Cassi, one of our sessional staff team spent most of the half term holidays working with us on our day trips and has kindly blogged her experience for us. Take it away Cassi!
Often PALS, our group for 6-14 year olds and STARS our group for members with complex needs, have separate activity trips, but every now and then we all go somewhere together. Over half term we all headed to Nymans Gardens for the Ignite: Fire and Fantasy light show, and we had a great time.
Staff always arrive early to sessions, so we were ready and waiting at the entrance to Nymans as all our members began to arrive. It was just starting to get dark, and it was a little chilly, but there was excitement in the air as we all gathered and made sure that every member knew who their staff member was for the evening. Everyone was bundled up ready for an evening outside, and some of our members brought torches to help light our way.
Once we’d all arrived, we headed in. As we entered the light trail, everyone was given a beautiful flickering lantern to carry round or hang on their wheelchairs. We made quite the procession! Often when we go out in a big group we split into smaller bunches and meet up throughout the day, but on the light trail we all got to walk around together in one big kangaroos’ group (a gangaroo if you will!) which was very special as we all got to spend time together and enjoy the light show.
The trail started with sweet woodland scenes lit by fiery lamps and tiny adorable, illuminated toadstools which were my personal favourite! Lots of our members really liked the flames from the fire lamps, and they definitely helped warm us up as we went past! The light trail led on around the gardens which were stunning even in the dark and we got to see lots of different displays. Lots of our members liked walking through the projected phoenix lights which made us look orange, it was a really nice additional sensory aspect along with the classical music that played all the way round the trail. Some of our members also enjoyed stepping into the pretty white illuminated flower display, they were almost waist height on some of our members! A firm favourite for many of us was the large fire breathing mechanical dragon – a very impressive display.
As we neared the end of the trail, we reached the food clearing where we all sat and enjoyed a hot drink or snack, or a cold one if we preferred. There were hot chocolates on offer, as well as giant marshmallows which you could toast over big fire pits. Lots of us enjoyed the warmth from those! Snack time is always a treat at sessions, offering a chance to ensure everyone is refreshed as well as giving us all a chance to chat and relax together.
After snacks we walked through the last part of the light trail, a path arched by beautiful fairy light hearts. The sky was really clear that night so some of us did a quick spot of stargazing too! All too soon it was the end of the trail and time to hand our lanterns back and head to the pickup point. The end of yet another great session, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to our next kangaroos adventures!
Cassi pictured here with Aya, a member of our group STARS
The students of Thomas Bennett Community College Football Academy are organising a 24 hour football challenge to raise funds for Kangaroos and are looking for teams to play.
This is where you come in! We are on the search for businesses to put forward a team to play 1 of the 24 games against TBCCFA.
– Looking for a team building event with their colleagues.
– Want to support a local charity and give back to their community
– Are ready to immerse themselves in a fantastic football experience!
Please include your best contact number and someone from the team will call you back.
Date: 23rd-24th June 2022
Venue: K2 Pitch (3G Astro Turf Pitch) Crawley, West Sussex
Start Time of the whole event: 16.00 hrs
Match Duration: 44 minutes, 22 minutes each half. 5 minutes half time break.
Number of Players: Up to 12, but if you are worried that you don’t have enough players, the Thomas Bennett Football Academy students will be able to stand in to supplement your team. Just ask us.
What does it cost? We have 3 price packages available – take a look at our 24 Hour Football Packages here.
Who can play? Literally everyone. Colleagues, the boss, networking contacts, clients, friends, family.
When do our team need to arrive? Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your match time to get you all booked in and warmed up.
Do we need to stay for 24 hours? No, you don’t. You are welcome to stay as long as you like though.
What should we wear? Ideally if you have your own football strip, then thats great, if not regular sports gear is fine. Trainers or firm ground boots not long studs.
What exposure with my company get? That depends on which package you pick, take a look at our Sponsorship Packages
How do I sign up? Contact one of the Football Fundraising Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
When can I play? Whenever you like, within reason. We will have a timetable of matches and will accommodate when you would like to play.
Will there be refreshments on the day? Yes there will. We will have onsite food and drink outlets for you to purchase refreshments.
Do I need to be good at football? No, absolutely not. It’s all about playing and getting together with your colleagues.
What else will be available on the day? At varying times during the 24 hour challenge, there will be some sports masseurs available for massages post match for an additional donation. Raffle tickets for some great prizes will also be available to purchase.
With National Lottery funding we are able to run regular sessions for our adult group, No Limits, which provides over 18s with learning disabilities in Mid Sussex with a range of activities members can enjoy with their friends in a supportive environment. Sessions run in the evenings and over the weekend. Activities include discos, visits to local pubs and the theatre, greyhound racing and meals out. The activities are designed to be fun whilst at the same time help the members with their social and life skills. Our aim is to help build confidence and self esteem and give young adults opportunities to become more independent and engage with the local community.
National Lottery players also fund our Family Support project which gives parents, carers and siblings the opportunity to join in with Kangaroos activities. We’ve recently launched support groups for parent carers and siblings independent of their Kangaroo member. Our aim is to extend our support to the whole family, and enable people to talk about their shared experiences and network with each other.