In October 2021, Flo attended “Whose Shoes?” – a working group made up of Demelza families, staff, and volunteers – and pledged to put on an event for other siblings like her who are supported by Demelza.
With the support of Liz, our Family Liaison Practitioner, Flo put her nose to the grindstone to make her pledge a reality – starting with a theme!
“I knew straight away that I wanted to do a circus skills day,” said Flo, “mainly because of the food you get at the circus! I like doing arts and crafts too, and there were lots of things that would need to be made up. We wanted to decorate with streamers, banners, and bunting, and we even had the idea to make our own juggling balls out of balloons and sand.”
Once the theme was decided, Flo got to work on the practical bits. “I did the programme, and Liz helped me make sure I’d included all the important stuff; I emailed Demelza staff to reserve the garden space at Demelza’s East Sussex centre; I emailed Morrisons to ask for donations of food and drink; and we arranged for a proper circus performer to come and teach us the skills we’d need to put on a show for our parents.”
Invites were sent out, arrangements were made, tickets were printed, and decorations were hung around the garden; and before she knew it, Flo’s big day had arrived. Seven families ended up attending on the day, where siblings supported by Demelza learned skills like poi, plate spinning, hooping, giant bubbles, juggling and diablo. The children and young people then performed for their families, who had come to watch their amazing new skills following the workshop. This was great for their confidence, and let them make new friends – as none of them knew each other before arriving for the session!
Liz said “It has been fab seeing how confident Flo has become and how proud she is of herself for organising the event! She was totally on it, and everything was in hand on the day – I felt like I barely needed to be there! It was great to see staff get involved and try out some circus skills for themselves as well.”
After the resounding success of her circus skills day, Flo hopes to organise another event like this in future – “as long as there’s no more early mornings, and we can go to my favourite café for the planning!”