2020 had been a very different year for all of us.
We had never experienced anything like this in our lives, and it is was an incredibly challenging time.
In March 2020, the country was in lockdown – schools were closed, all Buddies after school clubs, weekend activities and residentials cancelled, everything was impacted and forced to shut down.
During this time, Cheshire Buddies continued to support as many families as possible – we adapted to the situation whilst following government guidelines.
What We Did
When we were in full lockdown, we offered ‘Bags of Happiness’ to our families – Buddies provided bags full of games, crafts, baking sets and homemade cakes! This was our way of having ‘doorstep’ contact to find out if parents needed any help/support and simply to have a chat and stay connected.
As restrictions started to ease and we could meet up, Buddies offered families a Garden Buddy – spending time in their gardens with the children whilst parents/grandparents/carers had a well deserved break.
The garden Buddy brought lots of exciting activities and games to play.
Outdoor Gatherings and Day Trips
Following on from this, Buddies started to meet regularly in local parks, small groups of children in open spaces. We visited Crewe, Tatton, Northwich and Brereton Country Park. We were able to provide games, arts and crafts and forest school activities.
Children enjoyed trips to Chester Zoo and Blackpool Pleasure beach, plus regular family activity days in local parks – all this has been fantastic for all the children and their families, as they have been able to meet with friends and have fun in a safe environment.
Family Support Service
Whilst on this journey together, we have been able to support parents with referrals to other supporting charities/organisations – food banks, family fund, fuel vouchers and more. View useful links, contact details and useful information
In total, Cheshire Buddies have provided xx activities and supported xx children and young people and their families
Cheshire Buddies have continued to run our activity groups for disabled children and young people, siblings and parent carers in line with Government guidelines
2021 – Looking Forward
Cheshire Buddies will continue to support as many families as possible by changing and adapting our service to meet the needs of the people and staying connected.
What have we planned so far?
- Buddies After school Club at Little Moss Wood
- Busy Buddies 1 2 1 Club
- Young Explorers
- Sibling group
- Saturday Club
- Cycling Group
Buddies really appreciate our Mini Bus – donated by the Morgan Foundation– it means we can continue to get out and about and visit so many different places.
Buddies have so many exciting activities planned for 2021
We will, as much as possible, be out in open spaces – this has worked really well so far. We have been so lucky with the weather, it has been brilliant – the secret is to wrap up well and wear Wellies!
Hopefully, when restrictions are eased, there will be further changes to the guidelines and we will be able to offer even more activities.
Different groups will be visiting Lower Moss Wood, canoeing at Brereton with the Oakhanger Project, visits to local parks; Tatton, Northwich, Crewe and Hanley to name a few.
We will be taking different groups cycling, walking, climbing plus forest school activities.
When it is safe to do so, Youth Club will restart again, we plan to take this group bowling on a weekly basis.
We have already provisionally booked residentials in Summer and Autumn 2021 – Blackpool, Play Away in Yorkshire and the Venture Centre in the Isle of Man
2021 here we come!
We are aware that the guidelines have changed so many times, on a daily and weekly basis and we are prepared for any potential lockdown measures.
Cheshire Buddies is committed to being creative, adaptive and thinking “outside the box” to ensure that children, parents and carers are supported during these uncertain times.