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Working together for happier children

Is there anything lovelier than seeing a child laugh? It’s so natural, sincere, contagious. That’s what we want to achieve: more smiling and happy children. How? By working with social actions related to childhood.

We are focusing on three specific groups:

  • Children with different abilities
  • Social vulnerability and childhood poverty.
  • Children with illnesses.

Experiences that teach us to value the small pleasures of life

21 june 2023 Opportunity: Talk: “Recognising different abilities: let’s not leave anyone behind”

The objective of this session was to help staff at the hotel to understand at first hand through the participants:

  • the diversity of individuals and abilities that exists,
  • how to relate to people with a learning disability,
  • and the main obstacles that these children experience in their day-to-day lives.

Once we understand the reality, our fears disappear, we have a different perspective, and we are able to understand what is happening to these children, to recognise their emotions, and to prevent behavioural problems.

Thanks to the Raíles Foundation for helping to spearhead this change of perspective in Palladium Hotel Group partners.

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21-31 july 2023 Opportunity: Urban Camp

An eagerly awaited dream come true for 12 children and teenagers (aged between 3 and 18) with disabilities or learning difficulties from the Raíles

School for Special Education and Early Years Care Centres to enjoy a few days of fun.

This also provided support for their families in achieving a work-life balance during a few days’ holiday from school.

Volunteers from BLESS Hotel Madrid helped out with the organisation of a large number of themed workshops and the odd excursion. They helped the children to make a volcano with lava, to swim in the swimming pool, and to relax in the shade of the trees in the El Retiro park.

The last day concluded with a water party, where children and volunteers alike had fun and cooled down, and hoped to get together again soon. 

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Images of a wonderful opportunity for all

CITY: MADRID

Raíles Foundation

FEEL THE EXCITEMENT AND JOY AT THE END OF THE DAY

  • Care of people with a learning or developmental difficulty at an early treatment centre, a special education centre, and several occupational centres.
  • A powerful programme of inclusive leisure, exercise and breathing, together with family support.
  • “Each person has the right to individual and shared leisure on equal terms with the rest of the community.”

Smiles, competitions and confidences among fifteenth-century sailors, medieval knights and spirited horses.

19 July 2023 Opportunity: A day in Puy du Fou

Fifty-two youngsters from the Balia Foundation spent a unique day in the Puy du Fou theme park in Toledo, where they went on a journey through 1,500 years of Spanish history accompanied by nine teachers and six volunteers from ONLY YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid.

Firstly, they learnt how Abderramán III (the great Caliph) and Fernán González (the first Count of Castile) were rivals in splendour, with kites, vultures, eagles and falcons flying just centimetres from their heads.

After lunch and sharing anecdotes about their lives, everyone accompanied Columbus and his crew in discovering a new route to the Indies.

In the Toledo open-air theatre, they were impressed at the story of the life of Lope de Vega, who they had studied at school, and then enthralled by the deeds of the Cid, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar.

Thank you to the young people of the Balia Foundation — for trusting us and welcoming us so readily into your games, competitions, laughter and confidences.

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Images of a wonderful opportunity for all

CITY: MADRID

Balia Foundation

DISCOVER THE POWER OF EDUCATION THROUGH PLAY

  • Social inclusion of children and young people at risk through socio-educational aid and prevention programmes.
  • Awareness-raising of the social realities faced by disadvantaged groups, increasing the awareness and involvement of society at large.
  • “We endeavour to give equal opportunities to young people at risk of exclusion so that they can develop their talents and break the cycle of poverty.”

Making a child feel special is easy and rewarding

14 july 2023 Opportunity: An evening of immersive cinema

Four hospitalised children aged between 5 and 8, and their families went to have fun and to see The Lion King at Only YOU Hotel Atocha.

They had a fantastic afternoon with Tania, Mónica and the three Álvaros, who made them feel extra special. Sitting comfortably in the front row, they laughed, and eagerly followed the adventures of Simba and Nala.

An evening at the cinema with a plentiful supply of popcorn, jelly beans, drinks and face-painting. In addition to a photocall, for which adults and children alike paraded like true professionals, just like the characters in the film.

Many thanks to Juegaterapia, for giving us the opportunity to provide an exciting evening for Elsa, Marina, Lucía and Martina. It was fantastic!

