Monday, 14 August 2017

Throwing the families in at the deep end...

Our event on the water at Yeadon Tarn was I believe, one of our groundbreaking events. We had a number of children trying something that they have never tried before. Little Hiccups believes in No Limits and making sure we fulfil this motto is important to us. We strive to challenge the children to learn what they can achieve - and of course to have a LOT of fun in the process!

The idea of going on a boat was challenging to some but after a lot of consulting with the sailing team at Yeadon Tarn we decided that this was a must for us to try. It wasn't for everyone - one of the children in particular was not impressed by the boating - but the point is that he tried! And he did it. He achieved something that day and we're proud of every single one of the children that were there that day.

We had a couple of new families at this event. It seems that there is nothing like throwing people in the deep end! (Pun intended - groan, yeah I know - sorry!) And one of my favourite things about the day has to be the friendships that were formed in those few hours together. A few of the children really melded with each other and a couple of friendships were created, with phone numbers being swapped. If that isn't a success I don't know what is. Little Hiccups is ultimately about families supporting each other and this day was a true testament to that.

The team at Yeadon Tarn gave us a go on the rafting canoe, bellboats and the Wayfarer. Even Jack who needed full support on the boat managed a sail in the Wayfairer as there is a sling available to hoist him into the boat. He was made comfortable in a beanbag and off they went. Jack, I was told, absolutely loved it. His mum - not so sure as they managed to get some speed up!

For those taking a turn off the water there was a chance to have a go at caving. I unfortunately didn't get any photos of that but I heard a lot of raving reviews from the children heading in and out. The caving experience at Yeadon Tarn is a man-made cave with a ball pool in. Pretty exciting stuff!

The surroundings were also beautiful and as we were so close to the airport we were treated to planes landing and taking off periodically - which is always exciting.

"Just wanted to say what another successful day it was today at Yeadon Tarn. Really enjoyed it. Even though Bailey wasn't a happy bunny today we are thrilled that he got to try something he's never done before!!" 

"Thanks for an awesome day!"

"Thanks for a great day"

"We all survived. What an awesome morning." 

Link: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Yeadon-Tarnfield-Park.aspx

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Private Showing of Boss Baby at Showcase Cinema



We visit the cinema at least one a year for a relaxed viewing of a movie. What does this include? Well for starters, we hire out an entire cinema screen just for Little Hiccups families. And the showings are first thing in the morning so it's nice and quiet when everyone arrives. It's a relaxed viewings so kids can be themselves without parents worrying about disturbing other spectators. In a Hiccups viewing we often have feed pumps going, kids in frames zipping around and kids singing along. As long as it's safe, anything goes! We also make sure that the movie is family friendly (so a U rating). In this instance we opted to see Boss Baby. The showing also has subtitles and audio descriptions should they be needed and the lights are left on low throughout so the cinema is not completely black (which is important for the more active children!)

Boss Baby is a heartwarming story about a new baby's arrival and how it impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator -- a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. The most unusual Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim's home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. The instant sibling rivalry must soon be put aside when Tim discovers that Boss Baby is actually a spy on a secret mission, and only he can help thwart a dastardly plot that involves an epic battle between puppies and babies

A cinema trip is not a cinema trip without a treat however. So when families book tickets they also receive popcorn and a drink. And just because we love you all and fully appreciate how important caffeine is, Little Hiccups paid for the coffees from the Costa Coffee stall too.

It is a regular event simply because it is trips like these that families sometimes feel they cannot do. Maybe it's because their child can get overstimulated in crowded places. Or maybe it's because their child likes to yell out (and who hasn't had that thought sometimes at the cinema!) but we know that everyone is in the same situation so it really doesn't matter at one of our events! We hope we offer companionship and familiarity.

"Just wanted to say thank you again for organising the event yesterday, the children loved it."

Website: Showcase Cinema

Little Hiccups is 8!

Little Hiccups is 8!





Our 3rd Birthday - 5 years ago!
Linsay shared an old photo of Little Hiccups 3rd Birthday recently and it struck me just how much we've grown. Back then our main service was Stay n Play based in a small community centre and our cake much smaller! We've certainly found a a demand in the last few years and our numbers have grown year on year. This year we had approximately 130 people helping us celebrate and an exciting birthday party to entertain everyone. 


We returned to the Royal Armouries and due to the increase in numbers have now been moved to the larger downstairs suite where there is a lot more space for the children to explore as well as being easier to access. The Armouries also had two tables out with Lego and colouring on to help entertain the children. Each of the tables were also beautifully decorated by balloons from our regular balloon lady, Celebration Balloons and we had a very interesting display at the entrance way as well to show the families were to come in. I did try to persuade one of our family's to take one of these home but was very politely refused for some reason!

