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Frequently Asked Questions
Who Comes to GIFT?

All sorts of young people come to GIFT, from all sorts of places.

GIFTers are curious, individual, thoughtful, bustling, brave, bright, still, adventurous, complicated, quirky and quite often to be found sitting on the stairs reading a book.

GIFTers play made up card games and ukuleles and football and flutes and Dungeons & Dragons. They code and sing and engineer and build and scribble whole new worlds into notebooks. Sometimes they nap.

Do I need to prove I’m smart enough?

No. You are not your grades. If your teacher, parent, or other carer has suggested GIFT to you, the chances are that you’ll fit in just fine. If you have read the course material and feel excited about stretching your brain with some new ideas , then  GIFT is for you. 

If you're still not sure, watch our video and read some of the student feedback, or look at some of the photos on our Facebook page. You could post a question on the Fb page or you could email or call us to ask about any aspect of our courses.

What's a GIFT residential like?

The atmosphere is very different to that of some schools and other residentials. There’s absolutely no “them and us”, just “us and us”, whether that’s between the GIFTers, as participants call themselves, or between GIFTers and lecturers, as the adults running the courses are known. Everyone is on first name terms and you do not need to put your hand up to ask to go to the loo.

What is the schedule like?

Busy, but with time to relax too. On a secondary age residential, on the first evening, people arrive from 6.30pm and settle into their rooms. Then we all meet at 8.00pm. There’s a brief introduction to GIFT and the centre we’re at, and then a buffet dinner. After that, there are some activities for people to get to know each other and start enjoying the unusual but interesting mix of things that we do. It’s a good idea to pace yourself on the first night and not natter for ever to your new friends, or you may be too tired in the morning.


Typically, breakfast is 8.30am, and then your day’s main project, which you’ll have chosen in advance, starts at 9.30am. It runs until roughly 5pm, but with two half hour breaks and an hour and a half for lunch.


Dinner is usually at 6.00pm, with time to relax before and after. Then there’s a choice of early evening activities at 7.30pm lasting until 9.00pm, another break, and a final late evening activity, usually with all GIFTers on the course in one group.


On the last day of a residential, projects finish at 4.00pm, we all get together, take photos and say goodbye – for now – at 4.30 pm,when GIFTers can be collected

What's included in the price?

The cost of a residential includes accommodation, meals, tuition, course materials,  evening activities and a field trip.

What are the sleeping arrangements?

You’ll be in a bunk room with other people of the same gender and roughly the same age. All the rooms at the centres we use are between four and eight people. There are toilets and showers.

Do you cater for special diets?

Over the years we’ve probably had every combination of dietary requirement, so you needn’t worry on that score. The centres we use are very good at catering for special diets, as we are on those courses where we organise the catering in-house. When you book, there’s a space on the form for dietary requirements but you can always ring or email as well.

Who are the lecturers at GIFT?

The lecturers don’t lecture, but we call them that because, although many of them are also school teachers, they use their expertise very differently on GIFT. They all have lots of experience of working with gifted students - some of them were even GIFTers themselves. As you would expect, they are all DBS checked.

What if my family/school can't afford to send me?

Please get in touch. We always try to find a way to help.

Do you offer sibling or other discounts?

Please get in touch to ask us about this. If we send you a coupon code, you can enter it during the registration process  - see screenshot on right 

What if I'm asthmatic, anxious, autistic, epileptic, partially sighted, need to do daily physio in a private room, have mobility challenges, have panic attacks.....?

That's all fine. Just let us know how we can support you while you're with us.

“Just to say thank you for the weekend. I have rarely seen G so thoroughly enthusiastic about an activity as when I picked her up earlier today. She said the atmosphere was ‘like home’, the opportunity to make new friends outstanding and the activities on offer the best she has ever done. I am sure she will want to come again.”

"I met other people like me, people bubbling out with ideas... my brain was stretched out to the limit of what I could understand."

“I wanted to meet other people who understood what I was saying.  I wanted the opportunity to be myself.  I can’t thank GIFT enough for everything.”

"You can just enjoy being you - nobody is judging or comparing you to anyone."

"GIFT is really relaxing because you don't have to waste all your energy pretending to be 'normal' - whatever that is!"

"I've never felt less like a wallflower!"

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