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CITY: MADRID

Juegaterapia

SHARE UNFORGETTABLE TIMES PLAYING OR COOKING

  • Helping children in hospital ill with cancer to make their stay as pleasant as possible, because “play heals”.
  • Humanising spaces in hospitals by, for example, remodelling disused rooftops into attractive gardens where children can go out to play. 
  • “We want to transform hospitals into magical places that bring children joy and become their best medicine.”

The satisfaction of seeing a child with a learning disability smiling from ear to ear

18 July 2023 Opportunity: Training talk

The objective of the session, delivered by Joaquín C. del Pino and brilliantly coordinated by Laura Álvarez at Hard Rock Hotel Marbella, was to raise staff awareness of how to integrate children with a disability into society.

Examples were shown of activities aimed at both people with a disability and those without.

Thank you, Adimi, for helping us understand that:

  • All human beings aspire to be useful; we all want to improve our quality of life and to avoid depending on other people.
  • The association needs more commitment to achieve this, and it is frustrating that they have not been able to secure it.
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25 July 2023 Opportunity: An afternoon of leisure

Twenty-four children from Adimi with a learning disability and their families, together with 11 volunteers from Hard Rock Hotel Marbella enjoyed the adventures and misfortunes of Buster, Rosita, Ash, Johnny and the other characters from the film “Sing”.

Javier, James, Laura, Cristina, Almudena and their colleagues made sure that all those attending were comfortable, and that they enjoyed a very special afternoon carefully organised just for them. The volunteers for their part were over the moon to see the children having so much fun.

After the film showing, the children enjoyed a delicious tea to the sound of Rock and Roll.

Thank you, Adimi, for showing us that it’s never too late to live our dreams.

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CITY: MÁLAGA

Adimi

AN AFTERNOON WITH A DIFFERENCE

  • Fighting for the rights of people with a learning disability and of children whose development is at risk.
  • Provision of the support needed by individuals with a learning disability as well as their families and their immediate environment, in order to improve their quality of life.
  • “We want to fill the void that exists in society for attention and care provided to those with a disability.”

A day with a difference in the midst of nature to feel the excitement of the new school year

27 August 2023 Opportunity: Summer camp in the Fuerte de Nagüeles

Forty-eight youngsters (between the ages of 7 and 17), at risk of neglect and social exclusion, from the Fuengirola, San Quintín 1, San Quintín 2, San Jorge, El Palo and Barcenillas homes, spent two incomparable days at Fuerte de Nagüeles.

A huge place in the midst of nature, with facilities designed for all kinds of leisure activities, and with a comprehensive programme including T-shirt printing, circuits among the trees, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. A perfect end to the summer.

Four volunteers from Only YOU Hotel Málaga helped to ensure that paintball activities, a picnic and a water balloon fight were a success, and that the children had the time of their lives.

The volunteers’ tasks included:

  • Giving out food for the picnic.
  • Setting up the water balloon fight.
  • Participation in the paintball.
  • Participating in making T-shirts.

Thank you to Nuevo Futuro, for giving us the opportunity to work together to give the children such a fun day out.

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CITY: MÁLAGA

Nuevo Futuro Association

JOIN THIS ADVENTURE IN NATURE

  • Care for the youngest and most vulnerable in society — children in care who cannot be looked after by their families due to difficult circumstances or to any kind of neglect or abuse.
  • Individual attention paid to youngsters in over 100 foster homes (where they live with eight other young people) to create a safe and protected environment.
  • “We create safe Homes and Centres for those children and teenagers who cannot live with their families and who are within the care system.”

A little support means a lot when you want to enjoy a day of mainstream leisure activities

19 june 2023 Opportunity: Excursion to Aquarama

Thirty pupils from the Francisco Esteve Special Education Centre in Paterna had an amazing time on the slides and in the swimming pools at the AQUARAMA water park. The three-and-a-half hours spent there passed by in a flash.

A wonderful opportunity to enjoy an exciting experience with their friends, to meet challenges and to overcome fears in new and “risky” situations. Normally, the participants cannot enjoy these mainstream activities with their families.

Five volunteers from Only YOU Hotel Valencia supported the 31 professional staff from the school to help these kids have a whale of a time and to feel free and independent in swimming pools where they could touch the floor.

Thanks to the Patronato Francisco Esteve for allowing us to make disability visible and to achieve inclusion. 

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CITY: VALENCIA

Patronato Francisco Esteve (Full inclusion)

IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE FUN MAKING A BETTER WORLD

  • Improving the quality of life of people with a learning disability and their families.
  • Spaces for support, learning, independent living, living in harmony and inclusion provided in a tailored and stable form throughout life.
  • “We want to be the key to inclusion.”

