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Woodland Adventure zone day by families with disabled children funded by Notts Masons/MCF

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

Local disabled children and their families enjoy outdoor adventures thanks to Nottinghamshire Freemason grant to disability charity Contact

Disabled children and their families had fun and enjoyed a daring, fun-filled outdoor adventure this Easter thanks to a grant from Nottinghamshire Freemasons to disability charity Contact.

Above is John Pawlik, Robert Pearce Portland College Fundraising Manager, Catherine McGee from Contact, Mrs Ann Marshall and Philip Marshall

The £150,000 grant meant that Contact was able to offer 20 families a free session at the Woodland Adventure Zone where they were able to take part in fully accessible outdoor activities like the Adventure Zone's 90-metre zip wire, climbing wall, and abseiling.

Notts Masons also funded this 4x4 buggy which is used extensively on the Portland College site to enhance the activities they can offer

Phil Parrot and his team from the Woodland Aventure Zone are able to offer activities to all levels of disabilities due to the equipment provided and they are a significant part of why this facility works so well, displaying boundless care and enthusiasm

For many, this was one of the first major outings they have had as a family in many months because of the pandemic.

The grant from Nottinghamshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families, and friends, from across England and Wales.

Harriet Squirrel, Contact’s Better Together Events Manager, said:

“We’re very grateful to Nottinghamshire Freemasons for their generous grant. Many families with disabled children have felt so isolated during the pandemic and Contact’s Better Together events like this wonderful visit to the Woodland Adventure Zone are the perfect antidote to this. They’re an opportunity for families to share fun experiences, help them make friends, and build support networks.”

John Pawlik from Nottinghamshire Freemasons said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Contact offer families in Nottingham with disabled children an opportunity to have this unique experience and hopefully have loads of fun. We know it’s been a particularly difficult time for disabled children and their families, and we hope that their activity day at the Woodland Adventure Zone has been enjoyable and full of excitement.”

The Provincial Grand Master Philip Marshall and Chair of the Charity Committee John Pawlik attended and were very pleased to see such an exciting day being had by the families and even assisted in hoisting wheelchair-bound children up the climbing wall

It was heartwarming to see such disabled children being able to enjoy such an experience and the squeals of delight and grins when using the zip wire that filled the air

One of the Contacts Charity officials present, Elizabeth Harper said "The aims of the day are to get those with disabled children doing something together as a whole family, that includes non-disabled siblings. Many of the children who came on Friday have been isolating for most of the pandemic and getting them together for fun activities and doing something out of the ordinary is a huge confidence boost.

My own reaction to the day was that it was wonderful seeing the families doing daring and fun outdoor activities together that all children should be able to experience. The Woodland Adventure Zone is an amazing resource and the team there work hard to ensure that everyone can take part. The smiles and reactions from the children and parents on the day were wonderful.

Some of the quotes we have been given permission to publish are listed below

JH: ‘Thanks for a fab morning [child O] really enjoyed himself. It was lovely to see him joining in and being happy.’

EM: ‘[child Z] enjoyed it so much, you have no idea how emotional it made me feel to see him included & pushing his limits 🥰 Thank you so much for the memories!’

HC: ‘Thanks so much for letting us join in the activities today! [children M & J] really enjoyed themselves and had loads of fun! Really appreciate it!’

She added "Thanks so much for your support and generous grant so that we can put on these events, and please share my personal thanks with your Lodge and PGM."

Please see the youtube link below for a short video of the group using the Zip Wire

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