Church Homeless Trust

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Having a wild time

Date posted: 12 May 2014

Just before Christmas, the residents at Riverside ECHG’s mother and baby scheme Coupal’s Court asked if they would be able to have a day trip. The hostel staff agreed that Colchester Zoo would be a nice treat for the children and arranged funding from Church Housing Trust. 

With the money, staff were able to hire a minibus to take the residents to the zoo, pay the entrance fee for everyone, buy lunch and get a small gift for each of the kids as a token to remember their day. During the outing the mothers and children were able to get close and personal with the African animals, including feeding the giraffes and elephants and coming face-to-face with a tiger. One resident commented “Me and my child loved feeding the giraffes and elephants. Although mummy was left to feed the elephants as my child was a little bit scared…” Another added “We enjoyed seeing the animals and teaching the kids all of the different sounds they make.”

For lunch, the group opted for the chicken and burger bar near the chimp enclosure, allowing everyone to eat together and relax while the children played nearby. The residents got to socialise with one another, have a fascinating day out and enjoy the spring sunshine.

With the money left over from the trip, the staff bought the children an Easter egg each and organised an egg hunt for the children. Their parents agreed that it was a fantastic success. “The kids loved searching around for their chocolate treats. Everyone enjoyed it.” As the sun was shining the children were able to spend the morning outside playing together, while parents chatted with each other and staff at the scheme. One resident said “My child loved running around finding all the hidden sweets. It was a great idea and I hope to see it next year…”

An important part of hostel life is taking the time to socialise with other residents, so staff really appreciate trips and activities that help encourage everyone to get talking and spend time together.

 Donate to help ensure that mothers and their children in Riverside ECHG schemes across the UK can continue to have much-needed days out.

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