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! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

No mountain is too high for Little Hiccups

In October we went to tackle the ramps and hills of The Works Skatepark. In a private session of 20 children, Little Hiccups families were allowed to trial out stunt scooters, BMX's and skateboards. Or of course, if none of those took their fancy they could explore the smooth, wooden surfaces at their own rate and use the ramps as slides if they chose.

It was a massive success, with children enjoying it in the way that they found best. I saw children getting braver and braver as the session went on and the ones in wheelchairs taking on the ramps by themselves. It was truly a #NoLimits session and again our children showed us that they are fearless and ready to take on new challenges.

The staff at The Works were also fantastic - they were on hand at all times to guide and teach if needed. They have emailed since to say that they too enjoyed the session and have invited us back. I think we'll definitely be going!

The Works is also a Charity and works closely with schools, youth groups and extended services where our aim is to help get children back into exercise whilst having fun through learning or improving with different non-traditional sports.

Meanwhile, while the children were exploring downstairs, upstairs in the cafe area Little Hiccups held a Bake Sale to help raise funds for Cash for Kids and are proud to announce that we raised a very worthwhile £149.30. Plus of course, as an added bonus, we got to eat a lot of yummy cakes!

Cash for Kids is an extremely worthwhile Charity which responds to the needs of children in our communities so they can live life to the full and realise their individual potential. Currently they are raising funds and advertising for Christmas Presents for Mission Christmas. They are asking people to buy an extra present that they can give to a disadvantaged local child to make their Christmas morning special.

As well as cake, Little Hiccups made sure that refreshments were also provided via the cafe. Many thanks to the staff there as well for making sure we were all fed and watered!

Leeds Law Firm Ison Harrison Supports Charity Ball

Our upcoming charity ball on Saturday 19th November is just around the corner and we’re really pleased to announce that our friends over at Ison Harrison Solicitors will be showing their full support for the event this year.

Ison Harrison is a well-established law firm with a head office in Leeds city centre and a further 9 offices in the local surrounding areas. The firm specialises in complex clinical negligence cases as well as offering a full service across family law, conveyancing and wills and probate.
With over 230 people expected to descend on the Leeds Marriot hotel this Saturday, Ison Harrison has booked 4 tables for the event and will be proudly taking part in what promises to be a great evening for a fantastic cause.

Supporting the event, Ison Harrison are attending alongside members of a leading Erb’s Palsy Group who offer treatment advice to families who have suffered birth traumas.

Ison Harrison has offered up some fantastic raffle prizes for the evening, including two X Factor tickets and a free mirror will provided by the firm’s expert wills and probate team.
Managing Partner at Ison Harrison, Jonathan Wearing, commented:

“We’re proud to be supporting the Little Hiccups charity ball this year and feel it is important to be able to create strong ties with such organizations and advice groups in the local area. Special needs and disabilities are still under-recognised in the UK and by working with local initiatives, we hope to change this.”

For more information, please visit www.isonharrison.co.uk

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Day We Flew

We did it! We really flew! And what an experience it was. Our dreams of flight became a reality and for those with mobility issues the opportunity to free the limbs and fly must have been truly amazing.

The instructors were fantastic. They were patient, clear and adapted to every child and parent that came through. And with 70 or so people attending, all with different needs and abilities, they certainly had their hands full that day! Some children didn't settle so well to begin with - the experience, after all, is a completely new one but the instructors were never phased. If two instructors were needed it was no problem. Or if a child needed a break they were given it. The patience and experience of the instructors really did shine through. It wasn't for everyone but the majority really loved it with a number booking their return visit on the same day. Most children and adults also have the High Fly a go - where they were taken up to the top of the tunnel by the instructors. And the faces of those that came out after certainly showed what fun that was!

It was clear from the feedback of our volunteer photographers that day just how much fun everyone was having. When asked if they wanted a break it was often declined with the comment that just watching these kids fly and seeing the expression on their faces was truly making their day. You can't ask for more than that!

We also provided a rolling buffet courtesy of in house cafe Salvi's Bar to feed the hungry flyers. We were given warm pasta and pizza and a variety of cold sandwiches to suit all tastes. And the food certainly went down a treat. A fact determined by how quickly it disappeared from the table.

It was truly magical experience and we'll certainly be back as soon as we can! Next stop...second star on the right and straight on till morning.

