Big Day Out at Robinwood Activity Centre

Our Barnsley team and Bradford team came together to hold the ‘Big Day Out’ at Dobroyd Castle on Sunday 20th October for all our carers and young people! We chose Sunday so this gave all of our foster families a chance to come along and enjoy the day.

The castle itself is up on the Todmorden moors. It is a historic grade two star listed building and boasts wonderful architecture in the grand entrance and to the outside of the building. The grounds of the castle are set in 17 acres, so plenty of space for their amazing activities that they have to offer. We made sure that the location of the castle was accessible for all our families to get too.

Robinwood is a fantastic place with a variety of activities on offer. We had arrange for our families to take full advantage of them by partaking in the Zip Wire, Giant Swing, Caving and the Crate Challenge.

On the day we had 12 families join us with a total of 47 attendees and three staff members. All the families were arranged into four groups and each had a timetable of the day’s activities ahead. We wanted the day to be memorable and to give give back to our carers, their children and the children they look after. The day was an excellent opportunity for all to come together collectively to participate in group activities and encourage everyone to work together. But most of all we wanted to ensure that everyone had a fabulous, fun filled day and left with a smile on their faces, reminiscing about the day’s events.

The Big Day Out was a success! Everyone had the chance to participate in four activities each with an hour spent on each. The groups participated in the zip wire, the giant swing, crate challenge and even caving. These activities were all fun and invigorating, pushing people out of their comfort zone, but very thrilling and exciting! They were also great activities for our young people to build skills such as team working and leadership.

The zip wire and the giant swing were both outdoor activities and high up. It was great to see everyone show support and encouragement to others in their groups. There were some children and young people who had reservations about going on the activities but with a little encouragement from their peers, they gave it their best. Those that did not want to were not made to feel bad for not partaking. The staff at Robinwood were exceptional and went that extra mile for those that didn’t want to swing so high, to have a little swing instead.

The crate challenge was another high activity that required good teamwork and communication. The teams were given the challenge of building a create tower together. An auto-belay system is in place to ensure anyone falling from the tower is gently lowered to the ground. The children were required to work at pace and as a team, climbing up the crate tower as they built it, whilst the members passed the crates. There were lots of laughs when it didn’t quite go to plan!

The caving activity was an indoor activity but is constructed for realism and adventure. The children all wore caving helmets fitted with torches to guide them through the tunnels. It was great fun for all those that took part and there was even CCTV cameras so those that just wanted to watch. We received a lot of positive feedback about this activity in particular. As part of the caving experience, the children and young people were split into teams and they were tasked with finding a particular coloured ball. Again, this required them to use communication, team work and listening skills as they work together to find the ball.

The feedback we have received from the day has been great:

“How shall I begin ?? What a fabulous day myself had a wicked day, SW got on well with her friends it was the best day ever. Thanks for the invite looking forward to next year.”

“We had a fabulous time on Sunday. Thank you so much for organising it. We didn’t think E would do any of the activities as he is usually too scared. However, he loved it. It was great to see him having such a good time and what was really nice was the way he interacted with others, encouraging them all the time. We loved the afternoon too. It was nice to speak to other carers in such a relaxed, informal environment. Thanks again and please pass our thanks on to the wonderful, caring, professional staff”

“We had a great day thank you so much for organising this despite his normal reluctance to begin with C had the best time ever. What a fantastic place and the staff were amazing drinks and snacks were very welcome for all.”

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