GALLERY: Southwick Sands Holiday Camp

Holiday camp entertainment has been laid on for retired folk in Southwick.

The three-day holiday-at-home experience for retired men and women in the community was based at Southwick Methodist Church.

From left, Betty Bodell, 88, Gill Smith, 74, and Phyllis Hawes, 74. Picture: Liz Pearce 
LP170726

From left, Betty Bodell, 88, Gill Smith, 74, and Phyllis Hawes, 74. Picture: Liz Pearce LP170726

Supported by a Sussex Community Foundation grant, Southwick Sands Holiday Camp offered fun, friendship and food for up to 36 guests each day from Tuesday to Thursday.

Organiser Rosemary Thompson said: “It was only possible to stage the event due to the wonderful support of so many in varied ways.

“The help and support of more than 50 people from the church, local U3A and local community in varied ways was amazing – a real team effort for our retired folk, much appreciated by the campers.”

Guests were handed a detailed programme on arrival and each day began with refreshments.

Wyn Funnell, a former Butlin’s Redcoat, led the camp song then it was into the camp theatre for keep fit exercises and an old time musical hall sing-song.

Lunch was served by a willing band of teenagers from the The Girls’ Brigade.

Rosemary said: “The interaction between the girls and campers was a joy to behold.

“The caring, friendly happy atmosphere was so tangible. Many campers said they would always remember their experience with great thankful pleasure.”

The afternoons offered a choice of activities, crafts, games and a quiz, before camp theatre entertainment, which included a talent show and magic show, featuring Magic Martin and his wife Nicky.

Rosemary said: “We had true holiday camp style competitions, like glamorous granny and knobbly knees.

“Best of all was an amazing performance with an excerpt from Sister Act by a choir dressed as nuns, many of whom were over 90, from the Wednesday Fellowship.”

Guests were treated to a delicious tea and the Rev Ian Suttie gave a Thought for the Day before everyone went home.

Decorations and publicity were based on beach huts. Guests had individual photographs taken in front of a large beach hut, which was constructed and painted by Wick Theatre Company’s workshop team, based at Southwick Community Centre.

Age UK and Adur Community Transport provided buses and drivers to transport guests who were unable to travel on their own.

Henfield dolls’ house enthusiasts loaned an amazing exhibition of models based on a Second World War theme. This was greatly appreciated and stimulated many memories for campers and helpers alike.

The camp beauty parlour was staffed by Southwick hairdresser Jane and manicurist Hannah.