New for 2017 we have created an exciting social activity programme for the children and young people at Croydon vision. This monthly group gives the children and their families the chance to take part in a wide range of new and exciting activities, free of charge.
We aim to create an inclusive environment, which supports both the children and families that are part of our group
Sunday 4th February 2018 – KidZania, Westfield London
We waited with great trepidation, what was in store for us inside Kidzania. With growing anticipation we ascended the three floors, some more swiftly than others, and we were greeted at the top. After ensuring that parents had to have a responsible child with them to leave, and all the children had some kidzos (money), we were finally there!
As you enter it feels like you are in a city, no matter how grey and cold the day the sky is always blue inside Kidzania, with cobbled streets and Victorian Street lights.
We split up to enjoy some of the many activities on offer. Some of them require you to pay Kidzos others paying you. Amongst the ‘jobs’ that were tried were; firefighting, baby care, serving and buying in a shop, pit crew for an F1 race car, Window Cleaning, Parcel Delivery, Operating on a dog and many more.
When you have earnt enough Kidzos you can even open you own bank account, get a card and so paperless. Such an exciting thing and so much easier than carrying around lots of cash.
Just a note to the unwitting parent watch out for the Kidz – it’s their city and no matter how much you beg you can’t have a go!
Saturday 20th January 2018 – Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood Pantomime in St Georges Hall
Join us for a fun filled pantomime that will deliver everything you expect from a gallant hero, a fiesty damsel and a villanous baddie to boo off stage! With music, dancing and laughter form start to finish Robin Hood and the Babe sin the Woods is a fun-filled outing for the whole family.
Saturday 13th January – Chocolate Workshop
We started the 2018 Croydon Children’s project with a trip to Epsom to make our own chocolates with Sara from Indulge.
We started by feeling and smelling all of the different toppings we could use for the toppings we going to use for our chocolate truffles. The toppings included white chocolate sprinkles, orange flakes so we could choose which ones we wanted for our chocolates. Once we had done this our chocolate truffles were put in the fridge to chill.
We then had the opportunity to make our own Chocolate Lollies; we had the choice of milk and white chocolate and the very popular pink white chocolate. We were shown how to use a piping bag and piped out chocolate onto our paper. We had the opportunity to decorate our lollies with different toppings including mini eggs, jelly beans and fudge, all very tasty.
Whilst our chocolate treats were setting Sara gave us all a fruit skewers drizzled in chocolate – very tasty indeed!
Sara put our chocolates and chocolate lollies in beautiful gift wrap so we could take them away with us. I am not sure how long the chocolates will last but it was great fun and a delicious way to start the New Year.
Saturday 9th December – Christmas Party, at Bedford Hall
Our final event for 2017 was our Christmas party for all the children that have come onto the project, we turned Bedford Hall into a Christmas wonderland, Lizzie had made some fantastic decorations including some lovely Christmas trees, a sleigh and she helped us transform the hall into having an area where we could have a Santa’s grotto, and it was a very special time for all of us as we have now completed our first year of the children’s project.
There was plenty for the children to do some made Christmas cards whilst others decorated gingerbread people. We were very fortunate to have a visit form Jase the Ace magician, Jason is visually impaired himself and presented a wonderful magic show which was very interactive for all of the children to engage with. There was lots of laughter and some amazing tricks and we were very grateful to Jason for producing such a magical show.
Shortly after Jason had finished we heard the jingle of Father Christmas and his little elf coming into Bedford Hall, with lots of presents for the children. Each child had the opportunity to go and meet Father Christmas and talk about what they wanted on Christmas day, everyone was happy as there was plenty to eat and drink. We finished the party with two exciting rounds of pass the parcel, which you have to have at any children’s party!
A very big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped us make the afternoon a very special one and we are very much looking forward to having a busy and fun filled 2018 with our children’s project.
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and thank all the volunteers and providers who have made this very enjoyable first year of the project possible and finally can we wish you all a very happy New Year!
Saturday 11th November – Goalball at Bedford Hall
Goalball returns to Croydon Vision
We welcomed back the Croydon / Sutton Warriors Goalball club for a return visit to do some more Goalball with our children’s project.
As a result of their last visit one of our children has joined the goalball club and now regularly attends their training sessions, which is a great outcome for our project.
This time we had some new children experience goalball for the first time and our regulars gained a bit more experience in playing goalball.
Robin and his team led a very interactive session and there were plenty of opportunities to practice goalball skills before we played some matches.
There was some genuine interest from families in possibly joining the goalball club and participating in some further sessions.
Thursday 26th October – Arts & crafts afternoon
During the recent half-term holidays we ran an arts afternoon with a theme based around autumn.
Our arts tutor Geeta showed the children how to mix colours to get different shades and also how we can create different textures. We had collected leaves, cones and berries which we could use for our pictures. We had a lot of art materials to choose from so that the children could create their own unique pictures.
Each child had their own giant canvas to work on and to take home with them. The other pictures that the children created are going to be displayed throughout Croydon Vision’s building. As the activity was so enjoyable and successful we are going to run another workshop during the February half term and also encourage the adult members of Croydon Vision to paint along with the children so that we can have an arts and crafts exhibition here at Bedford hall.
Saturday 14th October – CSI Forensic Detective Party, at Bedford Hall
We welcomed The Detective Agency to Croydon Vision for our latest children’s activity. There was a murder mystery to solve and we had our very own detective help us solve the murder by using forensic clues.
The crime scene was laid out in Bedford Hall with various clues to be looked at and assessed. Before we could start investigating the crime we were told how a forensic detective worked and how they had to wear a special uniform, so that the crime scene wasn’t contaminated.
Llorien from The Detective Agency showed us a forensic suit and Ellie volunteered to demonstrate the different items we needed to wear before we could investigate the crime scene.
What was really good was that Llorien had made some silicon moulds so that the children could feel some of the evidence. This was especially useful when we came to taking our own fingerprints and we could feel the three different types of fingerprints, there are loops, arches and whorls.
We examined the crime scene and looked at different items that were there including a bag of sweets, a mobile phone, some kitchen foil and we noticed that there was a footprint left.
As we worked through the clues and shared our ideas we were able to tell who had murdered Harry Hall and we guessed who the culprit was and why they had committed the crime. Whodunit? Well that remains a mystery as only the children’s project know the answer to that, it’s a secret!
We were very pleased to welcome Charlie and his mum Cherie to our project. It is great to see the numbers increasing.
Saturday 16th September – Clay Monsters! At Bedford Hall
Get your creativity flowing and prepare for a messy session of clay monster! Create your own masterpiece right here at Bedford Hall in our pottery studio. Get hands on in this interactive session and see if there’s a budding artist hidden in you!
Saturday 2nd September The Rebound Hall, Caterham
Jump right in a join us for our first ever trampolining party! You’ll have the chance to bounce independently and play games with the group. Also as part of the session we will be offering rebound therapy, which involves getting one to one support on the trampolines, to help facilitate movement and promote balance and muscle tone. It’s fun and helps to increase confidence in movement. So whether you’ve bounced before or it’s your first time, there will be something for everyone, so come along and learn some news skills!
Wednesday 30th August – Kingsmead Stables
It’s the school holidays and it’s pouring with rain, so what could we do for our next Croydon Vision children’s activity? Well, by popular demand we made a return to Kingsmead riding stables. With our waterproofs on we gathered and met some new ponies this time and went for a long ride through the local woods, but before we went off we had the opportunity to meet the beautiful patch and give her a well-deserved groom. Then it was on with the riding hats and off to the woods, we explored the sights and sounds of the local countryside.
Although it rained quite heavily this didn’t dampen our spirits and when we arrived back at the stables, Fiona, the stables manager took the opportunity to show us some different equipment used for riding the ponies. We felt the various bits and saw the different saddles that are used, some of which were quite heavy. Some of the children decided that they wanted to go and see the horses’ houses and say hello.
We all agreed that we had a good time and the stable staff were very impressed that the children had remembered how to say hello to a horse and how to make them feel at ease.
A very big thank you to Fiona and all the staff and volunteers at Kingsmead riding stables for giving us such a great time.
Saturday 22nd July – The Borrowers Theatre Trip, at The Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
Croydon Vision Children’s project goes and sees The Borrowers at the Polka theatre in Wimbledon
Our final activity before the summer holiday break saw us go and see The Borrowers, a wonderful story of a family who live underneath the floorboards and how they have to embark on a journey to find a new safe place to live.
This performance of The Borrowers had two inclusive features; firstly the performance was audio described which means that visually impaired people can listen to a commentary of what is happening on stage when there is no dialogue.
Secondly there was a touch tour before the performance. The touch tour gave the children the opportunity to meet the actors, feel the props being used as well as touching the costumes that were being worn. It is a great idea as it brings the play alive.
Feedback from the families,
“We all absolutely enjoyed the play and got so much from the touch tour and audio description”
“We really enjoyed the performance and the theatre, it was a great experience”
A very big thank you to the wonderful team at Polka for a fantastic time, I am sure that we will make a return visit soon.
Saturday 8th July – Outdoor Activity Day and Family Picnic at Blacklands Farm
At the beginning of July we organised an outdoor activity event at Blacklands Farm activity centre in East Grinstead, Surrey. We were blessed with a warm summer’s day for our afternoon activity packed session. We were joined by a group of visually impaired children from Sussex so a lot of new friendships were made.
All of the children had the opportunity to take part in archery, team building games, low ropes, the blindfold guided trail challenge.
I thought that the team building games worked really well as it got the children to communicate well together and make decisions in a fun environment. All of the instructors were very helpful and agreed that the children had achieved a lot in the activities that they had participated. Everyone participated including some of the parents too.
Sunday 11th June – VI Tennis session at Sutton Tennis Academy
With the Wimbledon Tennis championships coming up at the end of the month we decided to run our own visually impaired tennis taster session for the children, at Sutton tennis Academy. This adapted version of tennis uses a sponge, audible ball, which rattles when it bounces, making it easier for the children to hear and see it.
We had our own coaches Luke and Katie, who showed us the equipment that we were going to be using, we learnt how to throw and catch the ball, and this enabled the children to get an understanding of how the ball bounces and rattles. We then progressed onto rolling the ball using our own tennis rackets and played a version of tennis called floor tennis.
We then had the opportunity to play some fun games, which included guiding the ball using our rackets, around an obstacle course and then trying to strike the ball over the net. We then had a game of ‘Super Hitters’ and ‘Super Catchers’, with the objective being able to hit the ball over the net, with our team of super catchers trying to catch the ball in the nets that we had.
Parents and helpers were able to join in and assist the children; it was great to see the mums and dads getting involved in all the skills and games that Luke and Katie had organised for us. The children enjoyed the session and parents asked us if it was possible for us to organise a regular session with Sutton Tennis Academy, which we are going to try to do. All of the children were given their own audible ball that they could take away and practice with either at home or at school.
We all agreed that we had a great time! One parent commented that it was fantastic to see the children being able to play a game that they had thought they couldn’t do, the audible ball made all the difference.
We would like to say a big thank you to Luke and Katie from Sutton Tennis Academy, for organising such a fun and inclusive session.
Wednesday 31st May 2017 From 1.00-3.00pm – Kingsmead Stables
Croydon Vision Children’s project organised a fantastic half term visit to Kingsmead Riding Stables in Warlingham. It was the first time that the children had had the opportunity to go riding and learn about how a stable is run.
Our afternoon session started with us learning how to be safe around horses and how to say hello to them. We discovered that there are 44 horses and ponies living at the stables. We met the mighty Warrior, who came out of his stable to greet us!
We then got ourselves kitted up to go riding and our ponies came out to meet us. Haribo, Pepper, Mimi and Gizmo were chosen to take the children out for a ride around the country lanes. The staff at Kingsmead were amazing with the children, using lots of descriptive verbal instructions and encouragement, whilst leading the horses on the ride.
After our ride we had plenty of time to learn how to groom our horses, so that they looked wonderful!
The feedback from the parents and children was great “It exceeded our expectations and everyone went above and beyond to make this a wonderful afternoon”- Parent
We all agreed that we would like to go back to Kingsmead Stables and have some more fun with the horses and ponies.
Saturday 13th May – Adaptive Cycling at Croydon Arena
Our latest activity saw our children’s project have a fantastic time cycling at Croydon arena, with Wheels for Wellbeing. Despite the trams not running we all managed to get to the venue and the weather was kind to us, for our two hour session.
Wheels for Wellbeing have a fantastic set up at Corydon Arena, with drop in sessions throughout the week so it was especially kind of them to arrange for our children to have their own dedicated cycling session on Saturday afternoon. We had our instructors and a great range of bikes to choose from, side by sides, tricycles, push handle bikes, even one that looked like a go kart, which was amazing to use! As you can see from the photos we all had a lot of fun.
Everyone had the opportunity to try a different bike; it was great to see the children being able to independently cycle around the arena. Parents joined in as well, as Lizzie and Mike our lovely volunteers. It was lovely to welcome a new family to the group and I hope that the families will make a return visit to Wheels for Wellbeing, at their drop in sessions at Croydon Arena.
Saturday 8th April – Farm tour and animal handling at Deen City Farm
Our latest children’s activity saw us pay a visit to Deen city farm in Morden; we had arranged to have a guided tour of the farm. This tour was to give the children the opportunity to get up close to the animals. Alice our guide enabled the children to meet, feel and feed a number of different animals. These included guinea pigs, giant rabbits, cows, goats, alpacas, piglets, sheep and a new born baby lamb. The farm’s staff was fantastic with the children and everyone had the opportunity to handle and interact with the animals and most enjoyable feed them.
As you can see from some of the photos the children were given a great opportunity to get up close to the animals. Our two guide dogs Judy and Nan behaved themselves really well, especially as there was so much to explore. We also had the opportunity to meet Edna the farms owl and see her fly in the field. The children’s favourite activity was feeding the goats, because they were very ‘slobbery’! We were very grateful to Alice and Tom from Deen City Farm for arranging such an amazing and interactive visit. A very big thank you too to Mike and Lizzie, our volunteers, who ensured the visit, went extremely well. Some of the parents commented that they didn’t know the farm was there prior to the event, but would be really keen to go back and visit it again.
Saturday 18th March – Goalball at Bedford Hall
Our second children’s event saw the local Croysutt (Croydon & Sutton) Goalball Club come and deliver a taster session at Bedford Hall. Goalball is a Paralympic sport and we are very fortunate to have a local club in the borough. They came along to show us how to play the game of goalball, all the court markings are laid out with string and taped down, for a tactile playing surface. It is a three aside game, using an audible ball. The aim of the game is to try and score a goal by rolling the ball past the three opponents, who had to dive to stop it. All the players wear blacked out goggles so each team has to learn to communicate with one another and work out the best way to score a goal past their opponents. It was a great opportunity for our children to learn how to play the game; we learnt the skills and techniques needed to take part in a competitive game.
There were many goals scored and it was great to see the parents and volunteers getting involved too. One positive outcome form the day was that one of our children enjoyed it so much that he has asked him mum if they can go along and play on a regular basis with the team.
Saturday 25th February – Science Wizards at Bedford Hall
Saturday 25th February saw the launch of Croydon Vision’s Children’s Social Activity Scheme here at Bedford Hall with Science Wizards starting our fun filled programme of activities. There was a lot of fun led by Lizzie our own Science Wizard for the day.
We did a lot of fun experiments including taking our pulses before and after exercising, making sherbet, smelling things without using your nose, finding out how electricity conducts throughout your body, making slime, making rockets and how to pull a tablecloth and leave pots behind just like a magician shows you.
Children and parents, our volunteers Kevin and Lizzie and I all got involved with all of the activities. There was a lot of bangs when our mini rockets went off which made us all laugh a lot. The children could take their home made sherbet and pots of slime home with them. The children were asked what was their favourite activity, and making the slime was given the top marks!
Everyone had the opportunity to get the one to one help they needed from Lizzie and our volunteers. I liked the swinging the pots of water around without getting wet and spilling the water. We all finished the session by launching our mini rockets off and finishing the session with a bang.