Home from home – family residentials using a holiday cottage

Key features

  • Working with families
  • Regular use of a holiday cottage
  • Three residentials in quick succession

The South Manchester Inclusive Learning Enterprise (SMILE) Trust uses residentials to work alongside their support for families in the greatest need. Residentials are provided for one participating family at a time with children in both the high school and one of the associated primaries in the Trust, where at least one student is also struggling with learning.

The aim is to encourage high quality family life through domestic activities such as cooking and shopping, playing together and going out on trips. Three residentials in a row based at a holiday cottage in the Peak District, the home from home, help to develop a new approach for each family that is then supported back in the community and school. Their impact can be dramatic.

A typical programme begins with two 3-day residentials for the family’s children and then an experience for the whole family, including any pre-school children. Children and their parents are supported in school and at home during the residential cycle. Once a family’s residential cycle is complete, work commences with a new family and the children of the previous family become mentors for the children in the next family. This mentoring role continues for each new family introduced to Learning Away, with around ten families a year benefiting from the programme.

Watch the film to find out more about the approach.