Help Barnstondale update disability provisions

by Siobhan Waters in Wirral, Merseyside, United Kingdom

Total raised £2,830

raised so far

+ est. £687.50 Gift Aid



Help us replace our unreliable lift and improve the provisions in our disability cabin to enable ALL children to have fun and adventure!

by Siobhan Waters in Wirral, Merseyside, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 24th December 2023 we'd raised £2,830 with 16 supporters in 34 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Barnstondale Centre is a children's charity on the Wirral that delivers inclusive outdoor activities and residential experiences to children and young people. 

As a charity we believe learning outdoors to be one of the most valuable contributions to a child’s life as it benefits their physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Children with disabilities often miss out on the opportunity to access outdoor learning due to physical or financial barriers. As a charity we strive to remove barriers to outdoor learning experiences so that all children have an equal platform to experience new experiences in a new environment, where their ability is celebrated. 

Our centre is the only outdoor activity centre in Merseyside to deliver residential experiences to children with additional needs and disabilities, who make up 25% of children that visit our site every year (that’s 1500 children who create memories with us away from home every year!).


A trip to Barnstondale can provide a wealth of new experiences that are incredibly important for a child or young person’s health and wellbeing. 

To ensure all children could benefit from staying away from home overnight we built our Meadow Cabin in 2011, the cabin was specifically designed for young people with significant additional needs.

Our facility has a soft play, sensory area and has 15 bedrooms where children can stay with us. In these rooms we are very lucky to have profile beds, which allow children to get in to bed comfortably, mobile hoists, shower beds, shower rooms – anything that makes life easy for children with disabilities to have their independence and enjoyment whilst staying with us.

1698677597_capture.jpgThe facility has become a valuable provision for local children and young adults with additional needs, as for 74% of our children its their first stay away from home. Our Meadow cabin at Barnstondale enables children to participate in the same residential experience as their able-bodied peers, grow in confidence and independence and be more active.

Why we need your help

Without our facilities, children and young adults with additional needs are unable to access a residential experience locally, which restricts their access to outdoor education and a stay away from home. By replacing our lift and updating our specialist equipment we will ensure that children with disabilities are able to stay on our site, and access physical activity opportunities alongside their able bodied peers.

The impact of Covid-19:
Our charity lost around 80% of its budgeted income during the COVID-19 pandemic and are yet to fully recover. More recently the cost-of-living crisis has meant the number of disadvantaged children requesting financial support has increased significantly, up near 300% from last year. Children accessing our bursary fund live in areas registering in the top 2% to 20% most deprived in England. This is a concern for us as we know that growing up in poverty can harm children's life chances, limiting their opportunities, holding them back in education, or leading to worse physical and mental health outcomes.

We fear this gap is widening as more children are unable to access our facilities due to the influence of high inflation, rising energy costs, staffing challenges and a ‘cost of living’ squeeze on parental spending power. We are also deeply impacted by these same factors.

Our challenge: Our income, as a charity, covers our main overheads to deliver outdoor experiences for children but does not raise sufficient funds to help us part-fund the increased number of children accessing our bursary fund. 

We are trying to fundraise for 1500 children to access our facilities in 2024. 

Delivery costs to deliver outdoor experiences have increased and so has the number of disadvantaged children needing our support. As a result we are struggling to replace equipment that has become unreliable or simply needs updating due to its age.

Whilst we fundraise to make sure all children can access and benefit from outdoor learning, we need your support to raise the necessary funds to replace our lift and update our specialist equipment. 

With your support we can continue to deliver fun experiences and adventure to children with disabilities. Children that without our facilities wouldn't have access to the same experiences as their friends. Our inclusive facilities encourage all children, regardless of their ability, to rock climb, abseil, build shelters, compete in team challenges whilst building confidence and resilience. Here are some examples of what our visitors have to say about Barnstondale and the value our facilities add's to their stay:


1698679910_285871892_382383580589122_5126060241499641066_n.jpgHeswall Disabled Children’s Holiday Fund
“We offer a residential for a wide range of disabilities and we can only achieve that with the facilities available at Barnstondale. Meadow cabin allows us to invite children who need additional physical care with hoists, beds, and bathrooms to meet their needs. These facilities are the reason we choose Barnstondale, and we can offer a break for these children. If they can provide any additional equipment, it can only mean a better experience for more disabled children.”

1698680463_296287804_10160336545532146_3737472750007027704_n.jpgFamily member of siblings with SEND
“As a family, we cannot imagine life without Barnstondale. It has provided so many opportunities for us over the years, from nativity plays and mince pies to enabling my siblings with complex needs to fulfil their dreams. Everyone you talk to about Barnstondale has had a positive experience there. It is a place that creates memories and inspires dreams for so many young people.”

1698679140_20231027_074328_(002).jpgParent of a child with SEND
“My children had such an amazing time & it was so lovely to find such experienced & inclusive instructors for whom nothing was too much trouble. My children clearly felt accepted and valued, which is sadly lacking in everyday situations.”

