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Happyjacks Softplay successfully hosted their fourth Picnic in the Park in Eastbourne on 8 August, raising awareness and funds for Chestnut Tree children’s hospice.
The annual event proved as popular as ever, despite the threat of rain. Weather warnings issued the day before the event led to a last minute change of venue, but almost 1,000 people still flocked to Eastbourne Sports Park to enjoy taster sessions from a wide variety of children’s activity providers.
Football, dancing, singing, drumming and softplay were amongst the activities on offer, whilst parents could also find out more about body posture, kids parties, children’s books, tutoring and baby swimming. A bouncy castle, face painting and a teddy tombola added to the fun.
The event was officially opened by Stephen Lloyd MP, who commented: “I am an enormous fan of Happyjacks Softplay and Chestnut Tree children’s hospice so it’s great to see them together at this wonderful event with fun for all the family. Well done to all the volunteers who made it possible and thank you to the activity providers for giving up their time to raise money for such a good cause.”
“It was such a great day” said organiser Jaki Tompkins of Happyjacks Softplay. “The response we had surrounding the change of venue was amazing and I’m glad that so many people have come out to support the event. What started as a meet up for parents who come to our softplay sessions and classes has grown and evolved into this amazing event.”
Chestnut Tree also attended on the day, helping to marshal the event and running their own awareness stand where parents and carers could find out more about the work the hospice does in East Sussex. With the help of its Hands Up campaign, the charity is currently expanding its services in East Sussex, with the aim of reaching more of the families who need their care here.
“As part of our campaign we need to raise awareness and funds for the hospice, and HappyJacks’ Picnic in the (Sports) Park has become a vital part of that for us,” says Georgina Cook, Fundraising Officer for East Sussex. “We would like to say a huge thank you to Jaki, to all of the activity providers who come along on the day, to our wonderful volunteers and, of course, to everyone who comes along and supports the event.”
The final fundraising total is still being confirmed but Jaki says she is excited to see how much has been raised at the event.