Project information

Acceler8 weekends, year 1 of 2.

Young people with physical impairments often get left out. Acceler8 residential weekends are exciting, sometimes scary, full of laughter and fun: no-one there gets left to watch others enjoy themselves. Weekends away with people their own age build confidence and friendships, and independence too.

June 2015 - April 2017

Charity information: Active8

Active8 logo
  • Need


    The young people in Acceler8 are teenagers with physical disabilities, with varied levels of impairment. They are few and they live in a rural county, and as each attends a local secondary school, they seldom meet each other. They are discouraged from taking risks and have little confidence.
    They rely on their parents for care and transport, and can be isolated from their age group. Parents find it hard to balance natural protectiveness with encouraging independence: families need Acceler8!


    Challenging activities, chosen to include everyone, help young people realize how much they can achieve. These may include surfing, animations, quad biking, flying big kites, climbing and abseiling. We ask each time a little more responsibility for themselves and each other.
    The Duke of Edinburgh's Award gives scope for developing individual abilities, teamwork too. By year two they do the Bronze expedition in wheelchairs or canoes, camping, finding their way, cooking and looking after each other.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the independence and confidence of disabled young people.


    » Try new sports - surfing, fencing, sailing. Enable all to take part at a level that satisfies them.
    » Share shopping, cooking and washing up on weekends. Work towards choice of meals and young people taking over cooking, each doing the bit they can.
    » Run 24 residential weekends in 2 years for the same 10 young people, giving them time to grow in confidence and support each other.
    » Use group activities to develop listening, decision making, timekeeping and shared responsibility: also Duke of Edinburgh's Award if they so choose.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Young people find a sport they enjoy: can cook a meal for 15 between 4 or 5 of them: be part of a stable group for 2 years: like each other and stay friends.

  • Impact


    The project will reverse the decline in confidence these young people experience in adolescence, and give them the ambition to lead their own lives independently. (This includes those who will always need personal care, who will realise they can take control and make decisions.)
    We can demonstrate written evidence of success in this, from young people and parents since Active8 started in 1990.


    Disabled young people are often excluded from activities because of perceived risk. Our role is to identify risks and manage them safely - and enable the young people to learn to do so too. Fully including the most disabled involves very good planning and real respect for their abilities, and a lot of 'thinking outside the box'.


    Donors who request it will receive a 3-monthly report by email on the progress of the project and any new developments; or mid-term and final reports if they prefer. And we send an e-newsletter two or three times a year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £41,769

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,200 Accommodation Outdoor Ed Centre hire, 24 weekends
      £3,820 Transport and volunteers Hire 2 accessible minibuses: fuel. 6-8 volunteers' travel expenses.
      £5,500 Activities and food Activities e.g.archery, theatre, pottery. Food self-catering and some meals out.
      £2,969 25% of core costs inc insurance, phones, equipment etc.
      £17,400 Staff A8 Manager (youth worker) salary costs and training
      £4,880 Practical needs Resources and equipment hire

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    BBC Children in Need £17,400 Guaranteed
    Albert van den Bergh Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    Cornwall Council £12,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Active8 is located in Cornwall, which is known for its wonderful coastline and extreme sports. Less known is that it has low wages and much work is seasonal, but house prices are high. Transport is a major cost in this rural county: one girl travels 60 miles to Acceler8.
    Children with physical disabilities here almost all attend their local schools, and educational standards are high. But specialist support for their disability is only accessed by a lot of travelling.


    Disabled young people who grow up here get a good education, but they may be the only student in their school with a conspicuous impairment. They nearly all have 1:1 adult support there, which sounds good but can reduce their chances of making friends, making decisions or helping others. They need a situation where they are not 'odd one out' and can participate fully in their own right. They will benefit hugely from Acceler8; and some parents will have their first free weekends in 15 years

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Active8 is the only Cornish youth group working specifically with young people with physical disabilities, and has 24 years' experience of encouraging them towards independence. Half our trustees have been members of Active8 groups.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Josey Spencer

    the Active 8 Manager whose skill makes the Active8 years a growing time, not just a series of fun weekends

    Mike Morley

    the original, craziest Active8 volunteer who can be trusted to fix anything (101 uses of gaffer tape) and make anyone laugh out loud.


pays for one young person to go sailing.

Active8 has been a brilliant experience and really enriched my life.