We have tried to organise every year since 2005 training sessions for parents with disabled children to teach them how to pilot a Tamdenski. Our aim is to fulfil the dream of children and youth to discover or rediscover the pleasure of skiing and also to allow families to practice mountain activities with their children. But it is difficult for a family to finance this type of project, a training session organised by the French Association for Paralytics (APF) costs about 2.000 euros.
Our project consists in organising a session for about 10 people: the budget of about 15.000 euros includes the teaching material used in the training, the ski pass, the paying off of the adaptive equipment and the administrative cost linked to the organisation of the training. This training to pilot a Tandemski takes place over 10 days divided in 2 compulsory periods of 5 days (at the end of December and the beginning of January). The parents will only have to pay for their accommodation, catering and transport and take days off at work.
Since 2012, we have been offering elderly people living in different nursing homes in the department and more specifically in the Pays du Mont-Blanc to practice Tandemski in winter and Cimgo in summer.
For instance, from September 2013 to April 2014 the financial help of our partner devoted to this project has allowed us to accompany 97 elderly people over 28 half days. The people came from 11 different retirement homes among which 7 from the Pays du Mont-Blanc (Megève, Chamonix, 2 from Sallanches, Saint-Gervais, Passy, Magland) and 4 from the valley nearby (Cluses, Marnaz, La Roche-sur-Foron and Annecy).
For some people the Tandemski outing was a way to discover skiing, ski lifts and chair-lifts and see magnificent mountain sceneries, for other people it was a way to rediscover the pleasure and thrill of skiing and gliding they thought they would never experience again. This outing was full of emotion and provided beautiful inter-generation moments of sharing. For instance, the Tandemski outing allowed a resident from the Megève nursing home to glide with his relatives while gathering four generations together.
During the summer of 2013, a Cimgo outing gave some residents of the retirement home of the Val d’Arve the opportunity to spend a pleasant day leisurely hiking in the heart of our mountains.
A lot of institutions looking after young people with disabilities or special educational needs wish to organise holidays to practice adaptive outdoor pursuits but the financial cost of the activities, accommodation, catering and transport makes the implementation of their project impossible.
This is why with the help of our partners, we wish to take responsibility for the financial aspect of the outdoor mountain activities that could be carried out during the stays in order to bring their projects to fruition.
Several structures looking after youths with a disability such as EREA (Regional Institute for Special Needs Education), IEM (Institute for Motor Education) … had the opportunity to organise stays in the Pays du Mont-Blanc to practice adaptive skiing in the winter, hiking, rope park, paragliding and rafting in the summer. This was made possible because we took over about 80% of the cost of the stays.
For instance, between December 2013 and September 2014, 24 children and youths with a disability, coming from three different structures, could spend a holiday in the mountain and practice adaptive outdoor activities.
In the winter 2013-2014, a group of 7 children could ski with friends, for some of them it was their first time skiing; this stay was rich in discoveries and full of emotions, happiness and good laughs.
In the summer 2014, 2 groups of 7 and 3 multiply handicapped children could discover outdoor activities in the mountain such as paragliding, Cimgo, F.T.T. mountain wheelchair, rafting, but also fulfil their dreams of thrills in the heart of a magnificent environment and have a great time marked by cohesion and sharing.Some other structures could benefit from a micro lighting outing in the Pays du Mont-Blanc.