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Badaguish Cairngorm Outdoor Sports Centre

A permanent site at Badaguish was purchased in 1984 to develop residential training facilities and provide equal opportunities training and outdoor education for people with disabilities. The centre has diversified into providing training opportunities for the voluntary care sector. The decision to develop and market accredited training in this sector – with help from the European Social Fund – was taken to support revenue development as part of project to refurbish and extend the centre’s facilities.

Time spent at Badaguish includes indoor and outdoor games, use of adventure play equipment, zip wire, abseil, archery and barbecues. The centre has a superb forest setting in the foothills of the Cairngorms and offers a complete range of outdoor activities right on the doorstep. This includes mountain biking, high ropes, rock scrambling, canoeing, wayfinding and many others. These are all accessible at a level which is good fun, and help to build confidence, communication skills and teamwork. The aim is to give each person a fun and exciting holiday experience with lots of scope for personal development and achievement.  A programme is prepared with visitors to ensure each individual can fulfill their potential, and have the best experience possible.

Respite Activity Holidays are for small groups of unaccompanied individuals with special needs who are under the personal supervision of full-time care staff, and Silvie Mackenzie (care manager). Applications are welcomed from people of all abilities.

Care is taken to put together appropriate groups depending on age, level of ability and whether there is learning and/or physical disability. The usual group size is around 10 visitors and a care team of 5 full time carers/activity leaders and two volunteers, allowing for the possibility of a 1:1 ratio if necessary.

The Family Project offers an integrated package of quality childcare activities and family support. It is a partnership with ‘FACES’, a local self-help group for parents and families with a disabled child who live in Badenoch & Strathspey. The Scottish Executive Rural Partnership provided startup funding in recognition of the difficulty to develop needs led services in remote rural communities.

Approximately 12 families participate. (12 special needs children + 12 other siblings). Parents to take responsibility to:

• Manage and deliver a programme of holiday playschemes and Saturday clubs.

• Determine for themselves, from experience gained, the types and levels of service they value most.

Andrew Mackenzie, Executive Director at Badaguish says  “The opportunity for development here is huge, especially now that we have clear government recognition of the need to capacity build in the care sector. However, we would also argue that the scale of the opportunity is not currently matched by the funding opportunities. More generally, based on our own experience, I would suggest that there are other significant niche opportunities for sector-based learning centres”. The goal for Badaguish is to become a national centre of excellence for special outdoor education and training.

For further info, contact:
Andrew MacKenzie
Executive Director
Badaguish Cairngorm Outdoor Centre
Avimore, PH22 1QU
Tel: 01479 861285


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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210