SPENSOL's Ski Trip to Prato Nevoso

School / Group
SPENSOL (Surrey Special Needs & Outdoor Learning)
Prato Nevoso/Artesina

Why do you arrange an annual ski trip?

We’ve worked with special schools, mainly in Surrey, and have been organising these trips for more than 20 years. For the last three years we’ve been a registered charity.

What are the benefits of skiing for your group?

The benefits are almost endless.

The parents, teachers and young people comment on the growth of independence, confidence, ability to be away with others and improved social skills.

The young people themselves comment on the fun of skiing, being with others, trying something new and being in a completely different environment. For some, it is very challenging to be away from home for so long, but they manage it well and feel able to do so again.

For some of our wheelchair users, using a sit ski, experiencing speed and exerting (to varying degrees) control over the sit ski is a completely new and thrilling experience.

For others, it is about having the chance to try an adventure sport with support available to them.

For teachers, there is tremendous sharing of ideas across the 12 or so schools that take part.

We complete comprehensive evaluations of each trip and the benefits are huge. We know that they are long-lasting and, in many cases, life-changing.

Why did you choose this resort? What features does it offer that makes it particularly well suited to your group?

We’ve been coming to Prato Nevoso for more than 20 years. The resort is the perfect size for us and knowing everybody so well means that we have lots of help and assistance wherever we go.

The Hotel Mondole is ideal for us and we’re able to get the rooms we need where we need them, so that the very different needs of our students can be met. It really is our second home. Our rep, Davide, is the best rep I’ve ever known – always available to help, always cheerful and clearly enjoying his job.

What did a typical day look like on your ski trip?

Staff get the group up from 6.00 onwards, depending on the needs and nature of the different groups with us. Breakfast is at 7.30, the coaches leave the hotel between 9.15 and 9.30, to be ready for the first lesson at 10.00.

Meanwhile, a group of helpers have been at the bottom of the nursery slopes getting skis etc. ready for the group.

After the first lesson, we return to the hotel for lunch and repeat for the afternoon lesson. At the end of the second lesson, 150+ skis are put away while the group goes back to the hotel by coach. As the week progresses, some of our most able ski groups ski to and from the hotel.

Before the evening meal there are a number of small games available, as well as boccia and swimming. After the evening meal, we present certificates, as well as the daily ‘laughing hats’ awarded to staff and students who’ve done something a bit silly and funny that day.

After the meal, we have the evening entertainment session. During the week we have film nights, karaoke, discos and the annual talent show.

Why did you choose Halsbury Ski to arrange your ski trip?

I have used a lot of operators over the years, some of which have failed and others which grew too large and impersonal.Halsbury was recommended to me and we’ve been happy with them for four years now.

Although they are a sizeable company, they retain a family feel and are privately owned rather than being a minor part of an enormous, impersonal conglomerate.

Their staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and their prices are competitive.

It’s important to me to have a named member of staff to work with directly and Giulia is exceptionally good and helpful.

Would you recommend Halsbury Ski to friends and colleagues?

Yes, without hesitation.

Want to know more about SPENSOL?

For further information on the work carried out by SPENSOL, please visit the charity’s website.

Interested in arranging a ski trip to Prato Nevoso for your group?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information, or to request your tailor-made quote.