Our Stories - Barnardo's Fun in the Sun Story

The downside of charity funding cuts is that kids with special needs are losing out on treats like trips to the seaside.

Barnardo's organise a summer playscheme on the south of Glasgow for children with Autism, Down's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other complex disabilities.

This year, their summer budget was cut by £8,000 which meant they could not afford transport costs to whisk the young ones away for the day.

The Teddy Bear Foundation was contacted and was happy to provide the £1000 needed to take 24 children and their carers to the Heads of Ayr Farm Park, just outside the resort of Ayr.

"You should have seen them on the bus as we left this morning," said Sunil Lal, the project worker.

"They were dancing in the passageway of the bus they were so excited.

"I tried to tell them they couldn't do that for health and safety reasons - but they just ignored me!

With perfect timing, they arrived at the farm park on one of the warmest days of the year; there was hardly a cloud in the sky.

After eating lunch, most of the kids made a bee-line for the trampolines and jumping pillows.  Remarkably, the food they had just eaten didn't seem to bother them!

Other children in wheelchairs got up close and personal to some of the animals on show - including Megan the pony who introduced herself by sneezing all over the party.  Yuck.

The farm park is packed with attractions like bumper boats, super diggers and a giant indoor adventure play area.

Sunil Lal said:"This is just fantastic.  The way our budget is, there's just no money available for things like this.  That means, unfortunately, our children might otherwise miss out on fantastic days like these.

"Someone suggested we approach the Teddy Bear Foundation and they said 'yes' within three days.

"One wee girl was looking forward to it so much, she didn't sleep a wink the night before!"

The trampolines were a big hit with the kids.

Meeting Megan the pony.

Jumping Pillows.


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