DBA UK Family Weekend 2024

Friday 10th – Sunday 12th May 2024
PGL Centre, Caythorpe Court  

What to expect 

Our 2024 DBA UK Family Weekend is your chance to meet others affected by DBA, share experiences, hear more about DBA from medical professionals, and to keep in touch with what the charity is up to.

COVID Safe Policy 

As there may be several vulnerable/immunocompromised children attending this year, we ask everyone
to adhere to the PGL Covid Safe Policy. All guests must confirm that they are not displaying any symptoms of the Covid-19 virus before arriving at the centre.

Who can attend? 

Unfortunately, due to the restriction in numbers this year and an increase in newly diagnosed families,  the invitation is for parents/guardians with DBA children and their siblings, DBA adults, and partners only. If it is absolutely essential that you require a person outside your core DBA family unit to attend,  please give us a call to discuss. However, priority will be given to our core DBA patient families first. 

IMPORTANT – DBS Checks

DBS Checks are now a requirement of PGL. ALL adults over the age of 18 years old who will be staying overnight at Caythorpe Court MUST be in possession of a valid DBS Check during the weekend. ALL adults must provide evidence if requested to do so. Failure to do so may result in being asked to leave the centre immediately. As a minimum, only a ‘Basic’ DBS check is required. You must personally organise your own DBS Checks. For more information go to www.gov.uk and search for ‘DBS Check’. We recommend that you apply for a your DBS Check (if you do not already have one) as soon as possible as the turnaround time may be up to 6 weeks. Late applications to attend the weekend will not be accepted unless you have your DBS Checks in place.

If you already have a valid DBS Check, there is no need to get another providing you can provide evidence. Bring a print-out of your completed DBS Checks with you to the weekend.

Please DO NOT contact PGL directly about DBS Checks or you may receive ‘mixed messages’.

Apply for your DBS Checks as soon as possible to ensure that you allow plenty of time for processing.

*  This is your responsibility *

Accommodation 

The venue is a residential outdoor activity centre for children and as such offers basic, bunk bed style rooms. The accommodation will again be in the chalets we have had in previous years and each family will get their own room with shower/toilet facilities. The accommodation is quite basic, but we’ve had adequate feedback on it in previous years. This all adds to the fun experience. Bedding is provided but you must bring your own towels and toiletries. You may also need to bring a bath for baby and a highchair if required. All your meals will be provided on-site and there will be bar facilities for drinks. 

There are tea and coffee facilities in each room but there is no fridge. We also have ‘adult only’ access to a Teacher’s Room where we have use of tea and making facilities, a fridge and a microwave. The  Teacher’s Room is very close to our rooms.  

If you would prefer external accommodation and to head on to the PGL site each day this is fine, but  DBA UK will not be able to cover the hotel costs and you will need to book this yourself. This is the nearest Travelodge (6 miles away).

Activities 

On Saturday morning, afternoon and Sunday morning the children will be sorted into age appropriate groups and taken off by PGL staff to enjoy the outdoor activities provided at the centre such as climbing, high ropes and the giant swing. The children absolutely love it. Please bring old but warm and comfortable clothes, sensible shoes and perhaps a raincoat just in case the weather isn’t too good. Younger children will be entertained in the soft play area with lots of toys and bouncy castles.
While this is going on, the adults, mums and dads can relax in the conference room listening to talks from our guest professionals. There will also be lots of time to chat to the committee and of course other parents.

We are generally all together for breakfast, lunch and on Saturday our usual BBQ on the lawn, weather permitting. And, finally a sing song around the campfire organised by the PGL staff. We will also be providing Wine and Cheese on Saturday evening.

So, it’s not all about talks and lectures. There’s also plenty of time to relax, chill out and get to know everyone.

Planning is still underway, but we can tell you that in this year’s conference we have; 

  • Presentations from medical experts
  • 1-on-1 clinics with medical experts – Priority will be given to new families
  • Ample opportunity to speak with each other, both formally and informally
  • BBQ and campfire (including sing-songs) for all 
  • PGL adventures for the kids such as climbing, high-wire and rope activities
  • DBA UK AGM and Charity Report 2024

We will let you know when the Weekend Itinerary is finalised. 

Committee and Charity AGM  

The DBA UK Charity Annual General Meeting will be held as part of the Conference. This includes a report on what the charity has been up to and there is an opportunity to elect a Committee for the following year. New blood is really encouraged on the committee. Anyone with interest and a special skill to offer can speak with the DBA UK Chairman (Leisa Batkin), Treasurer (Pete Redmond) or any other committee members for a discrete chat to find out more. The constitution requires that nominations for election to the Executive Committee are received in writing by the Secretary (Helen Till) at least 14 days prior to the AGM.

