You may have seen the 29th Variety Children’s Christmas party on the news over the weekend? It is an annual event that allows children who have an intellectual or physical disability, terminal illness or who come from a low socio-economic background, to celebrate the joys of Christmas. Nine of the Aspect team volunteered over the two days to help set up and then host the party.
I hear set up day was physically challenging and on my arrival to the venue on the Thursday I could see why. A large part of the Convention Centre had been razzle dazzled with huge Christmas trees, fairground rides, live entertainment, slides, a North Pole grotto and of course a few areas for some R&R and creative flair. Oh, not to forget the animal petting farm which Aspect manned whilst children patted, held, brushed, hugged and kissed the lamas, calf, sheep, goats, chickens, turkey and ducks.
It was a so lovely to see the kids enjoy the animals. One parent mentioned to me that her child was quite anxious and frantic when visiting all the other rides and activities at the party yet when he came into the animal pen, he was calm. I was also pleased to be able to sign back to a few of the children who also knew Auslan (sign language).
The party is put on solely by Variety, Variety volunteers and with donations. It costs $200 to send a child to the party so it’s a huge achievement to say that circa 3,000 passed through. It was a really special day and a lovely opportunity to give back.