Shabang! returned for their second time for a Hiccups birthday with Rag and Bones for some clamorous fun. A lot of pots, pans and noise was involved! The kids all joined in with much enthusiasm with the show and certainly contributed with the noise levels. A good time was had by all!

Reggie Rag and Betty Bones it turns out were also friends with Bert the chimney sweep and Mary Poppins and they had invited Mary Poppins down for a visit. After the show, the families all settled down for a meal at their tables and Mary Poppins visited the tables before inviting the children onto the dance floor for some games, chalk drawings and singing.


Happy Birthday Emily!
Everyone at Little Hiccups is truly honoured that so many people came to join us for our celebrations - especially Emily as it was also her birthday and we are incredibly pleased that she spent it with us! Hope it was a fab day for you too gorgeous girl!

"Loved it. Great company ❤ xxx"

"You certainly know how to party. Thank you. As always it was amazing xx"

"Happy 8th birthday little hiccups I think everyone enjoyed themselves today lol xxxxxx"

"Happy birthday! And here's to many happy returns. Xxx"

"Thank you so much for such an amazing afternoon. Happy birthday xxx"

"Thanks for having us. Was a lovely party. So grateful for little hiccups.❤ xxx"

"What a brilliant fun party kids had a blast. Thank you so much xx"

"Thankyou for an awesome day. Loves it so much. Especially Mary Poppins 😁 xx"

"Kids had a great time thank you xxx"

"Fab afternoon thank you"

"Your parties get better every year xx"

"Thanks Little Hiccups for such a lovely birthday party yesterday at the Royal Armouries, and Nathan "even managed" to sit down for a few seconds to have his photo taken with Mary Poppins lol!"

"Happy 8th birthday Little Hiccups! You deserve all of your celebrations and more, as you have got so much to look forward to in the future! You should be all so proud of yourselves."

Links

Friday, 19 May 2017

A sensory event

Despite the fact that I managed to book this event on the same day as the Leeds Half Marathon and the venue was slap bang in the middle of the run, it was a very nice day!

Sensory Space Leeds is a new Sensory room based in Burley. There were two Sensory Rooms. One was designed to stimulate and assist in the development of young children, babies and individuals with additional needs. There were twinkling fibre optic lights and a touchy feely sensory box. My 6 month old daughter in particular loved the bubble tube whilst she relaxed on the cushioned beanie that surrounded it For the more agile, there was a large ball pool with obstacle course and caterpillar bumps. For the slightly older there was a book and toy corners with carefully selected sensory toys and books.

The second room was a UV Active Room. In here there was a swing and a slide. This room was back lit by ultraviolet lights. We also spent a bit of time in here next to the fibre optic lights corner. The hammock swing was particularly popular.

There was also a nursing room which Little Hiccups used as a Relax Room as it was decorated in cool blue and you can relax in a comfy rocking chair whilst you watch the twinkling star ceiling lights. Soothing music also adds to the calming effect of this room.

Little Hiccups also provided a lunch which proved popular and we all had a very warm welcome by the owner, Sophia, with a choice of drinks. It was a nice chilled event and gave families the opportunity to chat to one another in a more relaxing environment!

Website: http://www.sensoryspaceleeds.co.uk




Shopping for a good cause



At our Rainbow Factory trip back January we got chatting to one of the mums. It turns out she owns a store called 'The Style Attic'. So called because the store was actually in the attic of her house! An amazingly good and effective idea although it was somewhat unusual to walk through somebody's house to reach the clothes. I did spend a great deal of my time in house envy however. It's one of those perfectly designed houses with many interesting little quirks and pictures scattered around always providing something fascinating to look at.

The clothes in the store were truly beautiful and I thought very well priced and I ended up buying a dress perfect for a wedding I have coming up. I could have easily have spent more though. And it was nice to know that 10% of all the sales went towards Little Hiccups - so it was guilt free shopping too! We made £100 commission on the night not including the money raised from ticket sales. So a massive thank you to everyone that attended and helped us out.

To make it an evening to remember we had sparkly wine (and sparkly juice for the drivers) and nibbles available for all guests on arrival.  Plus we also had the company of the most gorgeous little girl before she headed off to bed. She truly was the most chilled, most welcoming child with the most beautiful of smiles. Everyone that came in was immediately besotted with her and I think she definitely stole the show that night. We certainly lost Little Hiccups Trustee, Sarah, for a great portion of the night.

I personally really enjoyed my evening out and will certainly remember the Style Attic next time I need some new clothes. If you couldn't make it on the night, you can follow them on Facebook here.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Having a wild time!

