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“Oh we do love to be beside the seaside!”

Robbie’s holiday adventure began with the seemingly easy question, “Where do you want to go?” Imagine if you hadn’t been on holiday over five years, making a decision might have been difficult, but it wasn’t for Robbie.

“The Beach” was his emphatic choice. Robbie is a young man who is enabled by ubu to live with greater independence in his own flat overlooking the Stray in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

It all began with that simple question from a ubu team manager where Robbie lives. “Where do you want to go?” He was very clear and definite about what he wanted to do and how he was going to spend his time. He made it very clear that he, Robbie, was the person leading in deciding what he was going to do in every step of the way. By choosing, and with support, planning and arranging his holiday, he could really own the experience to the full.

On the day, Robbie woke up really early with great anticipation and got ready by starting with a hearty breakfast. He dressed, collected his suitcase, which he’d packed carefully a few days before, and accompanied by his trusty teddy, who he takes almost everywhere with him, headed out on his long-awaited adventure.

Robbie was in complete awe when he remembered that he would be taking the train to the seaside town Scarborough on the coast! It’s a lovely journey, through some of the very finest Yorkshire countryside, an adventure in itself and one that Robert relished.

When he arrived in Scarborough, Robbie was practically running around with excitement! After checking into the hotel, both Robbie and his ubu support enabler, decided to go out straight away to find a café to start his holiday with a well-deserved afternoon treat. Robbie was truly happy and full of expectation. They ate their scones and drank fancy coffee while enjoying a spectacular view of the magnificent beach and the sea beyond. It was magical.

Robbie didn’t want to sit still for long though! After a walk around town and ice cream on the beach he spotted an open-top, double-decker tour bus! This was an opportunity which Robbie made plain, was too good to miss. It was quite literally, exactly up his street because he loves buses and everything about them. He didn’t even need to be asked if he wanted to get on because he was already inside and ready to go!

After a really engaging tour on the bus around town, a lunch of fish and chips at ‘Winking Willies’, a famous local restaurant beckoned. It was highly recommended by Robbie’s friends back home, and so was a must. By then, as is almost totally predictable in our climate, the weather changed and it started to rain. But that didn’t dampen any spirits, if anything it was an opportunity for Robbie to relax, ‘chill out’ and open up. The waitress asked “What’s your teddy’s name?” Robert looked up, smiled and said “Don’t know”. It was a bit of a turning point, and when the friendly waitress said, “We’ll have to find a name for her!” Robbie thought about it for a minute and said “Julie!”

That evening as the sun was setting and the weather had cleared Robbie went for a buffet supper at their hotel. There was lots to choose from and everything was laid out beautifully, it was really special. While enjoying dessert, a huge seagull came to the window next to where Robbie was sitting and they contemplated each other and sort of ‘socialised’ for a bit.

The next day, Robbie headed off to seek his next adventure at the local to the aquarium, the Sea Life Centre. There were lots of fish to look at and learn something about, but the seals lounging about at the pool were what really caught Robbie’s attention and interest. They we his favourite find! He literally fell in love with a seal, named Herbie. It wasn’t that difficult because the seal was just so cute! After learning his name, Robbie couldn’t stop calling to him, talking and reaching out to touch him! It was a very special and wonder-filled experience. One Robbie obviously created for himself and enjoyed much more than anyone else might have expected.

Unfortunately, like all holidays, this one had to come to a close. After all the exploring and finding friends and enjoying new experiences in Scarborough, Robbie made it very clear that he wanted to stay even longer! So reluctantly, but happily and refreshed, Robbie headed home a few days later.

After several years when he hadn’t been able to get away on holiday, this visit confirmed for Robbie just how much he could enjoy being away, meeting new people and having exciting experiences too. He’s already thinking about and planning his next holiday and in the meantime he has some great photographs and memories to keep and share with his friends and family and now you too!


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