What an awesome year 2015 has been here at PARC (Essex).
It's been a year filled with festivities as we celebrated our 20th year providing play opportunities to children and young adults in and around Essex.
Take a look back with us at some of our favourite moments from a year filled with fun and fundraising, and so many smiles along the way!
Back in January we launched our PARC Sports Club. The sports club initially started as a 13 week programme, but after its huge popularity with the children, and thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of some of our PARC Staff and their rugby team in Braintree (who raisied over £3000 to help us with sporting activities), the sports club is now a permanant fixture in our After School Activity programme. It's a great session, with sports like hockey, football, basketball and hockey, plus multi sports like ten pin bowling, tag and many more that all the children can get involved with whatever the weather here in Great Notley.
PARC's Sunday Family session hosted an awesome Animal Workshop with the brilliant Zoo 4 You. There were lots of animals for the children and parents to hold including a beautiful Fox named 'Jubilee'.
February saw some amazing fundraising events which included a Quiz Night & fabulous raffle hosted by Avanti Travel Insurance in Braintree, which raised over £1800 for PARC!!
Plus our PARC Website got a bit of a make over...
In March & April we had a brilliant half term holiday session with fun filled Easter themed activities and games at the Centre, plus a few trips out to Dinosaur Zoo Live, Boydells Farm, Tropical Wings and our Youth Club hosted a movie night.
April also saw our marvellous Marathon runners take on the epic London 26+ mile Marathon raising an enormous amount for PARC. This is always a huge personal challenge for anyone taking on a run of this proportion and we truly are in awe of anyone who completes the course!! Well done guys :)
As the warmer months of May approached we saw our favourite fundraising Bingo night return, plus an awesome Charity Abseil organised by PARC Dad Aidan Kelly, who with the help of a few friends, abseiled down the side of the 110ft Church Langley water tower, raising almost £2000 for PARC. What a fantastic feat!
June was all about our Annual Charity Ball, this year, a Classic Hollywood Edition where so many PARC friends and supporters dressed to impress. The PARC Ball is a highly anticipated event, and this year guests enjoyed a sumptuous evening of fine dining, live music and casino entertainment at the beautiful Boreham House in Chelmsford. We raised over £4000 on the night and we hope to top this at our 2016 event!
(News on the 2016 Ball is coming very soon!)
We also held our 2015 Summer Fun Day, this year held on Father's Day and was filled with all the fun of the fair! Our families had a cracking time and we couldn't have put on the Fun Day without the support of local businesses Crittall Steel Windows, G + G Gallo Enterprises Limited and Kings Financial. It was a great day for all our PARC families to come along and enjoy.
And our PARC Charity Shop took part in Braintree Carnival's Window Competition, this year a Disney theme!
July & August are two of the busiest months at the PARC Centre and 2015's Summer season was the biggest one to date, providing over 23 sessions/160 hours worth of respite to families in Essex. Our children and young people got to enjoy the Centre's facilities at its best, as well as take part in activities like an African Drumming Class, an Outdoor Drama Workshop, plus trips to Legoland, the beach, swimming, the farm, zoo trips, bowling, horse riding and more!
We also hosted our PARC 'Sounds of Music' Variety Concert featuring an array of young talented local singers and performers, who took to the stage with music from some of the biggest West End & Broadway shows. The night was a stomping sell out, raising over £700 for PARC in the process.
September saw the start of Autumn, and some amazing folk, The Falco's took on a 5k hardcore obstacle course called Nuclear Blast. A target of £750 was put in place, but this was smashed thanks to so many generous donations, raising well over £2800, completing 2 laps which meant 10k and 60 muddy obstacles! We are so proud of all who took part in the challenge ~ THANK YOU!
October was a month of bright colours and parties, as we took part in 'Dress Loud' for Global's Make Some Noise:
Our Sensory Room was painted by PARC's talented Aimee & Lindsey, making it into a wonderful Under Water Theme for visitors to enjoy:
And we also had a party of our own to celebrate our 20th year providing play and recreational facilities to children and young adults with additional needs. Our Great Notley Centre was opened up to friends and family for an evening of live music, delicious food, (and a few celebratory bubbles) as well as a silent disco for the children to enjoy. We ended the night with a gathering in the Sensory Garden, thanking staff and supporters, old and new, for their much valued support over the years.
November saw our PARC Bag for Life Launch: (You can still get yours at the PARC Centre or the PARC Shop!!)
And our much loved Matthew appeared with Sadie Nine, and some of the wonderful PARC Team on BBC Radio Essex for Children in Need. It was a fantastic interview and the team spoke about the services we provide and how BBC Children in Need supports us. You can listen to Matthew at around 1hr 10mins HERE
December has well and truly been filled with the Christmas spirit, with so many of you choosing to fundraise and donate to PARC. It really means so much to us and all the children and families who use our services on a daily basis, and it's a vital part in keeping the PARC doors open. Some of December's highlights included, our Grand Christmas Raffle with Braintree & Bocking Public Gardens, gifts from generous shoppers with Heart Essex & Braintree Freeport's Giving Tree... we had chocolate box donations from Natwest Bank in Braintree town centre, a brilliant Santa Run from Thurrock to Great Notley, and even a Christmas Lights Switch On Competition!! Your festive fundraising ideas just keep getting better every year and we can't wait to see what 2016 holds!
We couldn't of course not mention our Magical Christmas Grotto event, this year, complete with Ice Rink, which was a very special day for some of our PARC Children. They not only got to visit Father Christmas in his grotto, but they also got to receive a personalised gift from the big man in red himself. Tamdown so generously donated £1000 towards the cost of the Grotto, and Chameleon Costumes, who support us throughout the year, provided some of our festive attire and characters, that the children just loved! We also had lots of help from our PARC Elves...
2015 truly was a fantastic year, and from everyone at PARC (Essex), we THANK YOU for your amazing support and generosity! We look forward to what 2016 has in store!
We wish you all a wonderful New Year x