Little Hiccups booked to visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and it turned out to be an incredibly popular idea and we very quickly sold out with 140 tickets gone in almost no time at all making this our most popular event yet. With so many tickets sold we decided to post everyone’s wristbands needed for entry out before the event. Families could then arrive at a time convenient to them and enter without queuing. This turned out to be very handy as it appeared that the day we picked to visit the park was also the hottest day of the year so far at a glorious sunny 20 degrees and a day where the park was advertised on Groupon (which I found out after) with a special Wizard of Oz theme. To say it was busy would be an understatement! We arrived shortly after opening time and the queue for entry was already stretching far back into the car park.

With our wristbands on however, we could nip through the shop and through the Pre-Paid ticket entrance, then we were off. It was busy and we did have to navigate through crowds but we managed to make our way round the animals and stop for a play in the adventure playground where we bumped into several other families. I think our favourite animals of the day had to be the Polar Bears who ironically, seemed to be enjoying the warmth and were out and wandering around much to the delight of the children. We also particularly enjoyed the lemurs as you could walk through their enclosure and get up close. There was one with a tiny baby clinging onto its mother. Very cute to see.

Once all the animals had been visited, it was a quick ice-cream in the tent for us where we bumped into a couple of other families, then it was time to get some very tired children home. From the photos and comments I received later on in the day this seemed to be across the board – all in all a successful day!


"What a wonderful day as always thank you Little Hiccups"

"Had such a lovely day today thanku for organising a great event again."

"Fun day thanks for today everyone."

"Lovely day out with everyone thanks little hiccups once again."

"Thank you for a fab day little hiccups!!"

"Whoa, what a day! Thanks so much for organising our trip to The Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Not only did we spot lots of animals we had the pleasure of the lovely Sarah Stewart joining us. Keep practising those jokes Sarah, as the day progressed your skills improved!"


"Thank you little hiccups for such a lovely day. Aiden loved the monkeys and giant otters. xxx"

"Thank you little hiccups , been a brilliant day. Thanks for giving us yet another fab experience !"

"Thankyou little hiccups we've had lots of fun today as a family."

"Thankyou little hiccups once again another fantastic day out xxxxxxxxx"

"Hamaad and family enjoying a lovely day out with little hiccups at Yorkshire wild life park Thank you xx"

"Thank you for such a brilliant day out xx"

"Thank you again for today. We had an amazing time xx"

Friday, 24 March 2017

A photoshoot with no hiccups!



With this event I can only speak from personal experience as we were in slots and the only other contact with other families was fleeting. Dean Sanderson is a regular however with Little Hiccups. He’s been present at many an event and at all our Fundraising Balls to take photos. We love the end results, but more than that we’ve always loved the way he creates a rapport with the children straight away and makes what could be a stressful event fun and exciting. His magic lies in capturing the child’s true personality. I have two very different children (and a third but she’s only 4 months old so we’re yet to see a real personality yet – other than a complete refusal to smile for the camera on this visit!) My oldest is shy and perhaps struggles to express herself more than she would like. We let my middle child hit centre stage first as he is the extravert of the family and definitely has no problem expressing himself! I think the problem was dragging him away. Dean successfully managed this by letting him take a few of the shots of his sister and we managed to get some lovely ones. Then it was time for all three to get in the shot and there was many an amusing positioning by myself and my husband trying to get the baby to smile whilst staying out of shot. It didn’t really work as she’d just woken from a deep sleep but we did get one nice one at least.

I think the hardest thing about this event is picking out my favourites. I’ve so far narrowed it down to 15. Taking away another 6 to get to the 9 needed for the canvas is going to be hard! I’ve heard glowing reports from Hiccups families and in fact this year, the demand was so high we had to stretch the event over 2 days instead of our usual one. Dean’s reputation is certainly growing! This year was also the first year in Dean’s personal studio so the atmosphere was more relaxed and its also nice to know that there is a location to return to when I want to go back (I have full intentions of dressing the baby in an Ewok suit and taking her back when she is able to sit. It’s got to be done!)



If you missed the Photoshoot and would like the you can find Dean’s website below to book an appointment:

Website: www.deansanderson.co.uk

"Thank You to you all at Hiccups and Dean Sanderson. We had a lovely time and the dinosaurs were well behaved when they got home. You are amazing."

"He made an impossible task seem far too easy and got some lovely shots! Thank you!"

"Thank u little hiccups and especially Dean. Soo lovely. Harvey and I had the best time xx"

"I just wanted to say thank you Little Hiccups and to Dean Sanderson, for an enjoyable photo shoot today.I think that I am right in saying, that it's the least stressful photo shoot that I have "ever" been to with Nathan, & Dean has captured some "adorable" photo's of Nathan, as I haven't seen any of the family shots yet lol! :)"

"I am looking forward to seeing all of the photo's from today's photo shoot! :)"

"A brilliant shoot with some gorgeous photos that I am very excited to see xx"