Learning Disability Week – Grace’s travels
Ambassador Grace loves an adventure!
Today we’re celebrating our Ambassador Grace and her fantastic achievements. Grace lives in one of our supported living houses with her boyfriend Matt. She loves to travel and visit lots of new places, sometimes with family, sometimes with Matt and has also been away with Brownies and Guides.
Grace has been busy in lockdown keeping active and raising £1000 for Style Acre by running and then cycling a marathon. She was also clapping for carers and key workers on a Thursday. (Her sister and brother-in-law are both doctors in the NHS.)
We might not be able to travel currently, but prior to lockdown our Fundraising Manager Cheryl had a catch up with Grace about her best travel achievements, just how many badges from different places she actually has and what she has planned next!
How many places have you been to Grace?
- Definitely over 100!
And do you collect a badge everywhere you go?
- I try to, but some places don’t do them. But I do get a lot.
What made you start collecting badges?
- When I was a little girl, I was in Brownies and I got Interest Badges. I still volunteer with Brownies now.
What was the 1st badge that you collected?
- Well, I think it was Cadbury’s World!
And what are your top 3 places that you’ve been to and why?
- I think Sydney is the best one, then Los Angeles and then Warwick Castle. I liked Sydney because of the Blue Mountains, which are famous – Manly Beach and Bondi Beach were good too. I didn’t surf in Aus, but I have done in Devon and Cornwall. I liked L.A. because it has Universal Studios, which is a fantastic theme park! (My boyfriend Matt couldn’t come on that trip though!) I also liked seeing the Warner Brothers Studios where they filmed Grease and Friends, and the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. My favourite actress is Sandra Bullock and I liked seeing her star on the Walk of Fame. Warwick Castle is interesting because of the reenactments and the castle dungeons – spooky!
What do you like to find out when you travel to somewhere new?
- I like to learn about history. Warwick Castle dates from Tudor times. It got knocked down and somebody paid to rebuild it. I’ve also been to Windsor Castle.
Do you have a least favourite place that you have visited?
- Bath. The Romans used to swim in the baths!
When you go away who do you go with?
- I go with my boyfriend Matt and with my family or his family. I have also been on camp with Brownies.
And how do you like to travel?
- I like to go by train as you get to see places of interest, the countryside and views.
Do you ever find travelling difficult?
- Sometimes when there are train delays!
What would you recommend people do to help keep entertained and calm when travelling?
- I think things like music, puzzles and books are a good idea, especially if you get delayed. I like to play pop music on my IPod mostly.
So you have a lot of badges of places you have visited, what are your favourite ones?
- They are Sydney and L.A. – my favourite places. I try and sew them on quickly when I get a new one, but sometimes it’s tricky! The last place we visited was Gloucester Railway – Matt’s into trains and it was right up his street!
And what trips have you been on with Style Acre?
- I’ve been to the Avon Canal in Devizes. That was really fantastic as there were pirate-themed boats. We did a pirate boat trip with snacks on board and got a goodie bag. It was along the tow path, and we had to shout ‘man over board’ and sing ‘drunken sailor’. It was very funny!
Grace, when you are planning a trip or travelling somewhere new, what support do you like to have?
- It’s good to have help to book things, so my parents or Style Acre staff help. I also make sure I write a reminder in my diary.
So you have been in Brownies and Guides and now volunteer with 4th Wallingford Brownies. What fun things have you done with them?
- In 2010, it was 100 years of Girlguiding. It began in 1910. There were lots of events, including Blenheim Palace and a sleepover at Warwick Castle. I’ve also been to the Isles of Scilly for a week’s holiday and went cycling, windsurfing, hiking and geocaching.
You like to keep very active, what activity is your favourite thing to do on holiday?
- I love body-boarding! I did body-boarding on holiday at Woolacombe Sands Holiday Park in Devon. They have fish and chips on site, an indoor and outdoor pool and lots of activities and entertainment. I also liked sea kayaking at Butlins Minehead.
So where would you like to visit next?
- I would like to go to West Midlands Safari Park, Cotswold Water Park (which is right up my street!) and the Black Country Museum – it’s meant to be interesting.
Thank you Grace for chatting with me and sharing all your travel stories. I’ll look forward to hearing more soon.
- Thank you. I can’t wait!