Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Adding a little sparkle to January

Magical Storytelling at The Rainbow Factory

Little Hiccups booked The Rainbow Factory exclusively for Little Hiccups' families for a visit as we all needed a little sparkle in our life this cold January month. It has been 2 years since our last visit but we were not disappointed. The warmth of our reception took us straight back to our last visit and it was like we had never been away. The staff are so enthusiastic and you can tell that they truly love their work - a fact that absolutely shines through to the children who are completely captivated by the entire session. I had wondered if my two at 8 and 10 were too old for this event. I needn't have worried. The 8 year old in particular was so heavily involved in everything during this event that it was hard to get him home and in the car on the way he declared that he wished he could stay!

Our adventure started off travelling through Magical Woodlands where a variety of magical creatures lived. The models as always were so incredibly detailed you can get lost in each scene imagining the story behind it. You can half imagine that they move every time you turn around and that the stories are played out each night once the doors are closed to the public.

Once through here we were treated to a highly interactive show by two very talented actresses. The children (and adults - lets be honest!) were kept interested by the enthusiastic storytelling and acting as well as their ability to involve the children in the storytelling. It wasn't a case of the children having to sit quietly and watching.  Instead they were highly involved in an exciting story which encouraged audience participation - The Rainbow Factory certainly know their clientele. It certainly helped to keep their attention long enough to allow the majority of adults to sneak away and be treated to a buffet dinner and hot drinks which hopefully gave them a well earned 5 minutes rest!

After the theatre, the children were taken to the Creative Kitchen where playdoh, colouring or sticky Fairytale themed activities were available for everyone to get stuck into. Once all this was completed, it was their turn for food and they were then treated to sandwich platter dinner and drinks which was quickly devoured before home time.

"Thanks Miriam and co for another lovely event xx"

"Thankyou so much for a "magnificent" afternoon (his words!). It was magical! I have one loved up young man right now."

"Thank you. What a magical afternoon xx"

"My 17 month old was also absorbed by it all. I cannot believe he sat so still. It was a lovely, fun day. Thank you"

Website: www.rainbowfactorykids.com


Friday, 13 January 2017

An Enchanting completion to a Magical Year


2016 has certainly been a massive year for Little Hiccups so it is only fitting that our last Hiccups Family event of the year should be our biggest Christmas party yet. We had an huge increase from 50 children to 85 and so many attended this year that the Royal Armouries very kindly moved us into the larger space on the ground floor. And what a delight that turned out to be as the room was gorgeously set up for a glamorous ball. The decorations really made the party feel incredibly special. Lunch was also part of the party package and the usual yummy collection of food was available for everyone to snack on.

This year saw the return of Susie Sparkles as an enchanting fairy and she continued to captivate the crowd with her mesmerising voice and rapport with the children. She was joined this year by Dozy Dave - a fantastic magician and balloon artist. During the couple of hours that the party was on, I witnessed many a child running around the hall with a balloon hat and sword. And it is always a delight to watch the children be wowed by his magic show. I've never seen children sit so still as I do during one of his shows.

Of course, as it was Christmas, we had asked Santa if he could delay his return to the North Pole and pay us a visit at this party. Something he gladly did. Santa managed to meet every child in his fantastic grotto with the timid woodland animals also paying us a visit and surprise them with one last present (and many, MANY thanks to Radio Aire's Cash for Kids for the amazing presents received!) It is safe to say that every child went away happy that day. Many of the adults did as well as we had the bar open. It was still Christmas after all! 

Alongside our volunteer, Heather who ensured that photos of the children with Santa were taken, Dean Sanderson Photography also offered their time and were doing the rounds to make sure that the memories of the day were captured. We'll be doing a family Photoshoot with Dean in March so watch this spot for our review of how that event goes!

"Thank you for another fantastic Christmas party complete with plenty of sparkles & glitter! You never cease to amaze us with everything the Hiccups family achieve in a year despite having your own families to entertain! Your all so selfless & completely amazing. Thank you for putting a smile on Max's face yet again today & for allowing us as a family to share it together in a safe, non judgemental, fun and happy environment Xxxx"

"I just wanted to say a HUGE "thank you" to Little Hiccups for such a great Christmas Party once more at the Royal Armouries today. As you can see Nathan "really enjoyed" seeing Santa, and he enjoyed it more, as one of your staff/volunteers asked Santa to see Nathan outside of his Grotto, has Nathan didn't like the sound of the blower which you could hear from inside the Grotto. So "thank you!" Little Hiccups, you did yourself proud once more!) xxx"

"Well done to all involved.first time for my lot and they had a brilliant time loved the food and great presents. Thank you very much."

"Thanks for a lovely party Little Hiccups and everyone that helped the children have an amazing time, we enjoyed every min, xmas glitter and sparkles to all xxx"

With thanks to: 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Thank you & Merry Christmas!

For the past 12 months, Little Hiccups has been taken under the wing of Strata Homes who have been fundraising for us. We are pleased and proud to announce that through their year-long hard slog of The Major Series, climbing mountains, jumping out if planes and the much nicer Bake Off, Go Karting and Bowling they have managed to raise us a massive

£90,557

Everyone at Little Hiccups is so overwhelmed and grateful for everyone that has raised money for us. This will truly help us to take Little Hiccups to another level. 

Thank you! 


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Adventures



So December brought us back to Sundown Adventureland to kick off Christmas in style. Every year we make an annual trip here and each year is bigger and better than the one before. This year we again had over 100 people attending, many of whom have joined us year on year for this festive trip.