An unforgettable and very rewarding experience for all

13 July 2023 Opportunity: Talk: “We depend on abilities”

The objective of the session, delivered by Raquel and Gemma at Palladium Hotel Menorca, was for the participants to learn how to better engage with neurodiverse families visiting their hotel.

To achieve this, it was important to:

  • Have a basic knowledge of what constitutes neurodiversity.
  • Know how to better understand those affected, and to create a more accessible and inclusive hotel.

Neurodiversity is among us. Anyone can experience it at any time in their life, therefore recognising it, accepting it and living with it makes for a better and more open society.

Thank you to the Nemo Foundation for showing us, at Palladium Hotel Menorca, the reality of life for neurodiverse people, and how to integrate them.

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28 July 2023 Opportunity: Day Pass

Thirty boys and girls from the Nemo Foundation and their families enjoyed a fun day out at the facilities of Palladium Hotel Menorca, thanks to the assistance of 13 volunteers from the hotel who encouraged them and played, danced, and painted with them.

The employees:

  • They made a dip in the swimming pool into a party. They were careful to make sure that the children weren’t alone on the slide, and that they all had balls and inflatables.
  • They helped them and encouraged them to join in in customising tote bags with pictures in the KidsClub.
  • They stayed with the children, and made sure that they enjoyed the delicious tea — which included pizzas, sandwiches, sweets and more.
  • They gave the children some lovely Palladium Hotel Menorca T-shirts.

Thank you to the Nemo Foundation for giving us the opportunity to enjoy such a rewarding experience.

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Imágenes de una maravillosa oportunidad para todos

CITY: MENORCA

Nemo Foundation

A FANTASTIC FUN DAY WITH CHILDREN WITH FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU

  • Promoting the visibility of neurodiversity through enthusiasm, inclusion and acceptance.
  • Treatment should be accessible and available to everyone. Opportunities for people’s development should not be determined by their income.
  • “We work to increase people’s autonomy, we optimise their development and we equip families to identify and benefit from opportunities for learning and improvement.“

An incomparable setting and amazing participants could not fail to make for two fantastic days

29 July 2023 Opportunity: A trip in a pirate ship

It’s 10.30 a.m. Twenty adults (fathers, mothers and volunteers from the Ibiza IN and Palladium Hotel Group) and 25 children (some, but not all, with disabilities), met at the port of Sant Antoni to embark on the Terranova, bound for Cala Comte.

During the crossing, they enjoyed undersea views of Ibiza’s beautiful coast, and even went into a genuine pirate cave. In the crystal-clear waters at Comte beach, they chatted, played and laughed, cooled off, searched for jellyfish, swam and enjoyed a splendid breakfast of fresh fruit and cold meats.

Soon it was time to head for Sant Antoni. The return journey seemed shorter than the trip out.

The first time on a boat for for many of the children with disabilities had been a resounding success. All together.

Martina, Abril, Clara, Mario, Luca, Vittorio, Lluc, Marc, Triana, Mireia, Júlia, Marc, Jordi, Sara, Daniel, Edna, Nora, Amelia, Pau, Julia, Enzo, Carla, Sonia, Beltrán and Paula: thank you for showing that inclusion is possible, and for showing an example to everyone.

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30 July 2023 Opportunity: Pirate day at the hotel

11.00 a.m.: 16 adults (fathers, mothers and volunteers from Ibiza IN) and 24 children aged between 6 and 14, some with and some without functional diversity, met at the entrance to the Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa.

There, Marta Montero, Hotel Planner, was waiting for them, and accompanied them into a lounge where they made colourful pirate hats, with the help of Natalia Alonso, Marta Pla, volunteers from the hotel, and their mums and dads. There was a great deal of laughter as the adults helped the little ones, and the more able helped those who were having a few difficulties.

Afterwards, they enjoyed a fantastic morning of water games in one of the hotel’s enormous swimming pools.

Midday came, and lunchtime! This was not without its difficulties, as some guests had to eat with a patch over one eye, and others with an arm tied up. The objective was to make them aware of the difficulties faced by many people in carrying out many basic activities, such as eating.

After lunch, they enjoyed playing on the slides in the hotel’s children’s play area, followed by a fun treasure hunt, tea with delicious biscuits, and an awards ceremony with prizes for everyone.

