The idea began during one of Ben's respite sessions and with the help of Senior Health Care Assistant Darrell, the event came to life! Ben tells us more about the creative activity day he organised for the other children in East Sussex to enjoy:

"As a family we are very into upcycling and recycling and try to save things from going to landfill whenever possible. My brother saved some blinds that were going to be thrown out by a local shop, thinking we may be able to make good use of them. We showed them to Darrell during one of my respite sessions and this is when the idea began!

"Darrell thought it would be great fun to hang them and throw lots of paint at them and then we came up with the idea of making a fun event for some of the children who attend Demelza. Over the following couple of months, we came up with lots of ideas and went about sourcing all of the things we needed and recycling wherever possible, to keep the cost down and make it environmentally friendly. We collected more blinds, we did many trips to various beaches along the coast, looking for driftwood and lots of different shells, we drilled holes in most of the shells, Darrell made the boats and the hat for ‘Splat the Hat’."

Ben's activity day, Splat The Hat

"The activities we had on the day were:

 - Face painting

 - Painting boats (made from drift wood and pieces of roller blind for the sail)

 - Making wind chimes from shells

 - Making necklaces or bracelets from shells

 - Painting a big canvas covering the fence

 - Small canvas painting

 - ‘Splat the Hat’ - ring the bell on the hat (worn by staff), using water bombs or water pistols

 - Painting stones or shells

 - Piñatas – one for boys and one for girls

 - Shell ID board – can you name the sea shells?"

Children and staff enjoying canvas painting at Demelza's East Sussex garden

"The event was a huge success, thanks to everyone who came. All the children who attended joined in and clearly enjoyed themselves, which really made our day. The ‘Splat the Hat’ was the most popular activity, closely followed by painting the big canvas on the fence. It was the first event Darrell and I had organised and the feedback from everyone was encouraging."

Children enjoying messy play in East Sussex at Ben's activity day

"We made sure each child won lots of prizes and had things they had made, to take home. We will be cutting up the big painted canvas and delivering a framed piece to each of the children at home. It was quickly set up and cleared away, thanks to the Demelza staff who helped us and who also helped to support the children with the activities. It was all outside and socially distanced and all the helpers wore masks, to keep everyone as safe as possible. It was so much fun, we can’t wait to do another event!"

- Ben

Ben's activity day in East Sussex

"The event was a huge success!"

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Demelza children enjoying activity day at East Sussex garden