It was a cold but dry day. About as perfect weather-wise you can get for a December trip and all the families that attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves despite the cold. It must be said as well that the organisation and effort put in by Sundown has improved year on year and this year was by far the most efficient yet. All the Hiccups families met up for the Christmas ride around noon and for our annual group photo. The elves on the ride along with the Hiccups Directors helped with the wheelchairs which allowed every child the opportunity to ride the magic ride and to meet the Big Man himself at the end.

Sundown have also continued to expand the park and this year the Wooden Fort was completed after a period of renovation. There was a large castle with swings and seesaws that managed to entertain the children for some time. And I think one of the favourite things about Sundown are the lights that come on when dusk falls. It sets the Christmas atmosphere beautifully and is truly a wonderful start to the Christmas festivities.

"Thank you so much for organising this."

"Thanks Little Hiccups for such a wonderful day at Sundown. We really enjoyed it! Same again next year!"

"Thank you we have had a fantastic day!!"

"Thank you so much. We made lots of memories that will last forever xx"

"What a team! Thanks for looking after us today. X"

"Great day today as always even though I got us lost on the way!! Thanks to the Little Hiccups team for organising hope everyone had fun"

"Had a great day and the Santa ride was just beautiful - Emily did some brilliant looking at all the lights. Thanks little hiccups! Xxx"

"Thank you for a wonderful day!! Lots of fun as always."

"Lovely day at Sundown thanks for organising"



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



A more fun side of fundraising!

Molton Brown is a sensory experience that's actually disguised as a night of fundraising and it's becoming a firm annual fixture on our social calendar. Who, after all, can turn down a night of pampering? It really is VIP treatment - something that you would normally only see on TV. 

The experience of having a shop open exclusively for you just before Christmas and which allows 
you access to wander and sample all the delights of the Molton Brown products is truly wonderful. 

The Molton Brown store team are an excellent bunch who really do look after us. On the night we enjoyed drinks, nibbles and an arm massage. With the ticket price of only £20 we also received a voucher to use in store and a Goody Bag worth £20! It really is excellent value. I can't believe such a fun relaxing evening is actually fundraising. I'm never running 10k again if this is the way forward.


The total amount raised will be available soon! 

Sarah Stewart (Little Hiccups Chairperson)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

I can't stop the feeling so just dance, dance, dance!

Hiccups Directors looking serious
At least once a year we try to book a private showing at The Showcase Cinema for our Little Hiccups families. every year it gets bigger and bigger as word spreads and this year was no exception. We had over 100 people wanting to come and the Showcase were more than happy to oblige!

This November we went back to the Showcase Cinema to see The Trolls which is a feel good story about friendship. With lots of singing as well of course! Which the children loved with many joining in. And why not! This is why these trips are so popular. We book the cinema just for Hiccups families so that everyone can relax and know that it doesn't matter if the child does not want to sit down for 2 hours straight. Or if they do want to join in the songs or yell out. To us - its all part of the experience. We also make it fully accessible. The lights are left on dim, the sound is reduced so its not quite as loud and we had subtitles for the hard of hearing. Audio description can also be used but wasn't needed in this instance. I had two families come up to me after and say this is the first time their child has been to the cinema - and THAT is why we do this. To give every child the opportunity to experience what they are entitled to and to create special memories.

This time, Little Hiccups also purchased snacks for everyone. Children has the Child's pack which included popcorn, a sweet and a drink whereas the adults were also treated to a drink and an adult sized popcorn. And I can confirm that the adults were very well behaved and there were no popcorn fights!

Thank you to the Showcase and we'll be back next year for more!
Queuing for snacks
 "A good time was had by all. Thanks."

"Had a great time thank you! Xx"

"Please pass our thanks to everyone who helped organise this. We had a great time and really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Thanks again."

"Thanks for today. Think Lyall enjoyed his first cinema experience. Xxxx"

"Thank you for this .Was lovely .My son Hamaad and family loved it xxxx"

"Had a fab time thank you xx"

"Thanks for a wonderful morning watching trolls xxx"


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

Little Hiccups is proud to announce that we are now a Registered Charity!



Little Hiccups is proud to announce that we are now a Registered Charity! Our official Charity Number is 1170147. 

We're very pleased with this news as its been a long hard slog to get here. Here's what our gaining this number can mean to you:

1) It gives us authenticity. We know that you know that all our money raised goes straight back into Little Hiccups and in particular the fun events that we hold ever month. But those people that have not yet heard of us might not know. With a Charity Registration we are required to report back to the Charity Commission - so everyone knows where the money goes.

2) We can apply for a lot more grants and different sources of funding. Due to the above reason, we now have access to a lot more funding streams - which means more fun for you guys in the future. Now is your opportunity to tell us what you've always wanted your children to have the opportunity to do and we'll see if we can make it possible! 

3) We are now eligible to register with organisations such as Google for Nonprofits, eBay for Charity and seethedifference.org

4) You lovely people can also help us fundraise. We've had so many kind offers from people who say that their work is willing to fundraise for us and it will be matched by the business to double the amount. BUT they will need a Charity Number....well  - now we have one! 

It truly is a fantastic opportunity for Little Hiccups and is a step towards our big plans for the future. We're really very excited about what 2017 is going to bring for us. And we couldn't do it without all you lovely people supporting us. Thank you!