"Brilliant day, thank you! Absolutely brilliant, hope you manage to book again!!"
"OMG We can not thank you enough for this wonderful experience of fly such a fab day n so wonderful seeing everyone being able to experience it well done n thank you Little Hiccups"
"Thanks Little Hiccups, we had an ace time"

"AWESOME SKYDIVING! I am so proud of all of our Little Hiccups and especially my own little hero! They are truly inspiring. You all rocked it today#NoLimits xx"
"Had a fab time today at Airkix and it was amazing to do this kind of an event as a family and something we could all participate in. Thanks to Little Hiccups for yet another inclusive activity...you've put a big smile on Max's face yet again!"
"The kids haven't stopped talking about. It was brilliant - thank you so much for organising."
"Loved it ....so great for Freya to be flying free amazing experience for a wheelchair bound person am sure she felt fantastic she was all smiley afterwards I'm sure we'll be going again!!!thank you!!! Ps I loved it too something I'd not thought of trying but brilliant."

Website: www.airkix.com/plan/manchester.aspx

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Raising Funds at Swithens Farm!

Little Hiccups threw a Fundraising Summer Fair on Saturday August 6th at Swithens Farm in Rothwell. The sun deemed us worthy enough to visit us on that day and we couldn't have asked for better weather to be honest. The fair had free entry and Tractor Ted visited and providing an activity trail, bouncy animals, giant jigsaw and interactive storytelling. Not only that but there were bouncy castles, tractor rides, refreshments, a Fun Family dog show by Walkabout Hounds Ltd and over 20 stalls for people to peruse. I think a particular favourite amongst the children (certainly mine) was the Sand Art stall but the range of items on sale ranged from beauty goods to delicious cakes.

A fire truck was also popular with a stall next to it with children having to throw wet sponges at people hiding in the windows of a 'burning house'. Little Hiccups, of course, also had its own stall and we welcomed a few new families and raised awareness of who we are and what we do. And of course - who could forget the quad bikes that took children on rides around the field!

For Hiccups families (and some new ones!) the Sensory Fun Bus also visited us. The Sensory Fun Bus has been created to overcome barriers that prevent people from accessing a sensory room environment. From babies, individuals with sensory processing disorders or people who just enjoy a sensory room experience. They boast a great variety of features within The Sensory Fun Bus, which unlike many sensory rooms, can be adapted and customised depending upon your needs. We had a lot of very positive feedback from those that visited the bus and the activities that were held outside the bus such as the ball pool and foam were a massive hit also amongst all the children.

We had a lovely day and certainly hope to do it again!

Website: www.swithensfarm.co.uk / www.tractorted.co.uk / www.sensoryfunbus.co.uk

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

It's our 7th Birthday!

It's Little Hiccups 7th Birthday! Hard to believe that we have been going for 7 whole years and have come so far in so short a time. 7 years ago we used to turn up with a bag of toys and a jar of coffee - now we are celebrating in the glamorous settings of The Royal Armouries and hiring the fantastic Mimika to come and help us celebrate. 

Mimika is a two person Company formed in 1981. They believe that children deserve the best so their primary aim is to create beautifully crafted theatre that can effectively communicate with a wide variety of young audiences.Over 30 years the style, content and techniques have changed but there are two constants:-

  • The work is always non-verbal
  • The work is always accessible

They exploit the power of the visual image to both communicate with and move their audiences. The work is always gentle and highly original. Performances integrate movement, puppetry and unusual theatrical effects. They attempt to combine traditional and contemporary techniques to create an experience that is rich in content and detail. 

We organised three different showings throughout the day and as always at the Royal Armouries they put on a fantastic food spread including sandwiches and warm food such as sausages, fish nuggets and wedges and of course it is a birthday so we had a lovely birthday cake to enjoy! 

"Happy birthday Little Hiccups the kids and adults all had a wonderful day celebrating xxxx"

"Thanks for another lovely day. Thank you for letting us celebrate your birthday with you. The puppet show was awesome. It even managed to chill a very non chilled child for the rest of the day. So a very big thank you from me."

"We also had a good time watching a theatre group who used puppets to tell a story, at a birthday party for Little Hiccups. Nathan enjoyed the BIG orange fishes, and mummy enjoyed the food lol! 
No seriously though, we had a really good time, and the production was "so creative," in that the 2 puppeteers had made their own puppets, and set's and everything. They were really, really good! A worthwhile afternoon!
Happy Birthday Little Hiccups."