group of 25 people to the ski resort of Niederau in Austria this month for the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to the support of the Shanly Foundation, the group, which also comprises carers, nurses and volunteers, will take to the slopes for a five-day trip.
Setting off on 26th January the group will travel with Jumbulance’s state-of-the-art accessible coaches, which are equipped to maximise comfort for disabled and severely ill passengers who cannot fly.
One attendee who is looking forward to the trip is 27-year-old Johnathan McCole from Rochdale. Johnathan, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, says: “This my first trip with Jumbulance; at first I was a bit anxious as I've never been out of England by myself but as it approaches I'm extremely excited. No-one can believe I'm actually going on a skiing holiday, it will be a real adventure!”
Johnathan’s mother Rachel, who is also his main carer, says: “This is the most amazing opportunity Johnathan has ever had. At first, the thought of handing him into the care of someone else was a little daunting, but the chance for him to do something like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we know he’s in safe hands.”
A trustee at Jumbulance Trust, Richard Field, comments: “Without Jumbulance a lot of our members couldn’t travel abroad as they may not be able to find travel insurance or would struggle to transfer all of their kit safely and comfortably. Thanks to all of the volunteers and the support we receive, we’ve been able to arrange trips to Amsterdam, Berlin and Brittany, and of course skiing in Austria”
Through its charitable arm, the Shanly Foundation, Shanly Group has supported Jumbulance for the past 10 years and has donated over £40,000 to the charity since 2008. This year, two Shanly Homes employees, Aurel Gradinariu and Cathy Nagle, will be joining the group for a fun-filled week of assisted skiing.
Volunteers like Aurel and Cathy provide care for the participants, which could include feeding or dressing, but most importantly they will be companions to everyone involved. Jumbulance aims to make each holiday as stress-free and memorable as it can be for people with severe disabilities or illnesses.
Aurel says “I am extremely excited to be going on the ski trip. I am so pleased to be able to enjoy the activities and experience it with people who may have never had this opportunity before.”
Follow the group’s experience on the Shanly Foundation’s Twitter page (@ShanlyFnd). For more information on Jumbulance, please visit: www.jumbulance.org.uk