VICTA’s second family weekend of 2016 saw us return to family favourite, PGL Liddington. The sun was shining as we unloaded the van, and hopes were high for a beautifully sunny weekend. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and the weather man was correct. However, no matter how much the rain poured, it couldn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
We had 40 families in attendance, many of whom had been to Liddington with VICTA before, so they enjoyed catching up with old friends in a familiar setting. For our new families, it was a chance for them to meet people and discover everything that VICTA has to offer.
The children got stuck in with the outdoor activities first thing on Friday morning and didn’t seem to stop until they had to leave on Sunday! A firm favourite seemed to be quad biking, with zip wire following closely behind. It never ceases to amaze us how brave these children are – often beating volunteers at how high they’re willing to go on the giant swing.
For the parents, Friday was full of helpful seminars, including EHCPs, PIPs and Parents Helping Parents. We were very thankful to all our specialists who came from a number of organisations to provide support and information to our parents. The afternoon offered parents an opportunity to learn massage techniques from a fully qualified RNC Sports Massage graduate, and also to hear inspiring life stories from some of VICTA’s 18+ participants.
On Saturday morning, it was the parents’ chance to get involved with all that PGL has to offer, as they joined in the activities with other parents. Saturday afternoon was a first for VICTA family weekends – we tried out family activities! It was a great chance for parents to have fun with their children, and see just how daring they could be.
The much anticipated circus themed party night on Saturday evening was a great success, with many people participating in the fancy dress competition. The costumes and decorations were so bright and colourful, it truly felt like the circus had arrived in Swindon!
As everyone started heading home after lunch on Sunday, the main question on everyone’s lips seemed to be, ‘When can we do it all over again?!’
A special thank you, as always, has to be given to our volunteers. They worked tirelessly throughout the rain supporting the children, encouraging them and generally being fantastic. We couldn’t do it without them.
By Felicity Poulton