You can arrive at Caythorpe Court any time after 3pm on Friday 10th May for games and fun and to start to meet people. The conference sessions will then start before 9am on the Saturday, with coffee breaks and lunch. The conference will end after lunch on the Sunday. There is ample parking for all.
As ever, please bring with you any questions you have. It would also be greatly appreciated if you could bring any DBA paraphernalia such as pumps, needles, drugs and other treatments to show around and help us learn from each other.

Please also be sure to bring any unused or surplus fundraising equipment/merchandise and collection boxes (full or otherwise) which can be passed to our Fundraising Co-ordinator Joanne Hubbard.

How much does it cost? 

Absolutely nothing! DBA UK covers the full cost of the weekend. However, as always, we are extremely grateful for all donations, no matter how small to help us recoup some of the significant cost. Go to our donations page to see how you can help.

What to bring 

IMPORTANT DBS Check certificates / copies for all adults over 18 years old who will be staying overnight.

PGL recommendations for children doing the activities;

  • Clothes are likely to suffer wear and tear and also get dirty and/or wet therefore you should bring several changes of old clothes for doing activities. T-shirts, long sleeved tops, waterproof jacket and a fleece or jumper.
  • Trousers or leggings but not jeans as they get heavy and wet when wet.
  • Footwear – Old trainers for activities to get wet and dirty and 1 clean/dry pair for the evening
  • 1 or 2 sets of clothes for the evening
  • Suitable nightwear
  • Other items – Shorts, baseball cap/sunhat and sunscreen.

Towels and toiletries. Each room is en-suite with a toilet, sink, and walk-in shower. All bedding is provided. 

Medication/pumps etc – Bring any medicines you may need. If any medication needs to be kept refrigerated, speak to us as there are no fridges in the rooms.  

If you have a very young child, it might be a good idea to bring a travel high-chair for dinner times. PGL  generally

If you have a very young child, it might be a good idea to bring a travel high-chair for dinner times. PGL generally cater for older children and have only a couple of high-chairs. A baby bath may also be a good idea. Most families generally load up their cars with everything they think they might need. Perhaps even a travel cot and some Calpol, just in case.

Money. There is no cashpoint on site and the nearest one is miles away. PGL has a bar on-site and  DBA UK will also be providing a subsidized bar service on Saturday night.

Responsibilities 

Whilst the children are doing organised activities, they will be in the responsible care of the PGL staff.  At all other times, parents/guardians/careers are expected to be totally responsible for their own children. DBA UK accepts no responsibility for the care of your children. This is a condition of your booking. 

What to do next 

If you have any further questions or concerns about the weekend speak to Leisa or Pete either via Facebook messages or email info@diamondblackfan.org.uk 

We’re really excited about this year’s Family Weekend. Places go fast and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. So please book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.  

How to book on to the weekend

Once completed, a confirmation message will be displayed to let you know that we’ve received your booking. You will also receive an email copy of your booking details. We will not contact you again unless there is an issue with your booking. Please, please contact us if you think you may NOT be able to attend after you have booked. Email treasurer@diamondblackfan.org.uk immediately. Late cancellations every year cost DBA UK lots of money and families on our waiting list may be denied those places.

Final message 

Thank you all once again, you are all Superstars! Without your donations and tireless fundraising efforts, this weekend would not be possible. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in May! 

Leisa, Pete, Ellie, Helen and Jo
Your amazing Committee Members

Directions to Caythorpe Court PGL Centre 

Centre Address
PGL Caythorpe Court
Caythorpe
Grantham
Lincolnshire
NG32 3ER (for Sat Navs)

Here is a Google Maps link to the location:

PGL website

Travelling South on the A1. 

At the A46/A17 junction (Newark on Trent) take the A17 for approx 10 miles then turn right onto  Pottergate Road. 

Follow this for 1.5 miles then turn right onto Caythorpe Heath Lane. 

The Centre is on the left after approx 1/2 mile. 

Travelling North on the M1. 

Take junction 21A for the A46. Follow this to Newark (do not take the A607 off the A46 as this is a slow  windy road through lots of little villages). 

At Newark take the A17 and follow directions as above. 

From the North-West 

Take the M62 to the A1, then head south as above. 

From the South-West / Midlands 

Take the M42/A42 until it joins the M1. 

At Junction 25 take the A52 towards Grantham. 

Take the A46 towards Newark. 

At Newark take the A17 and follow directions as above. 

Travelling North on the A1 

At Grantham take the A607. Watch out just north of Barkston where you have to take a left turn to stay on the A607. 

At Caythorpe turn right onto the Caythorpe Heath Lane. 

The Centre is on the right after approx 1 mile. 

The nearest airport is East Midlands airport (though not too close). Please say if you are likely to take this route as we may be able to find groups willing to travel together to reduce your costs.