FOR some of the sick, disabled and disadvantaged children who visit the Children’s Adventure Farm (CAFT) near Lymm it will be their first family holiday. This week reporter Chloe Laversuch hears from a group of parents who were delighted to have the chance to visit the charity.

TAKING a family holiday is something most of us take for granted as parents take a few days away from home to enjoy time with their children.

But as parent Andrea Machin explained, families with a disabled child can miss out on the happy memories and the chance to unwind during a break.

Andrea, chair of charity Families United, organised a week-long stay for six families at CAFT in the summer and said the experiences children enjoyed with their parents at the centre will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

She said: “You can’t put it into words how wonderful it is watching the children’s faces, especially those who had never been on a holiday before.

“The parents enjoyed it too, one mum said she didn’t like animals but she had an amazing time and stroked the alpacas and held the chickens.

“Memories were made that would never have been made if it wasn’t for CAFT. It’s just incredible what they do. It’s simply magical.”

At the end of the holiday parents received a DVD with highlights from the week and often find they have made friends for life during their stay.

And Andrea said youngsters have experiences they would usually be forced to miss out on, because CAFT makes sure there is something for everybody.

“The animals were definitely the most popular activity during our visit. There is also a music room which the children liked and a massive inflatable, bigger than a bouncy castle, with an obstacle course. The kids absolutely loved that. CAFT makes sure no one misses out on having fun,” she said.

“The best thing my daughter got from it was when one of the volunteers, who was helping out during the summer break from university, taught her to drive a Didi Car.

“One of the families who hadn’t been on holiday before couldn’t stop thanking us for the opportunity to visit CAFT. It’s heartwarming to know you have made a difference to somebody’s life.

“It is a really special place and the people who work there are wonderful.”

For more information visit and to find out more about Thelwall charity Families United, which supports children with disabilities, visit