“Going to Russia was an amazing experience. Thank you for helping me get there. I had the time of my life,” said one child from the recent school trip to Moscow.
This trip has been a long time in the planning and at last all the hard work rolled into action as eight students, one teacher and the headteacher took off by bus and then by plane to Moscow for an educational visit of fantastic worth.
At the Lakes and Meadows Festival on 7 July, the Big Kirk Hallam community chest panel got to meet the children and their parents. The children were still buzzing from the experience, exchanging occasional words in Russian for good measure. They had visited the science museum, St Basil’s and loads besides.
Parents shared their thoughts about the trip and the support from so many people and groups, including Big Kirk Hallam. Sharon Bennett and many parents had put in a great deal of time and energy into fundraising for this great trip. Sharon had this to say:
“Big thank you for all your support. Big Kirk Hallam community chest is a great committee team. I was nervous about meeting the panel. But I can talk for England once I start. The journey with these children and parents has been amazing. We all learnt a lot from this. It’s also been an experience of a life time for all the children and parents.”
For the headteacher at Ladywood Nursery and Primary School, Melanie Lawson, this was clearly an experience to savour and to remember.
“Thank you for the support. I couldn’t make the Lakes and Meadows festival on Sunday but I feel certain the children did the school proud. I’ve attached a couple of photos for you to keep with the info … St Basil’s …. the astronauts museum and a real life space man!”
Mel Lawson went on to tell us more about the trip.
“The Inspire Space trip was with three other schools in Derbyshire. It is a trip normally for secondary science students but when we were invited to be involved we really couldn’t say no !
The children and families have worked hard to fundraise and plan for the trip. They even learnt some Russian. The trip was for a week. We stayed in a hotel built for the 1980 Olympics and experienced so many things.
We visited the training ground for Astronauts at Star City. We met two astronauts and had a question and answer session with them. The children got to ask all sorts of questions. A couple of my favourites were …”How do you go to the toilet in space?” “Have you seen the film Gravity and is it realistic?” We got to stand in the famous Red Square, travel on the Moscow Metro and spend some Rubles on a delicious ice cream.
I was incredible proud to be part of the trip for so many reasons. The children learnt such a lot and grew in so many ways. They gained in independence and learnt to work as a team.
They also gained an insight into the amazing world of space travel…. You never know one of the children might be the next British Astronaut.
Sharon Bennett and Mel Lawson are clear that the trip could not have happened without massive community backing and many hours and much dedication from parents.
Sharon describes just some of the activities they took on to fundraise.
“Parents have all helped in every way. They organised the school disco; there was the bag collection and the foreign coin bucket collection. There were loads of donations from local companies, including electrical scrap cable donated by my husband’s company.
We held events like the Easter fun afternoon with the hamper kindly donated by Thornton’s for our 1st raffle prize. We had other donations from Roller World, Ilkeston Swimming Baths and Ilkeston football club.
Parents and children took on cake baking, bag packing at B&M and Decathlon, selling raffle tickets and organising a fun day at the Three Horseshoes public house. We joined the Ilkeston Carnival with a cake stall and tombola. We have had two bucket collections at the local Cat & Fiddle public house. Last of all there is a fashion show due in September.
And then there were the totally random acts of kindness. I was talking to a kind gentleman in M&S, while Lewis my son was trying new trousers on; this guy couldn’t believe they were going so young also gave me a £10 donation.
The list goes on and on. We have learnt and gained so much along the way. The parents worked well together. We have gained each other’s trust and achieved long lasting friendship. We met each month. The meetings got longer and longer!”
And the last word should of course go to the children.
“The space museum was brilliant. I really like the model of the international space station.”
“One night we went to see the very same astronaut whose spacesuit we had seen earlier that day. That was so cool!”
“The buildings and statues were magnificent! The gold water fountain was my favourite, it was absolutely enormous!”
“That mission control was amazing. It’s been an amazing trip. An adventure of a life time I will never forget. The church was amazing too.”
“Going to Russia was an amazing experience. The best bit was mission control where the public can’t go, I felt like a top secret agent. Thank you for helping me get there. I had time of my life.”
“When we went to Russia it was very exciting. My favourite bit was when we went to the space museum and we saw how the first rocket went into space.”