On Wednesday 20 September Making Space invited some of the people they support and their volunteers to their Zoofari event at Chester Zoo.
Each year the national health and social care charity host an event for the people who access their services and their volunteers, to come together and enjoy a day filled with activities, exhibitors and experiences – all centred on a theme of their choice.
This year’s theme was wildlife, which was chosen with the help of the charity’s Making Change group, a steering group that include the people they support, volunteers, employees and trustees who are committed to promoting Making It Real across all of their service.
The group helped decide on all aspects of the day including, activities on offer, interactive stalls and food available.
During the event guests arrived bright and early to enjoy a breakfast sandwich and to take in the beauty of The Square, Chester Zoo’s Grade II listed event space, before being welcomed by Phil Orton, the charities Chief People Officer.
There were a range of wildlife-themed activities going on throughout the day. The day was kicked off with an interactive sing-a-long from a musician from an organisation called Live Music Now. After lunch there was a fulfilled afternoon that included becoming an orchestra using nothing but everyday scrap items, a fun activity that combines rhythm, movement, costume, choreography and great team spirit.
Phil Orton, Chief People Officer, said: “Our annual event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the work that we do, as well as the achievements of the people we support and our volunteers.
“The people we support and our volunteers do incredible things every day, so during the event we were able to recognise our incredible award nominees by shining a light on their amazing achievements and give them the recognition they deserve during our awards ceremony.”
Helping to present the awards was Anne Broadhurst, a trustee and an active member of the Making Change group.
Guests were then given the opportunity to visit the Zoo a little earlier or to hear a talk about the History of Chester Zoo from the Zoo Ranger team. They discussed the animals at Chester Zoo and the amazing work which goes into saving species.
On top of all the fantastic main event activities, there was an abundance of stalls for guests to visit including; a Caricaturist, a photo booth, a fundraising stall, a craft stand selling items made by the people supported by the charity and a virtual reality stall, where guests could explore tropical beaches, underwater oceans and even take to the stars. The stalls were open all day to give guests choice over how they spend their day.
During the event, guests were able to raise an incredible £252.90 on the fundraising stall and raise £169 for the services who created crafts to sell.
Phil continued: “It was a fantastic day full of celebration, laughter and friendship that was attended by over 260 people.
“This day would not have been achievable without the dedicated contributions of our outstanding volunteers who put forth their utmost effort, our employees who supported people on the day, and to the people we support who got involved in the organising of the day.”