01/ Is this right for me?
These residentials are designed for anyone looking to complete the residential section of their Gold DofE award. You must be aged between 16 and 25. We meet all of the requirements laid out by the DofE on this checklist
02/ When do I need to pay?
Spaces are limited so it is best to book as soon as possible! To begin with, we will take a £50 deposit to secure your place on your chosen activity and dates. The remaining balance is to be paid in full 28 days before the first day of your residential. Payment can be made over the phone by card or we can issue an invoice on request if preferred.
03/ How does transport to/from the site work?
Our site is based in the heart of the Mendip Hills AONB yet is still very well connected to the South West. We are just 10 miles from Bristol in one direction and Weston-super-Mare in the other. Our postcode is BS25 5PQ. We will offer a pick-up service from Weston-super-Mare train station, Bristol airport and the local bus stop (local buses and the Bristol > Plymouth Falcon flyer stop locally. If using the Falcon Flyer, please alight from the bus at the Churchill Gate stop). On the Monday, please aim to arrive at your stop by midday. We will coordinate the most efficient pick-up route dependent on how many we are picking up from each stop. On the Friday, please book onwards travel for 2 pm at the earliest.
04/ Food & Drinks
We will provide three meals a day, starting with the evening meal on your first day and through to your lunch on the last day. We will provide a filling breakfast that will vary between days, an unlimited continental buffet will be available everyday with occasional cooked breakfast elements also. Over breakfast, you will also make up your packed lunch from a range of options. Packed lunches will go with you on your day of activities. A two-course evening meal will be served in the dining room. There will always be jacket potatoes on offer as well as a hot, home-cooked meal with versions for all dietary requirements. Water, squash and hot drinks will be available at all times. You are welcome to bring additional snacks for in-between meal times.
05/ Dietary requirements?
We cater for all dietary requirements. We will ask you to send any specific dietary needs ahead of your start date so we can be sure to plan the menu accordingly.
06/ What do I need to bring?
We will send out a full kit list for each activity but you shouldn’t need to buy anything specific or new. All of our activities will require outdoorsy clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy and that you can easily move in. A good set of waterproofs is also recommended as we will go ahead in all weathers. If you have any of your own specialist kit (e.g. ski boots, mountain bike, helmet, harness) that you would like to bring, let us know so we can advise what we think best. You will also need to bring a sleeping bag and towel. We can provide a duvet (additional fee) if required if you are travelling by public transport and would rather not bring a sleeping bag. We will provide a pillow, pillowcase and bottom sheet for your bunk. You will not need spending money but there is a cafe and vending machines located in our main centre. All kit hire is included in the cost and we will take packed lunches with us so extra money is not essential. We would recommend that you leave valuables at home. Mendip cannot accept responsibility for any valuables brought with you.
07/ What is the accommodation like?
Our residential lodge was a countryside hotel until late 2018 when Mendip took it over. In 2019 we converted the bedrooms into en-suite bunk rooms so everything is brand new. Downstairs, we have kept the original charm so you will more like you are in a rural hotel than a bunkhouse, complete with lounge area and dining room; this space will be exclusively yours and your home for the week. We have 15 bedrooms, each sleeping between 4 and 9 people per room in double and triple bunks. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower facilities. Bedrooms will be single-gender and age-appropriate. Everyone staying the Lodge with you will be doing their Gold DofE residential. There will be a member of our instructor team sleeping on-site each night.
08/ Do I need any experience?
Our residential weeks are aimed at complete beginners in all of the activities we include.
09/ How fit do I need to be?
There is a certain level of fitness required for all of our courses. A lot of the activities will find you using muscles you didn’t know you had before and we will be outside and active every day. If you have recently completed your Gold DofE expeditions, we would expect you to find this week challenging but easily achievable. You will have a comfy bed and hot shower and hot meals prepared for you so should be ready to go each morning!
10/ What happens if there aren’t many people on the course?
As long as we meet the minimum number required by the DofE, this course is guaranteed to go ahead! In the unlikely event that we don’t reach this number, we will offer you an alternative date or a full refund.
11/ Am I insured?
Mendip holds public liability insurance through the Activities Industry Mutual. Our insurance does not cover accidental injury or illness. We would recommend looking into your own personal injury and travel insurance.
Full payment will be required by no later than 28 days before the first day of your course. Payments are non-refundable and non-transferable. In the unlikely event of having to cancel the residential, we will offer a full refund or a place on an alternative date.
Mendip is not liable for any travel or out of pocket expenses incurred due to cancellation. We expect behaviour of an appropriate standard whilst on residential. Inappropriate behaviour may result in refusal of participation of activities and in extreme cases, exclusion from the residential. This will be at the instructors and Mendip staff discretion. In the event of being asked to leave due to poor behaviour or non-compliance with our rules, no refund or reimbursement will be issued.
13/ What about COVID restrictions or isolation?
OUR COVID COMMITMENT
We understand that the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic makes planning ahead impossible. The outdoors is the safest and best place to be and the experiences and opportunities that we offer are needed now more than ever.
We want you to be able to book with confidence: Any new booking for 2021 can be either postponed, credited or refunded in full should any Government imposed Covid restrictions prevent us opening.
We will do everything we can to rearrange your booking. However, if we cannot find a mutually convenient alternative date, we will credit you or refund you in full - whichever you prefer. Our risk assessments and operating procedures are continually updated in line with all government guidance and advice from our governing bodies to ensure we remain Covid-secure and ready to open!
If you have to cancel because you have Covid symptoms, have been asked to isolate or have been prevented from travelling to us due to Government restrictions we will reschedule or refund you in full. For insurance purposes, we may need confirmation such as a screenshot of the NHS app, a letter from an education provider or doctor, a positive test result or proof of address.
14/ How many people will there be in a bedroom?
Our rooms are various sizes, each with the capacity to sleep between 4 - 9 people. To ensure distancing is possible at all times, all rooms will be at a maximum of 50% capacity, with no more than 4 people in the largest rooms.
15/ How will you ensure the course is covid secure?
Both your safety and our team's safety is our topmost priority and as a COVID secure business, we are certified to continue operating safely.
Our instructors will actively manage social distancing whilst taking part in activity sessions and all equipment is thoroughly sanitised between users. We have dropped our course capacity by more than 50% to ensure that there is plenty of space for social distancing during free time. Meals will be served by our catering team. We ask that masks are worn when moving inside the lodge communal spaces and on transport.
16/ You had other activity options and multiple dates for the 2020 courses, why are they not available now?
I am sure you can appreciate that 2020 has been incredibly difficult for the outdoor education industry. Our residential lodge was more than half full for 2021 when the pandemic began and having to move the majority of our 2020 clients into the 2021 diary, meant that we have little availability. At present we are only planning on offering one Gold residential in 2021. We have also decreased our capacity on this one course by more than 50%.
To be able to run this residential in a financially viable way, we have reduced the option to just the one, multi-activity programme.
There will still be a choice of sessions within the week so if there are any specific activities of ours that you definitely want to try, please let us know in your enrollment questionnaire and we will do our best to include this in the week.