Servicing additional needs

Leader Guide

1. Policy statement

At PGL we are continually working to enable all guests to enjoy the many benefits of our courses, tours and holidays. If a participant has additional requirements, we will be pleased to discuss these with you. So we can make a fair assessment of service provision and identify appropriate resources in relation to access, programming, successful participation, and health and safety, we need you to provide us with full details as soon as possible.

2. Advanced notice

Servicing additional needs requires advanced notification, assessment, agreement and planning. Please note that we can only take responsibility for arrangements that have been discussed and agreed with us in advance. All requests for additional needs must be confirmed in writing to PGL Head Office. Please see section 3 below for details of how to do this.

3. Additional needs

  • Religious requirements
  • Cultural requirements
  • Dietary requirements
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Disability

3.1 Religious requirements

We will be pleased to support participants’ needs to opt out of our programmes on religious grounds, for example, if an activity or event is felt to be inappropriate; in order to pray or attend a religious ceremony; or for any other purpose confirmed by a parent or Leader.

Choosing to opt out may mean that the participant will have to occupy themselves for a session, under Leader supervision, or temporarily join another group for an alternative activity or event.

The facility to attend a religious ceremony will depend on its availability in the area of the PGL centre / accommodation. Any extra travel costs incurred will be borne by the participant, parents or group. Escort arrangements will need to be arranged by the group staff or by prior agreement with the centre in the case of an individual participant aged under 18 years.

3.2 Cultural requirements

We will attempt to assist participants with cultural needs, e.g. special dress code or special domestic arrangements, where the adjustments required to standard arrangements are reasonably practicable and do not represent a health and safety risk. Please advise your PGL tour organiser of specific requirements when you confirm your booking.

Please note, individuals travelling to countries outside the UK must adhere to local law e.g. burkas are not permitted under French law.

3.3 Dietary requirements

At PGL centres, we are able to deliver catering provision for most dietary requirements as specified by culture, religion and medical concerns, but we do not cater for weight management programmes or “faddy” diets. We regularly provide meals for a wide variety of needs including coeliac, nut-free, dairy intolerance, vegetarian and vegan. Where possible, information relating to dietary requirements should be provided at the time of booking. Groups should use their final forms/names list to provide us with this information. For complex requirements, severe allergies, Kosher and Halal we require at least two weeks’ notice before travel.

For groups travelling to accommodation not owned by PGL, for example on ski trips, special diets will be on a request basis and subject to availability. Please give your PGL tour organiser details of special dietary requirements on your final forms, if not before.

3.4 Behavioural difficulties

PGL recognises that there is a full spectrum of behavioural traits and that most needn’t concern us at all; however, we require all participants to conform to our Code of Conduct and reserve the right to exclude anyone whose behaviour is unacceptable.

When considering the suitability of individuals to participate in a PGL experience, please remember that the participant is coming into a residential situation, sharing with other guests, and undertaking activities (where relevant) that require compliance with rules and procedures to ensure their safety. Their actions must not jeopardise the health and safety and enjoyment of themselves, other guests and our staff.

We may ask for additional information in order to assess whether we can provide an environment appropriate for the individual. In this case, please be as comprehensive and open as possible in the information you supply. If necessary, PGL will consider increasing the free / discount adult places available to a group to ensure that supervision is not compromised. This will not normally be possible on holidays where children travel independently, as having an adult in the group would change the nature of the experience for others.

3.5 Disability

PGL is committed to help all guests realise their potential. In order to do this, we need full disclosure of requirements, capabilities and recommendations well in advance to allow us sufficient time to put any necessary plans in place.

The main areas to consider with regards to disability are: suitability of transport arrangements; access to all necessary domestic facilities; access to sufficient activities (where relevant); and physical ability to participate safely and enjoyably in as much of the activity programme as possible.

As we are not medical or disability experts ourselves, we may refer cases confidentially to a range of relevant organisations for advice. Please inform us of any participants with additional needs relating to disability by completing our Additional Needs Form and returning it to us when you confirm your booking.

Coaches with lifts for wheelchairs are scarce, so advance booking is vital. Coach companies usually charge more for these vehicles.

PGL has a wide range of accommodation options at our centres and in the hotels we use. Your tour organiser will be able to advise you based on the needs of the individuals in your group. If you are travelling to a PGL centre and require any additional equipment in order to meet day-to-day living requirements other than those already provided, we may ask you to hire this locally and we will meet the additional costs, within reason. Where agreed in advance, any equipment required to facilitate participation in PGL activities will be provided by PGL.

PGL will not provide personal carers but we will be pleased to consider providing an extra place at a discount rate for a carer you provide. On holidays where children travel independently, and having an adult in the group would change the nature of the experience for others, we might recommend a family adventure holiday instead.

4. Summary

A step-by-step guide to servicing participants’ additional needs. Some of the following points may not be relevant in your case:

  1. You advise us of any additional needs at the enquiry stage. In the case of accessibility for a disabled participant, it may affect your choice of centre / destination / holiday / dates.
  2. We will ask you to provide full details of the additional needs in writing. This may involve completing a form for us.
  3. Where necessary we will discuss details and options with you over the phone. If necessary, for PGL centres, we may arrange an inspection visit and face-to-face discussions with a PGL manager / senior.
  4. We will confirm what level of service we can provide and what is required from you. We will provisionally book any special PGL facilities for you.
  5. We ask you to confirm acceptance in writing to PGL Head Office, so that the additional arrangements are included as part of the booking and won’t be overlooked.

We look forward to being of service to you in whatever way we can.