Family Day 2019 – Skreens Park

Review by Gemma Darlow (Administrator)

On 15 June, I, along with trustees Rachael and Amanda, hosted the fourth annual Behçet’s UK friends and family day at Skreens Activity Centre in Essex. This was my second year hosting the day, and we were very pleased to see and hear from the feedback that it was another successful day, enjoyed by all.

Thankfully, despite having a week of solid rain before the event, we were lucky to have Goldilocks weather on the day – dry, not too hot and not too cold – just right!

We started the day with refreshments in our day hut, our base for the day, before the groups headed off for their first activity, which for most was archery or kayaking. The instructors showed everyone how to participate safely, allowing adults, children, beginners and those with more experience to all take part and have fun.

After the first activity, there was time for a leisurely lunch which gave everyone time to refuel, have a chat and play giant games – my personal favourite was giant Kerplunk!

Following the sociable lunch break, everyone chose to try their hand at archery or tomahawk throwing. There was definitely a touch of jovial competitiveness, with both groups having fun.

Time to nip back to the day hut for a drink and biscuits before heading off for the final activities of the day – kayaking or bushcraft. The kayakers all returned happy, as did the bushcrafters, who could now give Bear Grylls a run for his money. Maybe Bear should add marshmallows into his survival kit, as toasted they proved to be a big hit with the group!

Sadly, the day flew by so quickly that it was now time for everyone to head home after a great day learning new skills, laughing and having fun with family, as well as making new friends.

We received some lovely feedback as you can see from the quotes below, with everyone rating the day as excellent or very good.

“It was an opportunity to meet and talk to other families going through the same as us. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Fun activities for the children. The opportunity to make friends”.

“Behcet’s day was fun and good for making friends. I was able to
understand more about Behçet’s and have fun while doing so.”
A, age 11

“It was really helpful to share experiences with other parents of children with Behçet’s. It helped us to understand the symptoms better and join the dots.”

“A brilliant day, packed full of fun activities. Even with acute anxiety,
I felt reassured doing the kayaking – for me that was a big accomplishment and gave me confidence to look forward to archery and bushcraft”

“We thoroughly enjoyed this event and would highly recommend people to book it. Thank you Behçet’s group for planning such a wonderful day trip.”

“I loved making a campfire … and toasting marshmallows on it!”

“It really helped to let our daughter know there were other children on the same medication and you could not tell who as they all look fine on the outside … rare but still normal!”

“My daughter really enjoyed meeting other children and getting understanding that she is not alone. It was good to meet with other parents and get advice around certain issues, and the event was relaxed and everyone was welcoming”.

“I liked that the activities were spaced apart to allow the day to flow and meet other sufferers. It was flexible and the trainers thoroughly went through procedures and safety and ensured the children were supervised at all times.”

“It was really really super good.” H, age 9

We’re currently planning our 2020 day and will confirm all the details in the winter newsletter – we hope to see you there.