1698679171_img-20231027-wa0004_(002).jpgDisability Positive
"The Meadow cabin at Barnstondale is vital to us as a youth group for disabled children and young people. The range of facilities and equipment within the cabin means that it is accessible to all of our young people and caters to their personal requirements. A particular favourite is the Sensory Room, which is utilised by our members who require time to regulate, relax or are experiencing sensory overload. The facilities in the Meadow cabin have enabled our young people to have a successful overnight stay and achieve tangible outcomes, such as attending a residential independent of parents/carers, conducting valuable life skills work and most importantly, having fun with friends in a safe and nurturing environment."


Accessibility and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do, and we need your help to update the specialist equipment within our facility to ensure we can support each child individually with their needs, which will in turn enable us all to return to what matters most, creating life long memories with all children by giving them access to new lived experiences that will benefit their health and wellbeing.

This Crowdfunder will help us:
Purchase a new lift: The platform lift in our specialist cabin is unreliable and is no longer fit-for-purpose. The lift is essential to allow wheelchair users, and those with limited mobility, to access the upper floor of this facility. On the upper floor there is a large open space where occupants can play, socialise and interact with their peers within a safe environment and all whilst having access to the facilities which fully meet their requirements (circa £25,000).

Mobile Hoist: A second mobile hoist that will allow multiple people to be supported concurrently on site (£2500).

Mesh Shower Sling: This will be used in addition to the hoist above to help one-to-one support for site users and support them in the shower (£225).

2 x Profiling Beds: To ensure all children and young adults with mobility issues can comfortably get in and out of bed (£1000).

Lockable medicine fridges: To keep critical medicines cool and secure for groups whilst on site (£850).

Additional support will help us make meadow cabin a home from home stay, and will help us purchase:

Sofas: We don’t have sofas or soft seating in our communal hall upstairs in Meadow cabin. We feel that by providing this space within this facility, it will encourage children to come together, develop social skills and build relationships. 

A Budii Sensory Projector System: In addition to our specialist groups, we support many mainstream schools who have students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). By installing a sensory projector in our communal hall, we will encourage children of all abilities, carers and one-to-one supporters, to come together and take part in sensory play. This investment will add value to a child's social development and will provide us with an alternative resource for children with additional needs on the wet days, darkened evenings and on their "not so good days". (£5000).

Outcomes: Replacing the lift and adding to the equipment above will ensure that we are able to continue operating sustainably and inclusively. It will mean we can continue creating opportunities for children with disabilities to access residential experiences and be more physically active.  

How you can help us. 

1698677944_366239159_777672021028952_2321523400221306488_n.jpg1. Make a pledge - Sooner rather than later, as we need to get the bandwagon started and keep it going!
2. Spread the Word - Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us. The more people we reach, the more funding support we may get.
3. Offer Rewards - Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a 'shout out'.
4. If you want to Run Your Own Fundraiser to support us, maybe a sponsored activity or something similar, please use the Contact Project button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won't need any bank details, just a fun idea.


This project offered rewards

£40 or more

Magical Christmas Family Tickets

Enjoy £11.00 off a family ticket to our Magical Christmas event. Explore our enchanted garden, melt marshmallows, make lanterns, enjoy the Barnstondale Christmas story and meet Santa in his log cabin grotto. Tickets available for the month of December.

£11 or more

Enjoy a film at The Light Cinema in New Brighton

Enjoy any selected film at The Light Cinema in New Brighton.

£22 or more

Purchase The Original Toast N Dip Kit from Toast-d

The Original Toast N Dip Kit - make your marshmallow experience a unique one! Gift yourself or your family an adventure with this re-usable toaster, perfect for indoors or outdoors. Enjoy up to 2-3 servings of sweet goodness with a five star rating, and all you need included in one kit. Happy toasting!

£25 or more

Voucher for H Jones Butchers

Enjoy a £25.00 voucher just in time for Christmas. Award kindly donated by H Jones Butchers in Pensby

£30 or more

Viking Quest Adventure Golf

Breathing vivid life into Wirral’s rich heritage, Viking Quest 18 hole adventure golf course is a leisure and learning experience where everybody can enjoy a fantastic day out.

£35 or more

Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation Bluetooth Speaker

The second-gen Nest Mini is a small smart speaker, with Google Assistant to answer questions, start streaming music, control smart home devices, and more with simple voice commands.

£90 or more

3 Hour 4 Ball at Dry Golf Ltd

Enjoy 3 hours of the most true-to-life golf simulation experience for any-time, any-weather golf.

£100 or more

Pay for a Stay

£100 will help us fund 1 of the 1500 disadvantaged children that have requested support from our Bursary Scheme in 2024.

£130 or more

Tranmere Rovers Home Game for Two

Tranmere Rovers voucher for a home game for two.

£150 or more

Daniel Craig SIGNED No Time To Die Poster

Purchase a signed Daniel Craig No Time To Die Poster (framed).

£200 or more

Enjoy a Photography Shoot with Grace Kellie

Grace Kellie Photography is a well-established photography business based in Liverpool, specialising in new born, children and family photography ❤️

£350 or more

Everton Football Club Signed Framed Shirt

Everton Football Club Signed Framed Shirt - Premier League 2023

£350 or more

Liverpool Thiago Alcantara Signed Shirt

Thiago Alcântara Match Day Signed - Framed Shirt - Premier League 2023

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