On Saturday 28 June 2014, over 200 families came and enjoyed the Children’s Centre Parent’s Forum’s first (but we hope now annual) fun day. The volunteers and workers tell us why they thought it was a good idea and how well it went.
This short account and all quotes are based on the excellent report from the organisers. Thank you for telling such a great and inspiring story of what’s changed thanks to local vision and action, with the support from Big Kirk Hallam Community Chest.
The fun day “has shown how an accessible community event in Kirk Hallam is beneficial for the community. The day itself was a great success with over 200 local families in attendance; for a first event this was a great success. The volunteers hope to make this an annual event for the families of Kirk Hallam, with the hope of it becoming bigger and better with more volunteers involved in future.
The volunteers wanted to make a special thank you to Big Kirk Hallam for believing in the Parent’s Forum of Kirk Hallam Children’s Centre by donating a grant. Without that the day would not have been possible. Thank you.”
Members of the Parents Forum first met Big Kirk Hallam representatives back in April 2013. They shared their desire for more things to do and places to go for younger children and their families. They wanted the opportunity to be part of the action as volunteers in planning and putting on events. Our report at the time said “They were especially keen that Big Kirk Hallam supports them and other resident groups to run things themselves and take ownership of what change and improvements they want to see happen.” You can see the report of that early meeting here.
Roll on a year and the Parent’s Forum applied to the Community Chest to organise their first event.
“The volunteers wanted to make the fun day free and accessible for all residents. In addition to this they wanted to raise the profile of the Children’s Centre with the aim of bringing more people into the Sure Start Centre as well as improving volunteer numbers.”
The planners also wanted to bring in groups with stalls and information for local residents on health services, jobs, money matters, housing advice, nursery education, library facilities, child care and family support.
“The event was the first one that the volunteers have organised and they provided a good variety of activities for children of all ages. It was held at the local Social Club as it is a large venue with an enclosed park away from the road, which makes it safer for families.”
The attractions included a fun bus, bouncy castles, tropical petting zoo, a raffle, crafts and information and advice.
The feedback from families tells us that all the planning and running of the event were well worth the effort. Here are just a few of the things people said.
“Great day” children really enjoyed it. Nice to see really good event for children in Kirk Hallam J ”
“Really good fun for the kids, especially the animals, face painting and bouncy castles. Just need sunshine!”
“As a family we really enjoyed the fun bus, bouncy castle and animals.”
“Was a great day” the balloon modelling and the bouncy castles were a good idea. My daughter also liked the owl.”
“My favourite part was the animal stand. The animals were so cute.”
“Good afternoon. Great turn out. Lots of different activities for all age groups.”
“Very impressed with what’s on offer for children.”
“I had fun.”
“Well organised with plenty of activities. Lots of free stuff for kids which is good.”
“It’s brilliant that there’s lots of free things for the kids to do. Great mixture of stalls too.”
The second aim of the event was to raise awareness of services and facilities and offer information and advice as needed. The stall holders were delighted to have taken part and were impressed by how things were run and the numbers who came. Here is what they said.
“Just for the record – I registered 18 under 5 new library members on Saturday, plus 6 primary school age, plus 2 teenagers – 26 new library members in all, which is very good going for one event.
I also gave out 48 of the little Ready to Read bags, which is all I’d got with me. I took the names of 4 children who missed out and I’m taking theirs round to their homes when I’m in the area.”
“Had the best craft fair ever – did not stop once!”
“A great day and a good crowd.”
“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for inviting us along.”
“It was lovely to meet some of the families. I even had one dad asking for information about getting a snake and set up for his son. His son barely lefty my corn snakes alone. We would love to attend another one of your events in the future, so please keep in touch J.”
Big Kirk Hallam is delighted to have supported the Parent’s Forum in planning and running this event. Congratulations for a great achievement.