Our Exciting Programme Of Events For 2021
Magic Matt Zoom Sessions every 2 weeks
February – Mud & Bloom Postal Subscription / Valentine Crafts @ Home
March – Mud & Bloom Postal Subscription / Science @ Home STEM Kit / Mothers Day Flower Arrangement Kit
April – Mud & Bloom Postal Subscription / Home Sensory Movie / Design a Kite Zoom Session / Easter Cake @ Home Activity Kit / Carpark Panto – Billionaire Boy
May – Parent Focus Zoom Macrame Kit / Pizza Kits
June – Acorn Farm
July – Wild Wings Birds of Prey
August – Childrens Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) / Chester Zoo / Alton Towers / Pony Proud Visits / FUN Club / Top Secret New Project
September – FUN Club / Top Secret New Project / Barstondale Away Day / Parent Art Therapy @ BloomingArt
October – Gulliver’s World / FUN Club @ The Sensory Centre / The Spooky Puddle Project / Parent Art Therapy @ BloomingArt
November – FUN Club @ The Sensory Centre / The Puddle Project / Luminate live @ Walton Gardens / Parent Art Therapy @ BloomingArt
December – Lucem Cinema Trip (TBC) / Magical Christmas Experience @ The Puddle Project / FUN Club @ The Sensory Centre
Our exciting programme of events for 2019
January 20th – Family Bowling Afternoon @ Tenpin, Warrington
February 10th – Science Fiction Classics @ Liverpool Philharmonic
March 10th – FUN Farming @ Acorn Farm
April 6th – Residential Activity Trip @ Barnstondale Activity Centre
April 14th – Lambing @ Tatton Park
May 30th – Wizard Academy @ East Lancs Railway, Bury
June 23rd – Watersports Adventure @ Crosby Watersports Centre
July 21st – Treetops Adventure Park @ Heaton Park – FULLY BOOKED
August 18th & September 1st – Wizard Narrow Boat Trip @ Thorn Marine, Lymm – FULLY BOOKED
September 22nd – FUN Theme Park Trip @ Alton Towers
24th September – FUN Circus @ Victoria Park with Circus Star – FULLY BOOKED
17th November – CBBC Tour @ Media City – FULLY BOOKED
December 8th – Santa Steam Train @ Llangollen – FULLY BOOKED
December 15th – The Nutcracker @ Parr Hall – FULLY BOOKED
Author: Lisa, FUN Trustee & Parent.
Lockdown at the beginning of the year was a stressful and worrying time for us all and it meant that we were unable to run our usual trips and activities. However, that didn’t stop us in our endeavours to provide the valuable support that our member families have come to rely on. We were still able to provide a programme of events to be enjoyed from the safety of our own homes whilst still interacting with others through the power of technology.
Magic Matt (themagicmattshow.co.uk) provided fantastic magic shows via zoom. He is a great entertainer and really engaged with our members. As well as dazzling us with his fantastic array of tricks performed with wit and humour, he also taught us how to do our own magic tricks with great suggestions for adaptations to make the tricks accessible for all our members. I think he inspired several of our members to become budding magicians!
A great therapeutic and learning activity was offered via a 3 month postal subscription to Mud and Bloom boxes (mudandbloom.com). The boxes contained nature and craft activities encompassing the four seasons and included nature news, spotting activities and games to teach us about animals, plants, insects, birds and the seasons. From the first box we made a ‘Gods Eye’ which involved us going out on nature walks looking for sticks which we then used to wrap colourful yarn around to make the ‘eye’ – this is meant to be a way of getting in touch with the spiritual world! Not sure that happened but it certainly made a very attractive craft display!
We also made fabulous little clay and twig hedgehogs which was a lovely tactile activity, especially for our sensory seeking members! We planted Dwarf Lupin seeds and Snow Peas and it was fabulous to see how well everyone did with the progress of their growth. Over the months we have grown a variety of vegetables including cherry tomatoes and beetroot and lovely flowers like French Marigolds and Chinese Aster. The boxes introduced a lot of our members to a love of gardening which was a great mindful activity to enjoy through lock down.
To keep our members’ minds active whilst they were unable to attend school, we offered a
postal science box(curiosity-box.com) to experiment with. Members got to choose whether to dabble with potent potions which changed colour or fizzed or illuminate with light by making a pinhole camera, explore how light bends and splits into colours of the rainbow or to learn about flowers and bees. The activities were really interesting and made science ‘Fun’ for our members!
For Mothers’ Day we offered our members the opportunity to make their own floral gift basket to present to their mums on their special day. Honey Bee florists (honeybeeflorists.co.uk) provided a lovely kit with an array of pretty flowers, some oasis, a little basket and a wooden sign to create a gorgeous arrangement following a video tutorial. I think all the mums were very pleased with this present.
The creativity continued into Easter with our scrumptious Easter cake making activity provided by Room Forty (roomforty.co.uk). A kit
containing a delicious chocolate sponge cake, icing and a range of sweet treats including chocolate bunnies, marshmallows, chocolate worms, and carrot shaped biscuits was transformed into a delicious and very chocolatey cake. Our members loved getting a bit messy with this activity and it was lovely to see all the different designs. Chocolate and cake – a match made in heaven!
