Adventure Weekend at Boreatton Park

As part of our 40th year celebrations we went to Boreatton Park in Shropshire for the weekend.  The centre is run by PGL and provides adventure breaks and holidays.  We all arrived Friday night in time for our evening meal, checked into our log cabins and unpacked.  Our coordinator from PGL was called Callum and he was a star all weekend.  Thanks for the extra time you put in for us.

A camp fire in the woods was arranged for Friday 8.30pm to toast marshmallows.  It had been teeming all Friday night but as soon as we were ready to go down into the woods the rain stopped, we had to use our torches as it was very dark.  We all had fun singing together and toasting marshmallows.  Later some of the families decided to head back to the bar where it was warmer while the families with young children turned in for the night.  At the camp fire the rest of us stayed to have a drink and listen to music, thanks to Jenni and Sammy and the IPod.  It was very enjoyable just socialising together.

On Saturday morning we went to breakfast and we split into groups and we started
our activities with each group doing 8 activities over the 2 days.  We had a dry day, which is always a blessing when we do any event, even more so when it’s outdoor activities.  After 2 morning activities we had lunch then did another 2 activities.  It was lovely to hear the stories of how some of the older ones encouraged some of the younger ones on the activities.  Myles encouraged Luke to try the zip wire with a magic wand – well done you were fantastic.  Well done Jo for doing the zip wire, I didn’t tell you at the time but
even the instructor said he had never seen anyone so scared and he had been doing it for 3 years.

In the evening we had tea, then some of us went swimming and some adults
went to a cheese and wine event put on by PGL.  Later we met at my cabin at 8.45pm to go in the woods for an easter egg hunt.  Will and Ella had hidden them about 1hr 45 mins earlier with our PGL rep Callum.  Thank you Will & Ella.  We had our wellies on and torches lit.  All the children found an egg but what nobody had thought of was that squirrels may also eat our eggs – oops – thankfully we only lost one egg, all the others were untouched.  At 9pm Joanne and Jay had arranged a Family Fortunes quiz for us so we went to a social room and enjoyed that till 10.30pm. Thanks Jo & Jay.

On Sunday we had breakfast, 2 more activities and then lunch.  It started overcast but dry and soon it was warm and sunny for the whole day.  After we completed the last 2 remaining activities we finished our adventure with an evening meal and then it was time to leave.  Thanks to everyone who came and made it a family fun weekend with great memories made to last and new friendships formed.  Thanks for the fab comments, it was such a superb weekend, lots of fun had by all and with great lasting memories.

Here a just a couple of photos from the day, hopefully more to follow (meanwhile check out our Photo Gallery for pics from last year, just to give you a taste of the events we got up to!)

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Heart Week 2014

We had a great time during Heart Week this year. We had a display on the corridor at Manchester Children’s Hospital, and gave the hospital some of the lovely story books we’ve bought.

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Thanks to Luke who works with me at Trafford General and has raised lots of money for CHA from colleagues at Trafford and at Manchester Royal infirmary where he used to work.IMG_5523

The children had a great time at the Build a Bear workshop.

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Our visit to Awesome Walls

It was a Saturday afternoon and we met at Awesome Walls, Liverpool. We had a mix of ages and abilities and it was lovely to see such a mixed group.

As we had 3 instructors and Paul, who is a qualified climber, it meant we could get more turns climbing. Once we were harnessed up and secure, we started on a smaller wall and made our way round, each wall a bit taller than the previous making it harder and harder. On the last wall some went up blind folded!

We all had a great time and looking forward to going again

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Parents and young people needed for discussion group on heart surgery

The Children’s Heart Federation needs parents and young people to join their study to help better understand what impact heart surgery has had on you or your child and family. They are organising a discussion group for young people (15 – 18 years) and one for adults and parents in our office in London. This will involve you attending a group of around 10 other parents or young people and answering questions about yours and/or your child’s experiences with heart conditions. Further focus group meetings are planned in Birmingham and Glasgow.

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If you would like further information or to take part please see the flyer on the Children’s Heart Federation website.

