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."

Friday, 24 June 2016

Little Hiccups June Event - LazerZone at Kirkstall!

So after being alerted to the fact that the LazerZone in Kirkstall, Leeds is fully accessible to wheelchairs we decided to book a party there to let our families join in the fun.

After going down for a preliminary visit we hired out two games for just Hiccups families and made a few more touches so that it was accessible to all of our children. We had no music in the game, the emergency lights were left on dim so it was not as dark and there was less smoke in the arena. The sound was also reduced in the briefing room and the lights left on in there. 

In all, on the day we had 33 players which consisted of children, parents and carers. But there were others involved that were not playing - parents went in to support their children and we had a couple of children that didn't play but wanted to appreciate the flashing light show that was available from the passing players!

And of course for after the games, we opted for the Party option - we couldn't leave people hungry. Pizza was available for everyone including those that had only come to supervise plus an open tab for teas and coffees for the hard-working parents who had earned a decent cuppa for following their child around in the arena.

There was lots of positive feedback after the event with lots of families saying they have never done this before with their child or that their child had never had the opportunity to play with other children in a LazerZone. It's sometimes takes me booking something like this that my children would consider a 'normal' activity to remind me that not everything is always accessible for various reasons. We had a few children who had sensory issues at this event and because it was so laid back they just took it in their stride. Parents were approaching me after to say they and their children had loved the session. And that is why we do what we do! Sometimes we try the extreme and sometimes it's just a case of bringing the everyday to our families but putting it in an environment where there is no pressure. 

And I have to add the staff were brilliant. They were so attentive to our needs. They took everything in their stride (including the order for 45 pizzas!) and kept asking if there was anything else they could do to help. I truly recommend this LazerZone if you are thinking of going!

"'Do you know, lazer zone is my favourite game?" from my boy who was adamant it was going to be too scary. Thankyou so much for today xxx"

"Fab time at lazer zone, thank you"

"We had a fantastic time, thank you so much"

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Little Hiccups May Event: Purple Party!

Little Hiccups visited the Blacksmith Arms pub in Grangemoor for a lovely party in May. For this event, we decided that it was time we gave something back to other charities so we went PURPLE to raise funds for Epilepsy. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain in which there is a tendency to have recurring seizures. There are over 40 different types of epilepsy, and it can affect anyone, at any age, from any walk of life.

An epileptic seizure results from a sudden electrical discharge in the brain that causes changes in sensation, behaviour or consciousness.

Seizures can take many forms because the brain is responsible for such a wide range of functions. Seizure symptoms depend on where in the brain this abnormal burst of electrical activity happens. As a result, there are many different types of seizures - most usually last from a few seconds to a few minutes and usually stop without any treatment.
It's a sad fact that:
  • In the UK 1,150 people died of epilepsy related causes in 2009. In England and Wales 10% or
  • 11% of those deaths are young adults or children under the age of 25.
Epilepsy is a condition that affects a lot of our young children in Little Hiccups so it is one that we felt would be particularly relevant. Little Hiccups will be donating the ticket sales to Epilepsy Youth and we are proud to announce that we raised a fabulous £101.94! Thank you everyone that attended. 

We also had CYP-Arts down to entertain the children - a job that they managed to do beautifully with their crafts and very helpful staff who obviously took delight in their work. The children made butterflies, jellyfish and sun catchers - all with a purple theme for our Purple party. The kids all enjoyed themselves and by the end of the session there were butterflies and jellyfish fluttering around the room!

Blacksmith Arms pub excelled themselves in their hospitality as well and the food that was laid out was fantastic. There were wraps, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chips, marshmallows, ice-lollies. It was endless and truly delicious. I came away stuffed and very content. I recommend a visit if you are ever in the area!

Not only did we raise money for Epilepsy Youth on the day but we also held a raffle to raise money for Cash 4 Kids which raised a fantastic £42. Cash 4 Kids have always supported Little Hiccups in a many number of ways including providing our Christmas presents for the Christmas parties and purchasing one of our Kangoos for which we are eternally grateful. 

"Thank you so much for yesterday's fun times. THE PURPLE PARTY was awesome 👏👏👏👏👏"

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Little Hiccups April Event: Sensory Leeds

At Little Hiccups we love Sensory Leeds so much that we try to include it in our Family Fun Days at least once a year. We are always guaranteed a warm welcome and a fantastic time. Sensory Leeds believes that people with disabilities deserve more than just the essentials. That is why they are committed to providing the highest quality sensory experiences for their service users, unlike anything they can engage with at home, embracing the principles of learning and development through unstructured fun. They are a vibrant, safe and welcoming space for people with disabilities and those on the autistic spectrum.

Sensory Leeds have also had a renovation recently and now have a Rebound Therapy room which proved very popular with all the children and some of the adults! The main room is a sensory delight with a ball pool, hanging chairs, water bed and colourful lights and there was also a relaxing room for those that needed a break.

April's event was the culmination of our sensory music activities in our Stay n' Play sessions but was open to all. This year we had two sessions running from 11-1 and 2-4 with a tasty buffet laid out for all our visitors. Sol and Sarah were providing musical entertainment and the drums were particularly popular with the children and kept them all captivated.

It was a relaxed sessions where the children could play in the ball pool, grab a snack, have a bounce on the trampoline, chill with the lights or join in with the music. The parents had a chance to relax and meet each other and we welcomed a few new families.

"Thank you all at Little Hiccups for another wonderful event this was my 1st time at sensory Leeds Little Lady Ellie loved it & it was just made even better by The Music session.... She was well and truly exhausted & passed out on trip home. I will definitely use again a lot of my kiddies could benefit from it xxx"

Website: http://sensoryleeds.com/

Monday, 25 April 2016

Fundraising Football Tournament at Harrogate Town Football Ground

Due to the success of last year's event, Harrogate Football Ground and Stata contacted us to hold another this year to raise funds for Little Hiccups. This year's event is being run in conjunction with Football Mundial.

8 Corporate teams were invited to enter a team of 7 to play a 10 minute match against 4 professional teams from Leeds United, Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday and last year's winners Doncaster Rovers and Trophy guest presenter on the day was Dennis Wise! Winners on the day were Sheffield Wednesday and a STAGGERING £5,890 was raised for Little Hiccups - we simply cannot thank everyone enough!

Little Hiccups families were also invited for a day of fun to watch the football and to join in our festivities. We asked Dozy Dave to come and entertain the children and entertain them he did! I've never seen such a captivated audience of children and parents. I even caught myself getting completely enthralled in a story that he was telling. Dozy Dave impressed us all with his skills as a magician, storyteller, by providing entertaining games and balloon shapes. He truly did a fantastic job. And I think he was only a little bit thrown when he asked my son (had to be mine!) if he knew any magic words and he replied "The tree fell down". Not to worry though - the other kids knew "Abracadabra"!

Not only did we have football and a magician but there was also a fantastic facepainter on the day as you can see from the photos. We had an army of superheroes and strange and wonderful creatures and fairies running around.

It truly was a fun day for all that came and the goodwill who were there to help raise funds for us of all the footballers was evident. You couldn't ask to meet  nicer people!

"Thanks very much guys. We really enjoyed the day, a very well organised event... thanks very much everyone who helped put it together."

"We had a fantastic day thank you xxx"

"Fantastic, we had a lovely day and Dozy Dave was brilliant. Thank you Strata"

Website: http://www.harrogatetownafc.com/