We found an amazing theatre company called Frozen Light (frozenlighttheatre.com) who create multi-sensory theatre for audiences with multiple learning difficulties. They were able to provide an at home sensory movie experience for our members called ‘2065’ which followed a group of rebels living outside the system. An archivist-rebel in residence guided us through what like was like in 2065. Each family received a ‘rebel pack’ along with instructions on how to access the movie. The rebel pack contained a number of items to support our sensory experience such as a fan and light, an old book, rose scented confetti, a tin of scented beans and a metallic blanket to recreate the sights, sounds and smells of the story. It was an amazing and profound performance brought to life by the sensory activities. It was so well thought out and brilliant as it was accessible to all levels of ability and understanding. We will keep a look out for future performances from this fantastic and innovative group.
Evoking a bit of a Mary Poppins vibe we decided to ‘lets go fly a kite…’ by offering a design and make your own kite zoom session from goflyyourkite.com. This is a family run business which delivers STEM and Art kite workshops. The kit contained a white kite, pictures to trace, marker pens and rods and kite handles. The kites were really easy to draw on and to put together with help from a friendly and informal workshop run by Glenn Heasley. As the kites were such a brilliant white and the marker pens so colourful, the designs we drew looked really striking and effective.
Glenn also taught us the most successful way to fly a kite and we had some fantastic outdoor fun putting our learning into practice – I wasn’t sure who enjoyed it more – the adults or children!
Keeping with the safe theatre theme we offered tickets to a car park showing of ‘The Billionaire Boy’ by David Williams. The performance is on a large stage in front of a stadium full of cars with the sound being accessed through your car radio. It was a very clever way of being able to see a theatre show without the risks of contracting Covid. A lot of our members love the David Walliams stories and this show certainly didn’t disappoint.
Providing a bit of mindful craftiness for parents, we ran a zoom parent focus macramé session using
eco friendly kits from Geearte Makes. We each made an intricate plant holder in a colour of our choice. Some of us got into a bit of a tangle but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed a lovely catch up with other parents. The kits come with easy to follow instructions and access to a video tutorial and it was nice to learn a new craft skill over lockdown.
Mama mia! Our final at home activity was pizza making with kits provided by local company Ruddies pizzas. It was great fun stretching out the pizza dough and then decorating with the scrummy toppings.
Another fab tactile activity for our sensory members. There was even a prize for the best pizza judged by George the owner of Ruddies himself! Think we discovered several budding pizza chefs through this activity.
With special thanks to the small local businesses who have supported our activities. If you haven’t already please check them out!!
https://curiosity-box.net https://goflyyourkite.com https://honeybeeflorists.co.ukhttps://ruddies.co.uk https://www.frozenlighttheatre.com https://www.geeartemakes.co.uk/shop-allhttps://www.mudandbloom.com https://www.roomforty.co.uk https://www.themagicmattshow.co.uk , https://ruddies.co.uk
We hope that you’re enjoying our very smart new website. We’d like to thank the team at Blue Whale Media for designing and hosting our new website. We absolutely love that a local business has been able to support our small charity. Check out their website using the following link to see what they’re all about www.bluewhalemedia.co.uk
Its been a tough peculiar summer this year thanks to CV19 but here at Families United we have continued to deliver activities for our families though we’ve adapted our offer to fit within the government guidelines ensuring that our families are safe & well.
So what have we been up to you may ask, well here goes………..
We have continued to signpost families to available services and to provide support within our private Facebook group, a safe space for families to ask sometimes difficult questions. Early on in the Pandemic, our Chair of Trustees Andrea arranged weekly Magic Matt Zoom sessions, allowing our families to socialise with each other whilst learning a new skill and having fun.
In June, as guidance was changed, our Trustee Vicky sourced a local company called Pony Proud to offer families socially distanced Pony Proud visits to the families’ homes. These visits adhered to social distancing, whilst wearing PPE, allowing families to meet the very gentle ponies Chilli & Guiness. Animal therapy is extremely calming for many with SEND, we received very positive feedback on social media from both the families and Pony Proud who said “We have 1 more visit booked in of many on behalf of Families United, and we would like to say from the bottom of our hearts what an absolute pleasure it’s been working beside you. The families and children have all been amazing and we are so overwhelmed by the joy, love and happiness both Guiness and Chilli have brought to all the families involved. We thank you so much for letting us share our ponies with you all. Thank you all and a big thank you to Vicky who booked in with us”.
In August, we hired bouncy castles for many families, again at their homes, using a local hire company https://bouncyhire.net/ who we received fantastic service from. Bouncing is a fantastic form of exercise that provides good sensory feedback and of course it is FUN for the whole family.
September has allowed for further Pony Proud visits which Families United have continued to offer with thanks to the funding from the Torus Foundation.
Finally, before we sign off, we’d like to announce that we are now on Twitter & Instagram!!!