Winter Wonderland - a thank you to funders

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16 Dec 2022

Winter Wonderland - a thank you to funders

In mid-December, probably one of the coldest days of the year, we met with 7 young adults living with cancer at Winter Wonderland– it’s described as the world's best destination for festive fun, in the heart of London – and that’s certainly what we were hoping for. The venue was perfect for meeting new people, catching up with old friends, and socialising as we enjoyed the festive fayre and festive fun.

As we met, we took part in some ice breaker activities(before the real snow started to fall) so that we could get to know new friends and reconnect with those we had met before.  After initial introductions and learning a few fun facts about each other we took off for the Giant Wheel, where we were able to see London’s epic skyline from above our Hyde Park home, many of us holding our breath as we were transported 70 metres high in the tallest transportable wheel in the world!

For some of the young people, the Giant Wheel just wasn’t exciting enough, and they took to the XXL - this ride is a high G-force pendulum style ride which swings to heights of 47 metres with a claw that rotates at high speed – too much for some of us!

It was a good job they did that ride before we headed for some food.   Winter Wonderland has a huge selection of street food stalls with foods from across the globe.  From our work, we know that the “table” is said to act as a "place of community” and eating "together" gives everyone the opportunity to talk, express themselves and for any issues or concerns to be heard.  So, coming together like this always forms a central part of any of our activities, and is a great opportunity for the young people and their families to really connect.

After lunch, the young people wandered through the many stalls in the Bavarian Village, took part in the activities and revelled in the skills of the entertainers.  Walking around the stalls with a hot chocolate gave another opportunity to get to know each other and build social support networks.

Feedback from the young people who attended the event shows that 100% felt more connected, 100% felt less isolated and lonely and 100% would recommend our activities to another young person.

Joining us for this magical Christmas event, the young people were able to meet others who genuinely get what they're going through, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and enjoy a new experience with the friends they’ve made.  To our very generous funders who enabled this event, a huge thank you.

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