In April 2016 we were generously awarded funding from Thomas Cook Children’s Charity towards the cost of our growing number of family events. As we come to the end of this funding we thought we’d take a little look back at some of the fun we’ve had!
We kicked things off in April when 33 families descended on Paulton’s Park/Peppa Pig World and flooded the park with pink and blue balloons! Sasha Mcdowell who organises the trip every year (Big up Sasha!) told us:
‘It may sound like a very standard day at a theme park but with a child with complex needs, days out can be few and far between. Having this opportunity to have an arranged day out with support from families and volunteers means so much. It provides an opportunity to network with families in a similar situation and form friendships.’
‘Had the best time yesterday, great family memories were made.’ SWAN UK member
We swiftly followed up Paulton’s Park with trips to London Zoo and Whipsnade park.
‘We all had such a lovely day, it was nice to meet other mums and dads in the same boat as us.’
Things really picked up over the summer months where we had day trips to various places including Wheelgate Park, Fairytale Farm, Hatton Country Park, Camp Mohawk, Woburn Safari Park, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Alnwick Castle, Tayto Park and Longleat.
‘Families were completely relaxed because we were the same – all very different, but the same. Children had a great time: Scott and Ethan had a little run around, Cieron was picnic snuffling, and Georgia was happily clutching her Gruffalo book singing to everyone she met. Ella mysteriously turned into a lion and Mitch clapped with delight at the sight of the balloons. So many different happy memories were made that wouldn’t be possible without SWAN UK.’ SWAN UK member
During the year we also started developing regular bi-monthly Stay and Play events so members can meet regularly with other local families in a more intimate setting. These sessions are now established in Warrington, Worcester, Rotherham, Newbury, Bristol and Newcastle. For more information check out the events section on our website.
‘Being able to meet up with families who understand the difficulties that we face having an undiagnosed child is quite simply priceless. Having a date in the diary every couple of months to look forward to knowing that your child will have fun in a accessible environment and you can chat with other families facing a similar journey certainly gives you something to look forward to and from the smiles on the faces of everyone who attends I know that we all feel the same way.’ SWAN UK member
Between April 2016 and March 2017 we hosted over 45 family events, with 51 new families attending events for the first time between Sept and March – A massive thank you to Thomas Cook Children’s Charity for their support!