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Fantastic Fun at Lighthouse

by Haddenham Webteam – 26th August 2023
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Lighthouse is a holiday week for children run by the local churches.

This was the first Haddenham Lighthouse and local organisers worked with 'Lighthouse Central', a charity set up to enable local churches to run Lighthouse holiday weeks more easily by providing the back-office systems & support.

Lighthouse Haddenham took place in the grounds of the junior school from Monday 21st – Friday 25th August.

Organisers did not charge a set fee for children to attend but relied upon donations from parents and those of local churches, businesses and other generous benefactors.

The cost of providing a great experience for the children was about £30/child. Parents were asked to support the event by making a donation if they were able. Many church members paid to "Sponsor a Child" to ensure that finances didn't prevent any child from attending.

Over 150 youngsters were registered to participate, and the vast majority attended on all five days, with an additional 12 in the Creche.

The levels of organisation were very impressive, from very careful safeguarding and health and safety measures right through to the sourcing and erection of large marquees, play equipment, staging and masses of sundry kit. It was all planned and project managed with considerable expertise by a small team led by Dianne Brackley.

With so many happy and excitable youngsters on site, the practical and fun-filled delivery required a large team of helpers and "on-stage entertainers". No less than 60 adults and about 30 teenagers took on group and sub-group leadership roles, all coming from the four local churches and the wider village community.

On-stage entertainment and whole group coordination in the Big Top was led by Jonny Fillis, Cassa Messervy, Lucy Brackley and Mia Messervy.

Sub-groups for break-out sessions for sports and games, craft sessions and discovery sessions were led by Age Group Leaders and "Lighthouse Keepers" ably assisted by "Lamplighters".

There were many highlights during the week, but perhaps the greatest attraction for the children, and greeted with deafening levels of excitement (no doubt clearly audible to local residents!) was the "Gunge Tank" – a rather curious form of "thanks" meted out to key helpers on each day of the holiday club, and requiring them to sit beneath a large tank of gloopy coloured gunge which was then ceremoniously deposited on their heads!

Great fun and an obvious delight for the children!

Organisers would like to thank all the individuals and organisations for their kind help and generous provision of equipment.

In particular, sincere thanks go to the 90 volunteers – including those providing evening security. Many volunteers signed up for the whole week! Many of the volunteers were teenagers, for whom a 'thank you' social evening was held on the Thursday, organised by more wonderful volunteers.

Thanks also go to the junior school for providing the venue and to the school caretaker, Phil, who "was absolutely brilliant and couldn't have been more helpful".

Printing was provided by Sarah Dyckhoff of 2D Print World and the laptop PC kindly loaned by Gary Stammers.

Three Marquees were loaned by the Haddenham Beer Festivals Trust and many of the beer festival committee helped with site set up.

Staging was loaned from the village hall (delivered and collected by "the awesome Pete Summerskill").

A rapid and highly efficient site clear-up on the Friday afternoon was carried out by many volunteers including several of the parents whose children had attended.

Lighthouse Haddenham is a Churches Together in Haddenham initiative and is run solely by volunteers. Cassa Messervy is the chairman and the trustees are Cassa Messervy, Jonny Fillis, Dianne Brackley, Loraine Milmer, Naomi Foreman-Peck & Lucy Brackley.

To view lots more photographs of this extremely successful holiday club, please visit the Haddenham dotNet Flickr page

Please don't be put off if you are greeted by a rather lengthy and complicated 'cookies' screen on the Flickr platform – just scroll down to the bottom and click on 'accept all'

Here's the link: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjASi5Z

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