The Fed thanks the Big Birthday Appeal for fourth Project Smile holiday

Posted on : November 17, 2011 at - 2:53 pm by The Big Birthday Appeal

The Big Birthday Appeal has donated £15,000 to The Fed to fund an unforgettable holiday for Jewish children with special needs that took place in Llandudno last month. This was the fourth consecutive “Project Smile” annual holiday that we have funded and was deemed to be the best yet, generating amazing feedback from all involved.

The 18 local Jewish children – aged three to 17 years old – have a range of special needs. For many of them, new experiences and exposure to new situations, places and people are very difficult. During the trip, staff – including each individual carer – gave the children the opportunity and support to encounter potentially daunting situations in a safe and caring environment.

The four-day holiday involved a series of fun activities including a trip to Chester Zoo, snow tubing at The Great Orme, visiting Underwater Street, bowling and crafts. For one child, the holiday gave him his first ever walk along a beach.  For another child, aged 17, the break was only his fourth holiday in his entire life – the other three all being previous trips to Llandudno with The Fed.

During Big Birthday’s cheque presentation at The Fed’s newly opened children’s centre, Mark Adlestone, chairman of The Fed, commented: “My wife Gabrielle and I wanted to travel to Llandudno to see the holiday for ourselves. Having witnessed it firsthand, I know this trip is an incredibly powerful project. The kids, whose needs are so extreme, get to try things that are normally inaccessible to them. For their parents, the break provides three days out of 365 where they can have some time off from one to one care.”

“Without the Big Birthday Appeal, the funding for this hugely important project simply wouldn’t be there.  I would like to thank the entire Big Birthday team for having the dedication to raise the money to make this possible for the fourth year running.”

Grateful mum Amanda Barnes said: “The Project Smile holiday activities were amazing and my son enjoyed every one of them. He also said the cook was fantastic! It was great to spend time with my daughter while my son was away.”

The children not only returned home with huge smiles and wonderful memories but forged lasting friendships with other children on the trip.

Suzy Glaskie, Big Birthday Appeal co-founder, visited the children in Wales with her sons Max, 13, and Louis, 10. She was joined by fellow Big Birthday mum Michelle Deacon and her children – Danny, 11, Tali, 10 and five-year-old Evie – together with their friend  Ella Spieler, aged 10.

Suzy said: “We were just blown away by the incredible devotion that The Fed’s extraordinary team of carers and volunteers extended to each and every child. They were treated like superstars and were clearly thriving on all the attention.

“The Big Birthday team is both proud and humbled to have been a part of such a wonderful project, which continues to have lasting effects on the children’s lives.”

The Big Birthday team is looking to recruit local Mums to join them in their bid to educate children about charity-giving and continue to raise money for The Fed.  Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

The Big Birthday annual Llandudno holiday is one of several services offered by The Fed for children with special needs or in need, and their families. Further services include social work assessment and support, Project Smile home-based respite care as well as Stay & Play sessions and play-schemes held at The Fed’s purpose-built Children’s Centre at Heathlands Village.  For more information about these services call 0161 772 4800 or go online to www.thefed.org.uk.

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