The first Family Weekend of 2018 was held at a new location for VICTA, the picturesque surroundings of Manor Adventure’s Norfolk Lakes centre. We were bathed in glorious sunshine all weekend and the opportunities to dive (or fall!) into the lakes during activities were taken with glee.

As well as a new venue, we had several new families join us to experience a VICTA Family Weekend for the first time. It was brilliant to see people catching up with old friends as well as meeting new ones.

Having settled in on Friday night, parents sent their children off with the VICTA volunteers to do their activities on Saturday morning before heading to the Sports Hall for an extended seminar on EHCPs from VICTA’s newest Trustee, Gurvinder Kaur. After lunch, we were fortunate enough to welcome Eddy Eyad who shared his experiences as a young person growing up and living with sight loss. Eddy has previously spoken at different VICTA Family Weekends, however with many new faces present at the event this was a highly engaging session and reassured parents about their children’s future. With the sunshine seemingly set to stay, the parents then enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sunbathing or exploring the grounds and the children completed their activities for the day.

The children meanwhile were kept busy all weekend with raft building, rope courses, giant SUPs and many more outdoor activities. The water sports were a particular hit all weekend and a much needed dip (sometimes not always intentional!) was taken at every opportunity. Thanks to our fabulous volunteers, parents were at ease to leave their children in their capable hands. This really helped the children to make friends and grow in confidence and independence – and gave the parents a break too!

On Sunday parents also had the opportunity to get into their own groups and enjoy the activities on offer. By the sound of the stories that were shared in the evening, many fears were conquered and new experiences were tried by both young and old.

Our ‘Safari’ themed party night complemented the safari-esque weather, and we were amazed at the creativity displayed in everyone’s costumes. Congratulations to all winners, the judges had some tough decisions to make on the night! After the quiz and parade everyone hit the dance floor for some disco classics.

In what seemed a blink of an eye, it was Monday lunch time and time to go home. Thank you to all of the families who attended and made the weekend what it was, as well as our fabulous speakers, and as always our brilliant VICTA volunteers!

Written by: Luke Wakefield
Lead Activities Coordinator