Sixty-two local people are receiving respite holidays at Maison des Landes hotel this month, thanks to funds raised at this year’s Lions Club of Jersey Swimarathon, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management. They will enjoy a seven-night stay in the specially adapted accommodation, worth around £500 per person.
Maison des Landes, in St Ouen, is a charitable trust set up by the Lions Club in 1965 to provide holidays specifically for disabled people. Guests – who are often accompanied by a family member or carer – enjoy the use of a range of special facilities, including beds with lifting hoists, walk-in and wheel-in showers, and dining facilities that cater for most dietary requirements. The trust runs the hotel on a not-for-profit basis.
Maison des Landes usually takes in disabled or severely disabled guests from the UK and Europe who travel to Jersey for a holiday. However, once a year it welcomes Jersey people, free of charge, who may be elderly and infirm, rather than disabled. Applications are invited from GPs, parish Constables, the church and caring institutions in the Island. The break includes transfer to and from the hotel, full board, daily excursions in the wheelchair-adapted minibus and an entertainment programme. The hotel also has a swimming pool with wheelchair ramps and hoists.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Lion Bob Gaiger, said: ‘For many years, the Lions Club of Jersey has devoted a proportion of the funds raised at the Swimarathon to sponsor holidays for local people who, for reasons of age, infirmity or disability, would be unlikely to enjoy a holiday, without the type of facilities that Maison des Landes can offer. Guests may also bring a companion with them, and preference is given to people who have not benefited from staying with us before, or at least not in recent years. Our aim is to give as many local people as possible a chance to enjoy a free respite break when it’s needed.’
The day-to-day running of the hotel is overseen by acting manager Peter Le Quesne and his team of 15 staff, which includes four drivers who take the guests on daily minibus trips to places of interest.
There are 26 bedrooms, 18 of which are on the ground floor. Of these, nine are fitted with electric beds and hoists making them suitable for the severely disabled. The remaining first-floor bedrooms are all accessible by stair lift.
Chris Blampied, Managing Director, Royal Bank of Canada (Channel Islands) Limited, said: ‘It is fantastic to see funds raised at the Swimarathon further benefitting individuals in the local community. I am proud of the part RBC Wealth Management plays in supporting the good work of the Lions Club. The provision of respite holidays is another example of the ways we can help Island lives. This is a truly worthwhile initiative and I hope that the guests enjoy their stay.’
The respite holidays are being staged in three groups, with guests arriving on 14th, 21st and 28th April. There will also be paying guests at the hotel during this period.