After months of prepping, planning and a small amount of panicking the time had finally arrived for the long-awaited CHECT 25th party weekend from Oct 5-7, 2012. And what a blast we had!
Almost 350 people descended upon sunny Billing Aquadrome in Northants for the action-packed three-day event which brought together families from all over the UK and Ireland who have been affected by retinoblastoma.
We were thrilled to see so many of you joining in and having so much fun in our workshops, which ranged from dance and theatre to School of Rock, and drum beats to cake decorating.
The sun shone down helping make our outdoor events programme a huge success with many people taking part in our blindfold sprint while Steve Thomson entertained the archery crowds with his circus skills. Inside children got stuck into a vast array of craft activities, including badgemaking and jewellery making - many thanks to Tia's Treasures and Beads Direct for donations of beads and cords for this workshop.
The tasty treats on the cupcake decorating table went down a storm throughout the day, thanks to extra supplies from CHECT supporters who loaned icing tubes, cake toppers and stands.
Thanks to CHECT member and rally driver Grant Rees children were able to help him decorate his rally car with special stickers which could be individually designed by each child. The stickers looked amazing and everyone loved clambering into Grant's car for a 'ride'.
Saturday afternoon was dominated by an invasion of pirates and princesses who looked spectacular in their costumes and accessories, some of which were kindly donated by smiffys.com, Inca Jewellery and megafancydress.co.uk
Many thanks to everyone who bought T-shirts, wristbands and raffle tickets and to those who took part in sponsored events over the weekend. Our bridge walkers and cyclists helped boost funds to more than £2,000 in total.
The CHECT staff and trustees got stuck in, multi-tasking and going the extra mile to amuse our members!
The evening was packed with acts from our talented members, with the drum beats workshop, led by John Ramm, showing off what they'd learnt earlier in the day. Percussion instruments had been kindly loaned by Mark Walker of Talking Drums.
The children's disco kept the younger ones busy followed by the CHECT house band rocking out with Phil Burden, John Ramm, Ffion Miles, Peter Bosher and James Morley Smith. CHECT paralympic patron Darren Harris also showed off his musical talents with a turn on the keyboards!
The late night disco drew a packed crowd to the dancefloor until the early hours!
Thank you all who came for your amazing feedback - so many of you have told us what a great time you have had meeting new friends and catching up with old ones too. For those of you unable to make this year's event you'll be pleased to know we're already planning the next one!
Thank you all for making it a wonderful weekend to remember!!
Please download your copy of the Billing Bugle here