Families from Alafia and Christ the King travelled either on the coach or independently to join us for a delightful and relaxed day out at Camp Mohawk on 16th August.
The camp staff made everyone most welcome and all the facilities both indoors and outside were embraced by both the children and their families.
I saw parents getting in the pool to swim with their children, families making music together, picnics being enjoyed, and such a lot of joyful laughter could be heard throughout the day.
We would like to thank Local Giving's Magic Little Grants for partly funding this outing.
Some parents said a few thankyous:
"Easy to use coach, My kids love swimming and pool was so good not too deep warm water,enjoys a lot. "
"All place is safe environment so good . All in door and out door activities.
Everything is on one place. Best day visit it was. Thanks to Alafia.
Would love to go again and again...."
"F and I had a wonderful day, the staff and facilities were excellent. It made a fantastic day out, where no one was judging, and felt very relaxing.
Thank you so much to you and your team for organising."
We were so lucky to have such fantastic weather for a day on the family beach at Caversham Lakes on 10th August.
Families from The Weller Centre, RRSG, Alana House, Alafia and Homestart joined in the fun.
Even the most faint-hearted enjoyed getting into the water for a cool down in the scorching temperatures. Everyone was well looked after by the lake staff who ensured everyone kept safe wearing life jackets and under the watchful eye of the water safety team.
The catered lunch of a hot dog (vegan option available), a cool drink and an ice-cream was most welcomed by all.
Lots of families are planning to make a return trip to this local amenity.
On 3rd August Families from Alana House and RRSG joined the coach trip to Bucklebury Farm.
Everyone enjoyed seeing the animals, taking part in the feeding and learning about their care. The trip on the tractor to feed the deer was especially impressive.
Great fun was had on the play equipment and the freedom to run around in a big space was a big hit with the children and gave their parents a chance to sit back and relax in the countryside. And Vivienne and Wendy from the RFA committee and Kushinga from RRSG enjoyed their day too!
On 21 st July a coach left Reading Station for Bournemouth with families from Homestart and The Weller Centre on board.
Everyone was so excited to see the sea and spend a day on the beach. New friends were made, new experiences enjoyed and happy memories made to be treasured.
Some of the families wrote some thankyou's:
“The trip to Bournemouth was amazing. I had the chance to make memories with my children I wouldn’t have been able to make myself, my children loved it. My one year old ran and face planted the beach (with excitement). My two year old said it was the biggest sand pit he’s ever seen and didn’t want to go home. It was such a good quality time together and I’m so very grateful.”
“A big thank you from my family to you. Thank you for giving us a wonderful time. The trip to the beach was so exciting for me and my kids. They had a wonderful time. It is the first time I have had such a relaxing experience. I really appreciate you for looking after us.”
“Thank you so much. P slept well after the trip but was still very tired the next day. He had such a lovely time, thank you.”
On Thursday 14th July, Reading Family Aid held its AGM.
Sravanthi, Chair, thanked all our sponsors, supporters and committee members for another very successful year despite the difficulties caused by the covid pandemic. She covered how excited we were to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service at a ceremony last October as well as being able to attend the Queen's Garden Party in May.
Last summer we were able to provide a number of local outings which were thoroughly enjoyed by a large number of families with children of all ages. We also provided pantomime tickets and a trip to Odds Farm at Easter this year. We have also introduced an on-line booking system for these outings and tightened up our procedures with a Memorandum of Understanding that the participating organisations have to agree to.
Sravanthi went to report on another successful Toys and Teens Appeal where, despite covid, with a mixture of purchased and donated toys, we managed to provide gifts to a record breaking 2558 children in the Reading area. We did all this with minimal help from non-committee volunteers.
Our Treasurer, Sue, reported that we had another excellent year of fundraising with an income of over £31,000, thanks in a large part to our Toy Project appeal which raised over £30,000. We spent almost £38,000, mainly on toys and outings. We finished the year with a balance of over £25,000. This will fund our outings for the next financial year.
The Officers and existing committee members were all re-elected for another year.
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