Preparing for Portugal

It's 6 o'clock in the morning and you've only had about 3 hours sleep. A wave of excitement rushes through your body. Its time for Camp Sonshine 2018. The case is packed, the boarding passes are printed, your parents have reminded you several times not to forget your passport and you've definitely got your sun cream. You jump in the car and meet up with the rest of the team. Airport, here we come. You get on the plane, and stare out the window at the Northern Irish population basking in the glorious 13 degree heat. Your eyes slowly begin to close, and you drift off into a peaceful sleep 30,000 feet in the air.

"Ladies and Gentlemen we have arrived at Faro Airport, blue skies here in the Algarve with temperatures reaching almost 35 degrees".

The plane door opens and you are hit with what seems like a brick wall of heat, when all of a sudden you realise—you've forgotten your sun cream.

For many young people, the idea of even getting on a plane seems distant.


Here at Dreamscheme we seek to change that.

In the summer of 2017, we had the pleasure of taking a group of young people from Belfast to Portugal for Camp Sonshine. the Camp was attended by young people from all over the globe, and it provided an incredible opportunity for our young people to grow and meet new people in an unfamiliar environment. 

I was a little scared before heading out, but when we arrived and got settled it was great. I met so many new people from all around the world and built new lasting friendships. I can’t wait to go back this year
— Zara Chapman

In terms of experiences, not a lot can come close to Camp Sonshine Portugal. It is a week full of amazing activities such as visits to water parks, beach days and fun themed nights. This, accompanied by inspirational speakers and an incredible team of leaders is what makes Camp Sonshine Portugal such an outstanding and memorable experience.

Excitement - The team all smiles before heading out to Portugal last year.

Excitement -The team all smiles before heading out to Portugal last year.

From 16th to 22nd July, we are taking another group out to Portugal for camp, and the excitement is well and truly building. The opportunity to take a group of young people to such an amazing place is something which we simply can't pass up. We believe that these young people all have such amazing potential and that they can achieve more than they could possibly imagine. This trip is the ideal platform which the young people can use to grow and interact with so many new cultures and nationalities, and in the midst of all that, making memories that they can look back on with joy in years to come.

On Wednesday 20th June, senior youth worker Jonny Luke is running the Lisburn Half Marathon to raise funds for the camp trip. To donate, visit