Bayside students visit the Cheshire Home in Tangiers

A group of Year 13 students have recently returned from spending a week in Tangier on the Cheshire Home trip. The Cheshire Home is a residence for people with disabilities. The trip, organised in conjunction with Westside and the Gibraltar College, celebrates its 30th year anniversary this year! The students spent a week interacting with the residents from the home and learning about Moroccan culture. Activities include cooking for the residents, trips to the market and beach and much more!

This is what the students had to say about their experience:

‘Eye-opening, mind-blowing and life-enhancing. These are but a few words which describe my trip to the Cheshire Homes in Tangier. This trip exposed me to the reality, which so many of us in today’s society are unaware of, or somehow avoid. My trip to the home has enabled me to understand the harsh realities of life and how often we take for granted the small pieces which make life what it is- family, friends and access to a good education are but a few. Common in our lives, yet a luxury for some.’ Arman Karnani

‘It’s definitely been a challenging and eye-opening experience. Meeting the people at the home has made me realise just how privileged and lucky we are in Gibraltar. Playing basketball and football with the kids established a connection between us which helped me understand, at least a little, the hardships these people undergo every day. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to go there and help out.’ Petr Zagura

‘At first I was a bit hesitant to join the trip. After a week being in Morocco I can honestly say that I will ever regret this experience. I have tried Moroccan food and made friends with everyone living in the Cheshire Home who I will miss very dearly. I’ve also made friends amongst our group of students which we shall continue back home in Gibraltar. All in all, my experience has been amazing. I would love to come back next year to see my friends again.’ Jyronne Pruis.

‘The Cheshire Home trip is a fantastic experience. Events hanging from the maze- like trips through the soko: where every shopkeeper invites you in and upon trying to make a purchase, being able to barter with them over the price. The carrying of the kids from the home and meeting all the amazingly kind people present. We had a lot of fun dancing and chanting Arabic phrases. Furthermore, being able to see the happiness on the residents faces, just by talking or walking with them, is a truly heart-warming experience.” Vico Schot

‘A different experience from what I’m used to in Europe. A very exotic place, full of exotic people and personalities. Particularly in the home, and the comradery between everyone was very moving. It helps us to appreciate everything at home much more.’ Julian Osbourne

“First time on the trip, came not expecting much, but what I found was something more than beautiful. What I found was a family, probably the tightest, most loyal family I’ve ever met, always capable of laughing and having fun, despite their misfortunes. In these situations, I always wonder why people with so much can still find reasons to be sad, when these individuals have so little and still manage to make the whole room feel brighter than the sun. Then I remember that these people are not just friends, but family and as long as they have each other, they will have love. I will never forget my second family in Morocco and I am definitely coming again next year.’ Alex Lopez