From Participant to Volunteer: Tallulah’s Triple Ts Hucklow Story

From Participant to Volunteer: Tallulah’s Triple Ts Hucklow Story

My name is Tallulah and when I was younger, I attended Turning Tides sessions at the Unitarian club for several years which were a big part of my childhood. I was 9 years old when I first went on the Hucklow trip with Turning Tides in 2013 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Last year I came back as a volunteer for the HAF summer sessions and this August I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit Hucklow again, this time as an 18-year-old and a volunteer, which was a completely different experience.

When I went on holiday as a child, one of my favourite days was the visit to the caves at the Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil’s Arse. We had lots of fun exploring another cave this year at the Heights of Abraham, which had great views from the top. I also have fond memories of Chatsworth House, so it was nice that I was able to go there again this year to revisit the amazing scenery, especially the waterfall stairs which were just as much fun this time around as they were 9 years ago. What I particularly love about the Hucklow trip is that it encourages you to enjoy what is around you, which I think is really important when so many of us spend lots of time looking at screens. It was nice being able to unplug and enjoy woodland walks and the company of those around me. I think this aspect of the trip may have been challenging for some of the children to begin with but by the end of the trip, I’m sure they had forgotten all about their phones because the days were so jam-packed with activities!

The main difference between being a child and being an adult on the holiday is that you appreciate the hard work that goes into making the trip possible so much more. You realise how much the kids are the adults’ number one priority and that the adults will do their absolute best to make sure every child is enjoying their holiday to the fullest. I very quickly got to know every individual child and their interests, personalities and needs. It was really interesting for me to step into a new role with such a massive responsibility, particularly as a recently turned 18-year-old who had only previously been on this trip as a child myself. It was definitely challenging at times but of course so rewarding and the trip turned out to be very successful.

It was so lovely to watch friendships form between children who were shy at first and apprehensive to go on the trip, especially if it was their first time away from their parents. I also loved when you’d hear the kids say things like “you wouldn’t see this in Southend”, which showed how much they appreciated the views and the change of scenery. There was one child who was a bit sad to be leaving her mum at first but by the end of the trip I spoke to her and she told me she was sad to leave! It’s clear that this trip is so valuable to the kids.

Overall, I had an amazing experience returning to Hucklow with Turning Tides and would love to go again!

Jamie Langstone