On the hottest day of the year 4 coaches left Reading to head for Paultons Park. The coaches were blissfully air conditioned, so we travelled in comfort to Hampshire. As we arrived at the Park a great cheer went up on the coach and the excitement mounted.
We distributed tickets to all the adults and children over 1m and they headed into the park. We spotted lots of children revelling in the splash pool, met others in Peppa Pig World. And in the theatre. There was great fun to be had on all the rides and the mature trees in the beautiful garden gave welcome shade for picnics and a rest.
Everyone came home tired, but happy after a great day out!
Here is what our partner agencies and the families had to say about the day...
“The families have said they really enjoyed themselves so thank you very much to Reading Family Aid for allowing them to have this experience which they may not of had if it wasn’t for yourselves “
“I would like to thank Reading Family Aid for including Redlands families on this trip. They all had a lovely time and were grateful for the opportunity. They said they had fun and the parents all said Thank you. It gave them an opportunity that they would not usually have and started off the holiday with a bang! “
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! Such a brill day and we couldn’t have had it without you. We are ever so grateful! Thank you again.” – JD
“It was amazing! The kids absolutely loved it! We had the best day out and a huge thank you from us all.” - FS
“Thank you so much for the trip and allowing us to have tickets for this. all our families really enjoyed it the children stated “ it was great we had so much fun” “ this is the best day ever “
About 60 families (220 people in total) set out early on a bright and sunny morning in late July to catch the coaches from various pick-up points around Reading. Ruth and Sallie had gone on ahead to arrange tickets and wristbands, which were distributed as the coaches arrived. The families excitedly made their way to the entrance and began their day full of entertainment and fun.
There was a fantastic swimming pool with flumes, slides and a wave pool; a fairground with merry-go-round, flying swings and other thrilling rides; acrobats and clowns in the circus; play areas, and a long list of other activities like archery, football, go-kart racing and a climbing wall.
At the heart of the park in the main centre a series of entertaining (and noisy!) shows, and places to sit and relax and get something to eat and drink.
Some of the committee decided to leave the frenetic pace of Butlins and went for a walk along the endless promenade, sitting by the sea eating the most delicious, enormous ice-creams - ahh, bliss!
At 5.30 the weary but happy families made their way back to the coaches for a snooze on the way back to Reading, where they thanked us for a lovely time.
Each year we arrange for a group of families to visit Camp Mohawk - an amazing multi-functional day centre for children with special needs.
This year we kept a watchful eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to our annual trip, but the threatened rain didn’t fall, much to the delight of the Camp Mohawk staff, RFA committee and the families who were coming to enjoy a day in the country.
In all, ninety one people, mums, dads and children arrived, signed up for swimming in the heated pool, ran around in the woods and played in the Sensory Garden and the playground, which even has a swing which will take a wheelchair.
The favourites in the Petting Farm were the baby goats and the ducklings, though learning to groom the pony came a close second, with the chicks, rabbits, sheep and cow providing an opportunity to get close up to all the animals.
Cathy and Mike demonstrated the art of plate spinning, the Hula Hoop was popular as were the giant bubbles and a variety of things to bounce on and fall off.
Many people went home carefully balancing the pots that they had made with Susan on her Potter’s Wheel, ready to dry at home and paint.
Camp Mohawk gives everyone the freedom to relax, run and play in the safety of the site where they can’t get lost, well only a little bit, and even that doesn’t matter because the site is secure and the ‘lost’ are soon found.
As always the staff are fantastic, so a big thank you to everyone who made it such a happy day!
Our annual trip to Camp Mohawk wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of the people of Reading. Special thanks go to McKay Securities who have very generously supported us for several years, Rotary Club of Loddon Vale whose significant donation also went towards the hire of Camp Mohawk this year, and Woodley and Earley Lions whose generous donation paid for the petting zoo this year.
If you would like to make a donation towards next year's trip to Camp Mohawk or one of our other Summer outings this year - more information to follow soon - then please visit our Localgiving page.
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