Thank you, Ibiza In, for this day of games and laughter with children with and without functional diversity. An example of what society should be like. A lesson in inclusion.

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CITY: IBIZA

Ibiza In

BE PART OF AN UNFORGETTABLE AND INCLUSIVE DAY

  • Full inclusion of people with functional diversity in all areas: education, culture, sport, employment... throughout their lifetime.
  • Diversity is not a problem: it is an opportunity to enrich society. 
  • “Inclusion means that everyone (whether they are functionally diverse or not) has access to all areas”.

A new experience: the first time they played paddle tennis

11 july 2023 Opportunity: Inclusive paddle tennis

The children from the Betania Foundation had never played paddle tennis, but that didn’t stop 15 of them having the time of their lives the first time they did so, alongside Mario, Eduardo and Denisa, volunteers from Palladium Hotel Palmyra.

The volunteers’ first challenges were to:

  • learn the difference between a wheelchair and a sports wheelchair,
  • find out what a spinal injury is, 
  • learn how paddle tennis can help you live a full and exciting life.

Then came the practice session, hitting the ball to the right and backwards, volleying and serving. Those who wanted to could even do this sitting in a sports wheelchair.

Thank you, Alberto and Rubén, for showing us that it is possible to participate in sport from a wheelchair and have fun, apart from the importance of making the effort. Congratulations on your personal achievement!

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CITY: IBIZA

Padel Silla

ADAPTED SPORTS AS AN EXAMPLE OF INCLUSION AND INTEGRATION

  • Integration of people with functional diversity by means of paddle tennis — through social commitment, encouragement and competition within the sport.
  • Awareness raising about spinal injuries, and rehabilitation through wheelchair paddle tennis, along with governance, regulation, and accessibility to courts and changing rooms.
  • “The limits of people with disabilities extend far beyond what we imagine and, even more importantly, they exist mainly in the mind.”

Connecting with our emotions through laughter

26 July 2023 Opportunity: Emotional workshop

Twenty-three children aged between 6 and 12, together with 18 carers, laughed and had the time of their lives at Hard Rock Hotel with the antics of two female clowns from the Sonrisa Médica NGO.

Daniel, Mónica, Ángela, Desiree, Micaela, Alejandro, Silvia and Estefanía, all employees at Palladium Hotel Group, were a vital part of the organisation and development of the activity, with the result that both the workshop and the tea that followed (provided by Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel) were a total success.

The involvement and participation of the children were essential for discovering the benefits of laughter for young patients in hospital.

Thank you, Sonrisa Médica, for showing us the fantastic work you do in the hospitals — and for teaching us how to connect with our emotions through humour, and how to learn from them. 

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CITY: IBIZA

Sonrisa Médica

THE MIRACLE OF OUR EMOTIONS

  • Transforming the hospital environment through humour, magic and joy. 
  • Joy in all Balearic Islands hospitals.
  • “We release the tensions suffered by patients, their relatives and hospital staff to help them achieve an emotional state in which they can confront illness.”

You cannot put a price on seeing these special children smiling and being out in the open air

29 July 2023 Opportunity: Inclusive sailing and beach activities

Thirty-two children from APFEM, ADDIF and the Asperger’s Association spent a relaxed day at the seaside, along with 14 carers and 10 volunteers from BLESS Hotel Ibiza and TRS Ibiza Hotel.

They were divided into two groups. One group hoisted the sails of the schooner Saga to sail towards the beach at Talamanca. The other group were already there, doing activation, psychomotor and socialisation exercises, and going out on a boat with a hydromassage platform — along with kayaking and surfing on a giant board.

At midday, the two groups got together to enjoy a snack, and then swapped activities.

The technical team, the carers and the volunteers succeeded in maintaining a perfect balance between the play and the therapeutic aspects, meaning that children who would have found it difficult to go into the sea were able to do so easily.

Thank you to Un Mar de Posibilidades for allowing us to share the happiness and sense of freedom experienced by these children, whose faces wore expressions of pure joy.

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CITY: IBIZA

Un Mar de Posibilidades

TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH NATURE AND SPORT

  • Fun, artistic, sporting, therapeutic and adventure activities on the sea for people with special needs.
  • A Club Náutico de Ibiza project initiated by the A.D.A.S. Association in 2004.
  • “We work with occupational workshops, mental health centres and hospitals, residential homes and centres for young people and adults, and so on.”

Healthy competition, team working, and an all-out effort in a sports gymkhana.

