Christmas came early to 80 families of seriously-ill children, when Santa made a special appearance at Sebastian’s Action Trust’s annual Christmas in Summer party.
The Queen’s Award winning charity hosted its Summer Party this year at Marwell Zoo, where children aged from 2 months to 18 years old and adults enjoyed a festive fun-filled day full of surprises.
Families arrived at the enchanting Marwell Hall and were greeted by a seasonally colourful 12ft Christmas tree which symbolised the Trust’s Christmas in Summer campaign. Christmas music rang throughout the hall, where families were treated to a visit to Santa’s Grotto, themed arts and crafts activities and a trip to the Secret Garden where an array of outdoor attractions provided family fun for all to enjoy. Guests were also able to enjoy see all of the 235 different species of animal at the Zoo.
The Trust’s Christmas in Summer campaign is extremely poignant as sadly for some very poorly children, waiting to celebrate Christmas in December may be that little bit too far away.
The MacGowan family from Basingstoke attended the party and said, “We had a wonderful time as did our four children. We are always excited in the build up to events run by the Trust because it's so nice to catch up with other families and see everyone smiling and enjoying special family time. Each Trust event surpasses the last – they have a real knack for organisation.
Being at the zoo was great fun in itself due to the animals, but then to be greeted so warmly on our arrival with our goody bag, packed with water and a map to keep us going on a hot day! We then visited the secret garden, where our children got to have fun in a fete like atmosphere was such good fun.
We had fun on the bouncy castles and Ollie even managed to throw a ball into the tilted bucket to great cheers from the guys running the games. I love how the Trust builds a community amongst its families; wandering around the zoo we bumped into other families who all said hello and greeted us like long friends even though we had never met in person.
As always my family and I are eternally grateful for the Trusts continued support and wonderful hard work that goes into their events”.
Jane Gates OBE, CEO for Sebastian’s Action Trust said, “Snow Leopards, Lions, Giraffes and Santa’s elves joined in to make a truly memorable day for many of the families the Trust supports. From start to end, children and parents alike did not stop smiling and having fun, whilst celebrating at our Christmas in Summer party.
This was the first year that we have ever held our party outside of July and our respite holiday home, The Bluebells, but due to the building works creating our new extension we had no option but to redeploy the even and hence the Christmas in Summer party!
A seasonally festive Santa and his elves worked wanders to ensure that every child received a present. Our campaign brings the joy of Christmas early as unfortunately for some of the families we support Christmas may not be a time of celebration.
I would like to extend my appreciation to Marwell Zoo for allowing the Trust to host our amazing party in their grounds and for helping to make it a memorable day”.
Sebastian’s Action Trust would also like to thank; Sporting Footprints, Aurora World, Bandia, Character Group, Golden Bear Toys, Mattel, Orchard Toys, Spinmaster, Rainbow Designs and The Green Boardgame Company, for generously donating toys for children’s stockings.
The Trust would also like to extend its thanks to Pepsico for supplying food and drink as refreshments for the families.