FAQ's for Parents

What is Lighthouse?

Lighthouse Thame & Villages is a holiday week for children and young people in Thame and the surrounding area that takes place in the summer holidays at Thame Showground.
It is run through a partnership of local churches and supported by hundreds of experienced volunteers. Lighthouse provides an opportunity for children and young people to learn more about God’s amazing love for us all and understand what difference Jesus can make to our lives. We have a lot of fun in a safe and enjoyable environment. 

Lighthouse was started in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire in 1987 when a group of Christians from local Churches decided to arrange some fun activities for children and young people during the school summer holidays. The event was a resounding success and over 350 children attended this initial event. Lighthouse has since gone from strength to strength with thousands of children attending events across the county. Lighthouse Thame & Villages was first launched in 2008 and in 2016 we had 1023 children registered.

 

What goes on at Lighthouse?

Get your children involved in a fantastic week of fun! Every day the children start off in the Big Top with some great music, drama and games followed by sports, craft, creative activities, as well as age-appropriate Bible teaching. The children spend a lot of their day in small groups (of about 12-15 children) called Lighthouses.
In the final Big Top session there is also the ever-popular gunge tank, where the children vote for their favourite leader to be gunged. (Parents are welcome to come and watch the last session, starting at 3pm.)

 

Who is in charge of the children?

Lighthouse is staffed by volunteers, mainly from local churches. Each small group of children in a Lighthouse has a Lighthouse Keeper (responsible leader) and one or more Lamplighters (younger assistants). Specialist teams help with craft, performing arts and games. We take up references for all our helpers and all adult helpers (18+) details are submitted for DBS checks.

 

If I have made a mistake in my childs registration or need to update it should I register them again?

No. This might mean that your child automatically moves onto a waiting list as the date and time of the registration are used for this purpose.  Instead if you need to update or correct it in any way please email us at children@lighthousethame.org.uk and we will update your original registration with the new details.

 

Do you take additional needs children at Lighthouse?

Yes. However we are all volunteers and we cannot, therefore, guarantee the specific SEN experience required to support some children. For more information please click here.

 

Can my child come for part of the week?

We take children for any number of days within the week. When you sign your child up you will be asked which days you would like to book a place for.

 

How does the waiting list work?

Each year we have an increase in the number of kids that are signed up for Lighthouse. We can not always take all children. We are limited by the number of helpers that sign up and the number of children that the site itself can take. We will never compromise on safety. Therefore we will introduce a waiting list when we feel that we need to wait to ensure that we have enough helpers. Each child is then accepted on the basis of the following 1) children of helpers are given a place. 2) Other children are taken on the basis of the date (and time) they signed up. In other words children are taken in strict rotation.

 

Will my children be with their friends?

We do our best to ensure that each child is placed with up to two friends that they have nominated. Although this cannot be guaranteed in any circumstances we are unable to place a child with a friend who is in a different year group (4s & 5s are one year group, 8s and 9s are also one year group all others are separate). Each year group follows its own programme developed with that childs age firmly in mind. Please ensure that you spell the friends name correctly as the system of allocating up to a thousand children is very complicated and therefore is automated. It is incredibly difficult to change the allocation once it is complete. Please speak with us if you have any concerns.  

 

Will I be able to remain with my child until they settle in?

Unfortunatly not. All our helpers provide two references and have to apply for a dbs check. Whilst we understand that our younger children need reassurance, our child protection policy prevents those who have not been checked from being on site. We understand that sometimes children need an extra year or so before they can be left by parents at Lighthouse and therefore may benefit from joining us when they are a little older.

 

How much does it cost?

In 2016 our expenses were over £49000 and we expect the level of expenditure to increase in 2017. Lighthouse is funded entirely by donations and grants, therefore we do not charge for attendance but recommend a donation of £10 per child per day (£50 per week). Once your child's application has been processed we will send you details of how to give to Lighthouse. Please give if you can! If you would like to make a donation towards this year’s costs, before Lighthouse week, please send it directly to the Treasurer (Treasurer Lighthouse Thame & Villages, The Wychens, 70 Queens Road, Thame, OX9 3NQ).  Cheques should be made payable to ‘Lighthouse Thame’ and donations can be gift aided.

 

Will I be able to use childcare vouchers for my child?

Unfortunatly not. Lighthouse does not provide childcare. We provide a Christian holiday week for which a recommended donation can be made. (£10 per day)

 

What is your policy if my child becomes ill during Lighthouse week?

Lighthouse policy mirrors that of school policy; Please only send your child to Lighthouse if you feel they would be well enough to attend school that day. However, once the child is on site the final decision rests with the Lighthouse Medical Team.