Friday, 24 March 2017
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:
"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"
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For 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.
"This will be a great benefit when we fly on the 6th of this month as he is fully aware of what will be happening and that everything is perfectly safe and quiet."
Friday, 10 March 2017
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"