25 July 2023 Opportunity: Excursion to Cala Boix

Nine migrant children had a fun day, along with Clara and Euge (two attendants from Cáritas Ibiza’s Betania Centre) and five volunteers from Palladium Hotel Cala Llonga, competing in teams in a sports gymkhana in the idyllic setting of Cala Boix.

The beach was a completely new experience for the children, as they had never been there before, and they were most enthusiastic and eager to join in.

Nobody wanted to lose! They loved the competition, and they could see how everyone needs to work together to secure victory.

In addition, they felt part of the decision-making process, something that will help their personal development, self esteem and ability to participate.

Our volunteers (Nadir, Soufiane, Mario, José Ignacio and María) pulled out all the stops to ensure that their team won, and had to deal with unexpected glitches, such as the rain and the jellyfish.

Thank you to the Betania Centre for allowing us to learn the importance of teamwork from these children, and to feel their passion and energy.

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CITY: IBIZA

Cáritas

HAVE FUN, AND HELP YOUR TEAM TO WIN IN AN AQUATIC GYMKHANA

  • Breaking the cycle of intergenerational transmission of poverty by means of preventative activities with vulnerable children and teenagers.
  • Focusing attention on the aspects needed to generate change and new opportunities in vulnerable youngsters.
  • “Meeting, listening to, and spending time with people who are poor, excluded and vulnerable is our priority.”

 

A different and very fun day for the children staying at the Hospital Virgen del Rocío in Seville

Opportunity: Workshop about professions

12 children from the Fundación El Gancho Infantil, a few parents, teachers from the school, a doctor, and volunteers from Only YOU Hotel Sevilla took part in a fun workshop for children, which was very moving and rewarding for the adults too.

The place? The hospital's La Azotea Azul rooftop. And the purpose? To show junior patients in a fun and dynamic way all about sustainable tourism and the different jobs in a hotel.

Each of the members of the team of volunteers, dressed as receptionists, waiters, chefs, and maintenance and cleaning staff, spoke briefly about their jobs, the benefits of sustainable tourism, the hotel’s organisational structure, and the responsibilities of each department. 

And then... the really fun part... the children got to dress up for a role play game. So they felt like real customers, chefs, waiters and cleaning staff at the hotel.

Thank you, Fundación El Gancho Infantil, because with your invaluable and much appreciated collaboration you gave us the opportunity to make this activity possibility and to enable the children to forget for a few hours that they are in hospital.

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CITY: SEVILLE

Fundación El Gancho Infantil

  • The purpose of the Fundación El Gancho Infantil is to provide material, psychological and emotional support to ill children and their families, and improve the quality of life of children and teenagers, and families in situations of vulnerability.
  • Assistance for social inclusion and/or improving the quality of life of children, teenagers and their families in situations of vulnerability or need, providing them with material, psychological and emotional support through the presentation of challenges to engage and involve society in solving the problem.
  • “We aspire to become a leading organisation in detecting and meeting the needs of children and their families, by promoting social engagement.”

The chance for dreams to come true

Opportunity: Making dreams come true

30 children, accompanied by members of the charity organisation Tienimi per mano had the opportunity to play and amaze at the Baby Club of the Grand Palladium Sicilia Resort & Spa.

Children of different nationalities took a dip in the pool and had a fabulous time, totally integrated, together with other junior guests who were also on holiday.

30 Palladium Hotel Group collaborators offered their support to make sure the children had a great day, having previously trained in clown therapy to give it their very best.

At the end of the day, the Association was presented with two sacks filled with new toys for the children to keep playing and smiling, enjoying life to the full.

Thanks so much, Tienimi per mano, for reminding us that a child’s smile is the most wonderful thing in the world.

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CITY: CAMPOFELICE DI ROCCELLA (SICILY)

Tienimi per mano

  • The clowns at Tienimi per mano are trained to support whole families so that they know they aren’t alone even when they are feeling discouraged. Launched in 2010, the commitment and love that its volunteers bring to others have allowed the Association to grow and consolidate its presence in 10 regions.
  • Clown therapy or ‘laughter therapy’ is a powerful medicine for children and their parents, helping children not to feel afraid and to feel calmer about facing their ‘battle’.
  • “We’re a special team of rescue clowns, ready to jump in and take magic and joy to paediatric units, cancer wards, whenever we are needed. Laughter, laughter, and more laughter. That’s the only medicine we prescribe, and it should be taken at least three times a day.”