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Valentines Night 2014.

The weather forecast for the evening was very strong gale force winds but we still had many families brave the conditions to bring their little ones to Build A Bear at the Trafford Centre. There were 15 children who came along and they each got to choose a bear of there choice and name the bear – and my were there some interesting names that came up. Some I could not even pronounce never mind spell. What fabulous imaginations children have and how inventive they are.

There were games which they and their new friend the bears could join in with and they got to wash them and groom them. There were fancy bows to add a little extra touch and the all important hearts that they put in their bear. Each new friend got a certificate and a large box to carry then home in.

I’m glad you all had fun and managed to join us as we celebrated Heart Week 2014.

Charity Shop

February this year was the first of 2014 charity shops, we rent it for 1 week every few months. On the Friday myself and my friend Paula go to storage and get the stock out, Oli and Callum transport it to the shop and we meet my friends Anne and Rose there. Then the work really begins as we unpack and get it ready for a busy week. We open on the Saturday so no time to be wasted we all crack on and have a job to do. Its amazing what you can achieve when you work together or as some would say when I boss them around – but in the nicest possible way of course.

Well on Saturday we opened and after 20 minutes of opening I was a little concerned we hadn’t had many in. My mum reminded me we hadn’t been open all that long and people don’t usually open on Saturday so word has to get round. Well word certainly spread fast and people were coming in saying it was lovely to see us back. They love us and our quality items, not to mention our bargains.

Our members Tracey and Wendy came later with a car full of goodies and within 10 mins of Tracey bringing the items in we had sold £50 worth to a customer. For one particular item we had 2 people interested in the shop there and then, it was a Tutankhamun DVD holder not much shorter than me – it was fab. We had fun putting together all kinds of things and the girls were great unpacking and serving, thank you both. Sunday my nephew Matt came to help and he drives a hard bargain I can tell you. He was also the boss for the day and made me wear heart shaped ear muffs all day.

Thank you to all our helpers that week – my mum Maureen, Pearl, Izzy, Nic, Pat, Dave, Anne and Rose for opening. Thank you to Di and Jackie for Fri night. Thanks to everyone who donates excellent quality items to sell. Thank you also to Paula, Anne, Rose and Linda who help me sort out the donations each week and rack clothes and to Oli and Callum for the transport. Finally thank you to Michele who helped pack the shop up for closing on the Friday.

Ball of Hearts and Concorde

Our fabulous Ball of Hearts 2013 took place under Concorde, and yes I do mean literally under Concorde.  WOW is the right word to use for when people walked into the room – it definitely had the WOW factor.

We even had the Queen stop by to greet our guests, letting our guests take pics with her as she greeted them and mingled.  To all our surprise she got the dancing started by dancing gangnam style, who ever would have thought our Queen was so modern and would dance to that!  It certainly entertained us and for doing that dance I ran round the room doing a very fast collection and that raised £140 alone.  Thank you aunty Lydia you stole the show and made it both extra special and most memorable.

We enjoyed a 3 course dinner with wine, raffle, auction, casino and dancing.  What another successful and most enjoyable night with 260 guests.  We even got into Cheshire Life’s January edition.  Our thanks to everyone who attended and all those who help at our Ball, much appreciated.

2014 will be at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool on Sat 15th November.  It will be a winter wonderland theme and will be just as amazing.  More details to follow – it won’t disappoint
so be sure to be there.  If you know of anyone who can donate a prize for our raffle, tombola or auction please get in touch.

Elf Lunch

For many of us Christmas time is always a wonderful time of year.  We may be busy but most of us look forward to it.  December 2013 was no exception and how extra special CHA made it for their members.

We made pizza with the elves and our creations for our pizzas were amazing – we have some very talented children.  As well as pizza there was a fabulous three course meal to enjoy.  As all the children had been so good over the year they even had a special visit from Santa who came and gave them all an early Christmas present.  It was a busy afternoon, enjoyed by all and we’re already looking forward to this year’s event!  A special thank you to Joanne and her team at Hilton Manchester Airport who always look after us so well.