Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Leeds and Bradford Airport Tour

Leeds and Bradford airport are working really hard to make the airport and the transition through the airport completely accessible. One of the things that they are doing is offering tours through the airport during the quieter season to allow parents and their families an opportunity to scope out the airport. Little Hiccups decided to arrange for a few families who are travelling this year to go on one of these tours.

We met at The Special Assistance area which is in Hall A of the Airport. If going on holiday with an additional needs child (or in fact - with anyone that might have any kind of additional needs!) this is the area that you will need to contact beforehand and the place you will need to start your holiday. The designated special assistance company, OCS, are the team responsible for assistance at the airport and will do their utmost to make your time in the airport as stress free as possible. In cases of Autism for example, where standing and waiting in a line might be stressful, you can use the 'fast track' lane at security.

In our case, after a brief introduction we went to have our photo identification checked and to receive our pass that allowed us to travel through the airport security. Once this was done the tour started.

We discovered a variety of useful information. Security is the hardest part as that is a necessary part of travelling about an airplane and is unfortunately unavoidable. We had to still follow procedures such as the removal of shoes and passing everything through X-ray but again there is a document you can download on the website that will explain the process. It's designed by and aimed towards aiding Autism but there is no reason why you cannot use this with any child. Any pushchairs or wheelchairs at this will point will also have to be scanned.

Once you are through this area however, it's smooth sailing the rest of the way. On the other side of Security you reach Duty Free. We were also shown the disabled toilet in the departure lounge and a Changing Place which featured a height adjustable bed and a hoist (although you will need your own slings) and also a Special Assistance area where you can wait for the plane. It's this area where you can embark on the Ambulift which arrives to to pick up passengers with reduced mobility to help get them into the plane. This was definitely the highlight of the tour as we were treated to an example of how it works and had a trip out to a stationary airplane where the Ambulift raised our seating area up to the door of the plane. It's ideal as it means that anyone with reduced mobility can access the plane without having to use any steps.

Little Hiccups found this tour very helpful and will hopefully be organising this on a regular basis once or twice a year. If you are interested in attending such a tour, please get in touch at events@littlehiccups.co.uk.

Foe any information on the accessibility and how to access Special Assistance you can check out their website at: http://www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk/at-the-airport/special-assistance.






Friday, 10 March 2017

Come bounce with us!

Little Hiccups Visit to an Exclusive Use of
Oxygen Free Jumping
Sunday 19th February 2017



What an event! I've had a number of parents approach me over the last year or so and ask for a Trampolining event. We've never been able to accommodate that for one reason or another until I contacted Oxygen FreeJumping. Not only did they say yes when I asked them, they were positively enthusiastic about the idea! What we were asking was not a small thing either - we knew that it would be a popular event and we wanted the entire place to hire out for just our families so that we could ensure that families would have a fun and relaxing time knowing that it was just us in there. This didn't seem to phase them at all and we agreed a slot in the middle of the afternoon one Sunday in February. It turned out to be just as popular as we expected and tickets sold out very quickly. Before we knew it we had 120 people attending and a definite fun afternoon planned for some very excited families.

It was as fantastic as we had hoped. It was a nice relaxed session with lots of exploration and laughter (and certain parents getting trapped in the Air Bag which completely made my day and will certainly be a story to tell in the years to come!) There was so much to do from gentle bouncing to games to the now infamous airbag and also a mini Ninja Warrior type assault course for friends (and our Trustees too it seems) to challenge each other to a friendly race.

There was obviously the crossover between sessions before and after ours where it was busy but Oxygen FreeJumping were aware that we had a number of children attending with sensory issues so our session had no music or flashing lights. Not only that, but they also made sure that the music was not blaring out for the following session while we were in the cafe upstairs enjoying our pizzas.


The staff were also fantastic. They were firm but fair about the rules of the place and it felt very safe throughout. They were friendly and fun and also incredibly helpful about any questions we had. Nothing was too much for them. It is definitely a place we'll be visiting again.

"Great afternoon. Thank you guys xxx"

"Thank you for a brilliant day trampolining x"

"Thank you for a fabulous afternoon xx"

"Tired kids!! Thanks again Little Hiccups they had a great time!!"

"Thank you Little Hiccups great event again."

"Thank you so much for today never laughed so much. Xx"

"Thanks once again little hiccups another fantastic event xxxx"

"Thank you Little Hiccups fantastic afternoon, Kody loved it. Huge thank you to the staff at Oxygen who were amazing today xx"









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)