As a foundation we have spent the last couple of days trying to process everything that happened on Thursday. We’ve cried – tiredness and relief that it went well (minor water pipe hiccups not withstanding), happy tears at seeing how much our children have grown in confidence and making memories that will keep us going in the next few months.
It always takes a few days to try and capture the feeling of the day but I keep coming back to another African Proverb:
‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’
If you look at these two photos you can see 5 years of growth; slow, steady, steep learning curves. We’ve certainly grown but if Thursday showed us anything it showed that team LimbBo is a noisy, boisterous but happy family. Our babies and toddlers of five years ago are now ambassadors – who took their role very seriously. My friend asked Tommy if he wanted to go for a drink as he looked really hot, his response ‘No I’m ok here as I’ve got to look after these little ones’. There were so many times that we saw them looking after toddlers or talking to designers and authors giving their voice to support younger children.
We have a whole new chapter of limbBo with babies attending on Thursday who weren’t born when we began but will certainly grow up with us supporting them.
Many comments from parents afterwards explained how anxious they were when they arrived, how nervous they felt when walking in – ‘I felt a little emotional when we first arrived’
Thank you for your honesty but we do ‘get it’. You’ve been your child’s support and you know that not everyone is kind. You can see masses of people and you don’t know if anyone will talk to you as these are all strangers to you.
We know from experience though, that feeling doesn’t last long – a warm Yorkshire and LimbBo welcome is there for you and true to form – many of you couldn’t keep up with your children during the day as they ran off to explore with new friends. Just a word of warning from LimbBo veterans – you will hardly see them next Adventure Day as they run off to find their friends and not give you a backwards glance.
We couldn’t run this event without volunteers and supporters – from parking cars, putting up marquees, running art, bubbles and stem tents to running around in the big Tommy costume in August heat… nothing is too much trouble. To our amazing gymnasts for your displays and for supporting our children throughout the day. Prosthetic companies, publishing companies, EDGA, tennis coaches, Zumba leaders, people cooking lunch, medals, t shirts, water bottles – our amazing fairground stall, the face painters who never stopped, the police who tried to handcuff our limb different children and realised they could escape, thank you all… the day was just a melee of noise and shrieks of enjoyment.
We loved talking to you all, the heartfelt hugs, the smiles, the questions, the relief of finding new friends who understand. Thanks to Koalaa, Open Bionics and EXP Hand for taking time to talk to children and parents and showing them that support IS there.
The gaming van was a huge success, and you could run a study about children finding their own way of doing things by looking at the range of ways to operate a controller with one hand.
Volunteers ranging from CEOs, designers, sports people, retired people, family and friends alike through to Adam’s friend Lev (who turned up in his converted hearse much to the amusement of the parking team) who said he wanted to help but had no experience of working with children – like all our volunteers his heart was well and truly captured by our children.
A group of children that we sometimes forget to thank are our siblings of limb different children. They are always supportive and looking out for their brothers and sisters. They are comfortable around limb difference and often fiercely protective of them – it’s good for them to be around others in their situation and they knew exactly how to behave around children with a limb difference – completely naturally and the same as they would any other child!
I can’t possibly thank everyone that made the day a success but thanks to Gary who travelled from Scotland and kept the day on track (well as much as any LimbBo event is on track – laid back is our preferred way of working!), to Cawthorne Cricket club for their outstanding venue and generosity – not only do they allow us to use the venue for free, they fundraise to support us. Bapp for Bolts – LimbBo would not exist without you and your support, you know how much we love you! Trustees, ambassadors, volunteers who all give up their time and expertise for free. I daren’t write a list of names for fear of missing someone out but you were all amazing.
We will share photos and videos from the talented Kath and Oliver in the next few days – a huge thanks for capturing the moments that are now memories that will last
I’m not sure how we can top Adventure Day this year but if you put 17th December in your diary we will pull out all the stops for Christmas.
Thank you from all of us at #TeamlimbBo
NB we did fix the broken water main so we may be allowed back into Cawthorne next year!
The photos below show why we don’t let our team out ‘unsupervised’ 😊