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Mountains for All

Enriching lives affected by disability, special need or life-changing condition with the empowering benefits of year round mountain activities
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Skiing with Down's Syndrome Morzine

Jacob Howes has Down's Syndrome and nothing gets in the way of him having an action packed ski week in Morzine. Knowing how well he was looked after by ESF Morzine and Morzine Kids ensured that the whole family had a fabulous and very therapeutic ski holiday.

This is the third year Jacob has been skiing and this year partnered up with Laurent, who is one of the disability and adaptive ski instructors from ESF Morzine - Special Olympics are looking hopeful perhaps given that Laurent took Jacob down a timed slope and clocked 94 km/h!!

Tracey told Ski 2 Freedom that "ESF Morzine were fantastic this year and organised 6 x two hour sessions of handiski for Jacob. I contacted them in July last year and it was all booked up then.

A child with down's syndrome and ski instructorIn addition, the moniteur that we had, Laurent Poix Daude, was absolutely fantastic. He was brilliant with Jacob and so clearly enjoyed his job (he said it was a 'holiday' for him). He gave Jacob, and us, so much pleasure - it made our holiday! And as far as Jacob was concerned, the faster the better!!

Only too delighted to share some photos with you! What I forgot to say was that Laurent was fabulous, wish I could have brought him home with us - lovely to hear that you know him too.

Jacob can't wait to go again and already his mother has booked Laurent for next February half term in 2015!

When Jacob was not skiing he was in the safe hands of Helen who owns and runs Morzine Kids. Having met Helen back in 2013 it was wonderful to have such a great endorsement for her and I am sure that other children and young adults will be able to benefit from her very special empathy with those who have a disability or special need.

This is what Jacob's mother had to say and I am sure if anyone wants to know more she would be delighted to talk to other parents:

We are just back from our week's ski-ing in les Portes du Soleil and I just wanted to give my feedback on Helen Barnett at Morzine Kids even though you have met her already yourself.

Helen was, quite simply, lovely! That of course is in addition to being very professional and very competent at her job. She very quickly established a rapport with Jacob, who you may remember has Down's Syndrome, is non-verbal and whose learning difficulties are severe. She had no problem whatsoever in learning what motivates Jacob and how to keep him happy and entertained. He loved being with Helen and was delighted when she arrived in the morning. And the fact that Helen is a qualified paediatric nurse is a huge bonus from a parents' perspective as I am sure you will appreciate.

We were particularly delighted that Helen enjoyed looking after Jacob even though he is now nearly 17 and probably doesn't fall under the definition of 'child'!

I would recommend Helen unreservedly and am very pleased to have met her.

  • Tracey

Other activities included sledging and with snowflakes falling what a fabulous family holiday.

Useful Links

ESF Morzine - disabled skiing contact Marianne at administration@esf-morzine.com
Tandemski - dualski.com/en/tandemflex
Morzine Kids - helen@morzinekids.com / morzinekids.com
Morzine - winter.morzine-avoriaz.com
Handitourism Accessible Morzine - winter.morzine-avoriaz.com/tourisme-for-disabled.html

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