Thursday, 29 October 2009

Speaking Up for Family Fun!

What a fantastic way to start the week, and shake off those Monday blues. Our Family Fusion Fun Day was great fun for the families who came along... and for all the staff who volunteered to help out for the day!

Pictured: getting creative and making a personalised t-shirt at the Family Fusion Fun Day

By lunch time the event was packed with happy families, who had come to enjoy the free day of family fun here in Cambridge. It was a fun, energetic and creative environment in which families could work together in all of the activities - between making t-shirts, creating dream photo shoots (where the children, and some parents, were transformed into astronauts, pirates, and footballers!) and chilling in the sensory zone, there really was something for everyone to enjoy.

Pictured: one young pirate about to get his dream photoshoot!
Take a look at our photo gallery to see more of what we all got up to... is it wrong to want to hold another fun day straight away?! The artwork and dream photographs from the day will be on display in a local art gallery in the near future - we'll let you know when we've confirmed the final details!

Pictured: the Sensory Zone was a great place to go and relax

Although the day was mostly geared to get everybody having a great time as a family, we also wanted to understand what barriers families with disabled children face, and what their wishes for the future are. Our brand new Next Steps Family Fusion project will be user-led and tailored to the needs of each family, and we got some really useful information from the families which we can use to shape the project and make sure that it will be a fantastic service for all the families who access it. Family Fusion will combine life skills workshops and family mentoring aimed at improving family dynamics, developing confidence - and will give 10 to 16 year olds with learning difficulties a chance to have some fun with their families!
Pictured: Next Steps staff member Ellie collecting up the dream balloons...

Pictured: The big dream balloon release!

At the end of the day, we all wrote our dreams on a slip of paper and tied it to a balloon, before going outside to release them into the (somewhat gloomy!) sky. Some of the dreams were really poignant, and it was lovely to hear such wonderful dreams and aspirations.

Pictured: two of the dream cards written by the children at the Fun Day

We're really excited to be launching such a great new project - Family Fusion will kick off in January and is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund for 3 years. If you missed out on the Family Fusion Fun Day but would like to find out more about the project or how to get involved, please contact Project Co-ordinator Estelle on or give her a call on 01223555841.

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