About Phab

 About Phab

The first Phab project began in 1957, and for nearly 60 years the charity has encouraged and supported children and adults with and without disabilities to make more of life together.

 Be part of our team raising funds to support a network of clubs across England and Wales offering lots of great activities which members of all ages and abilities can share and enjoy together. There are over 150 Phab clubs with 8,000 members in all age ranges from under 8’s to over 80’s right across England and Wales.

 Help us to provide much needed places on our unique Phabkids weeks for youngsters with a range of disabilities and complex needs, enabling them to experience and enjoy greater independence and freedom.

Phab’s Phabulous Projects!!

Phab is very fortunate to have the support of some amazing volunteers who give their time and effort not only during the weeks away, but also at the required training sessions and huge thanks goes out to every one of them! 

Every year Phab provides a challenging and exciting programme of ILX Residential Projects for children and young people who have disabilities or who are disadvantaged in some way.  We are most grateful to our Marathon runners, cyclists and all those who raise funds to support both the Phab Projects and 170 Clubs across England and Wales with over 8,000 members.

The children and young people who benefit from Phab’s ILX Projects

Each year around 116 children and young people aged from 8 to 25, supported by 99 enthusiastic and specially trained Phab volunteers and carers, join us at two carefully chosen and fully accessible outdoor activity centres in the beautiful and inspiring surroundings of the New Forest and the Lake District. 

Through the challenging and exciting activities on offer and the experience of being away from home and just having great fun together, the children build their self-esteem, confidence and independence and learn new practical, personal and social skills which all helps them when they go back home - along with some great memories and new friends made. 

Most of the children and young people have physical, sensory or learning disabilities.  Some have complex needs requiring the support of a dedicated carer or two Phab volunteers.  Those disabilities can include cerebral palsy (including quadriplegic cerebral palsy), learning disabilities, social anxiety, global development delay, visual or hearing impairment, Downs Syndrome, autism, ADHD, Asperger’s, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, epilepsy, speech and language difficulties, scoliosis, arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, hydrocephalus and behavioural difficulties. 

And to fulfil Phab's overarching aim of promoting understanding and inclusion of disabled and non-disabled people, a small number of children attending are not disabled but disadvantaged in some way, perhaps in foster care or having experienced abuse or bereavement, or they are the sibling of a child attending with a disability. 

We are also looking forward to working with the Jubilee Sailing Trust, with five more disabled people having a place on one of their very special tall ship voyages in 2018.


The exciting and challenging activities they take on

The activities the children and young people are able to enjoy include canoeing, sailing, caving, swimming, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, table tennis, pool, ropes course, zip wire, tube slide, sensory room, crazy golf, ten pin bowling, pottery, whacky races, visits to the seaside with fish and chips for supper or to the circus, and all finished off with a fancy dress party with karaoke and disco. 

Six Residential Projects in 2018

Age Range

Children and young people


and Carers

Bendrigg Lodge Weekend, Lake District, 11th – 13th May

8 - 18 years

10 places

10 places

Bendrigg Lodge, Lake District,

28th July – 4th August

8 - 18 years

30 places

25 places

Bendrigg Lodge, Lake District,

4th – 11th August

8 - 18 years

23 places

17 places

AvonTyrrell, New Forest, Hampshire,

17th – 24th August

8 - 25 years

35 places

25 places

Family Weekend Project, Bendrigg Lodge, 12th – 14th October

8 - 18 years

15 places

21 places

Jubilee Sailing Trust Voyage voyage, Southampton to Southampton,

13th – 17th August

Over 18

3 places

1 places



 116 places

99 places


The benefits for families as a whole

We know from our involvement with parents, carers, voluntary and statutory organisations that there is an enormous need for parents and carers to get a break now and then, whilst children and young people want to do something challenging, worthwhile and fun.  And families with one or more disabled children often experience a disproportionate level of poverty due to the cost of equipment and specialist care, parents not being able to work because of their caring responsibilities, and family breakdown.  Our residential projects provide a break which most families would not be able to afford, thanks to the efforts of all our supporters.  And parents can see a real difference in their child when they return back home which can have a real impact on family life as a whole. 

This is what the Projects cost

The full programme of Phab’s ILX Residential Projects costs around £128,000 a year – an average cost per place of around £595 for each of the 215 children, young people, older people, volunteers and carers taking part.  The majority of that total is for accommodation and activities at the Outdoor Activity Centres.  Below are some of the key costs for a seven night project based on a total of 55 people – 30 children and young people and 25 volunteers and carers. 

Centre Accommodation/activities


Staff and Volunteer Training


Staff/volunteer travel expenses


Day Trips/Entrance Fees


Laundry/medical equipment includes hire of hoists etc.


Printed T-shirts & Caps




The Difference Our Projects Make

This is what the children said:

 “I liked feeding the animals at the farm and I held a piglet in a blanket!”, Hannah aged 15 with severe learning disabilities and a wheelchair user

“I paddled all the way on the canoe and won the prettiest feather award and had an ice cream.  And I think I can make my own drinks completely now too.”  Erin aged 14 with severe learning difficulties

“Thank you for taking me on the Phab Project – I felt proud and brave when I went  down the tube slide.”,  Keileigh aged 8 with learning disabilities

 “I loved every second of today and being out of my wheelchair, going on the zipwire and big swing.”, Isla aged 15 with cerebral palsy and oxygen dependent

 “I am proud that I did rock climbing and I made new friends and got myself dressed.”, David aged 11 with cerebral palsy

“We had a party and I danced and jumped and found it all very funny!”, Sarah aged 15 with severe learning disabilities and epilepsy and a wheelchair user

“I was proud I had made new friends and I was good at the water fight.”, Sol aged 12 with learning difficulties

“I got stronger and I’m not scared to say no anymore.”, James aged 18 with Global Development Delay and Autistic Spectrum Disorder

“I was brave and went ghyll scrambling and got to the top.”, Christopher aged 8 with learning disabilities, severe verbal dyspraxia and Global Development Delay

And this is some of the feedback from families:

“A great chance to do things as a family that we wouldn’t be able to do and meet some other families in similar situations.”, parent of a 9 year old on Family Weekend

“Tom and Harry had lots of fun but came home with skills that will last them a lifetime.”, parent of 9 and 10 year old brothers with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, absence seizures, dyspraxia and speech disorder

“People are made to feel special and important.  Sarah told me that she felt safe and cared for.”, parent of 16 year old with Micro Deletion Syndrome and mild learning disability

“The morning after Kelly came home she prepared and served her own breakfast and buttered her own toast.  We watched in amazement as she asked nobody for help.”, parent of 16 year old with severe learning disabilities, delayed development and non verbal

“The Course Leader and all the volunteers made my son feel immediately at home and welcome when we arrived which inspired such confidence in us as parents.”, parent of 17 year old with Downs Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder

“Thank you so much for the photos of Sam.  I am going to put them in a frame so he can remember how brave he was.”, parent of 8 year old with severe learning disabilities

 Phab's BBC Lifeline Appeal 2018

Anita Dobson presents this month's Lifeline Appeal on the BBC, watch the video by clicking the link below: