Easter excitement in Middlesbrough

Thorntree Christian Centre was full of excited children this Thursday during the Easter Family Fun Day for families supported by Safe Families for Children. The event was organised by Madeleine Costigan and Tickle the Tastebuds; a volunteer group who seek to help vulnerable people in the area dealing with homelessness or addiction.

Picture1Some of our supported families cannot celebrate Easter due to financial challenges. Our hope was to offer a fun-filled day of activities and entertainment for the children we support through our work in the area. Fifty children, ranging in age from 2 days old to 11 years old, were in attendance and (for those old enough to participate) were welcomed to the sight of two giant inflatables in the main hall which many children rarely abandoned.

In the next room were tables with varying activities of interest. Throughout the day we saw animals, superheroes and even Minions amongst an array of assorted painted faces. Children weren’t the only visitors to the nail salon as parents also took advantage of the services on offer. The craft table played host to colouring, painting, and mask-making while another table offered up cupcake decorating.

Balloon modelling in the main hall garnered interest as the talented artist created dogs, dinosaurs, butterflies, and cutlasses to name but a few designs.Picture2

All day in the cafeteria were a range of refreshments, sandwiches, cakes, and sweets for all to tuck in to with volunteers on hand to serve up hot drinks and warm conversation.

After lunchtime, children had the chance to create their very own Easter egg design.

IMG_4921The top four designs were selected and each awarded a prize with the best designer taking home a giant teddy bear, which as it turned out was as big as our winner!

We had a special guest appearance from Safe Families’ CEO, Keith Danby.

Keith was on hand to judge the colouring competition as well as finding the time to join in the fun and games on offer. He wasn’t one to shy from the inflatables either!Keith

The afternoon then saw some very special guest appearances (with thanks to Make My Day Entertainment) from Batman, Spider-Man and Cinderella. Our heroes gave us a few lessons in Superhero Training! The princess then performed a duet with a very lucky volunteer before our heroes returned to the stage to perform a dance routine with assistance from Madeleine Costigan.

SuperheroAt the end of the day, our final guest presented each child with two Easter eggs each (as we had received so many kind donations), who else could do such a task but the Easter Bunny? Easter themed activity and colouring books were gifted to each child to take home too.

Keith Danby said, “Today’s Tickle the Tastebuds Easter event was a fantastic opportunity for many of the Safe Families for Children volunteers, families, friends and staff to come together in the Thorntree Christian Centre, Middlesbrough and have some great fun. The kids had non-stop activities and it was a delight to see so many smiling faces. For our volunteers and our supportedKeith2 families, it was a chance to make some new friends and meet others in similar situations and to create support links amongst each other. I enjoyed the opportunity to get out of the office, join in the fun, to meet up with some of our volunteers and to personally thank them for their great work. I also want to congratulate and thank Wendy and Mel from Tickle the Tastebuds, Madeline from Alpha Graphics and all involved in making today such a wonderful success.”