CASE has inherited 15 years expertise in organising free recreational and educational events for children from disadvantaged families. In times of austerity, many children in Brighton and Hove miss the great opportunity to have experiences that other children have for granted – to explore nature, technology, history, or see a play in a theatre… CASE want to give children this opportunity.
Every year, our enthusiastic Events Team does its best to propose new and exciting places, although some of our outings have been so successful that families come and ask us to take them again to places they have visited already, and loved!
The current Covid crisis caused enormous restrictions to this activity, but we realised that our events were vital for our young guests and their parents. For most of them the lockdown had been particularly harsh, as they lived in small Council flats with no garden. Many of them did not have cars and were stuck in the City through the Spring and Summer. Many parents who were already on low income lost their jobs, suffering enormous hardship. For this reason we decided to make efforts to organise at least one Summer and one Christmas event – which were occasions to both engage the children and help the families with food.
On 19 December 2020 we held A Visit to Santa.
The lockdown meant that we could not hold our annual Christmas Party for children, and the two Pantos were cancelled by the theatres. However, we made sure that our young guests would not miss a toy and a good Christmas dinner.
On 19 December we invited families to a Covid safe hall (St Richards in Hollingdean) to meet Santa and receive a present and a big hamper of meat, cheese selections, Christmas pudding, chocolates and more! We made our children happy and their parents delighted. A parent wrote: ‘Hi Natalie… Just a quick huge thank you for the presents and hamper… I was genuinely gobsmacked when I saw the beef joint, can’t remember the last time we had roast beef… and the kids loved the presents’.
Most recent event: A Visit to Santa (19 December 2020):
We can now have a relaxing break after our ‘Visit to Santa’ event for children of 19 December! A Covid safe environment…
On 19 August 2020 we also managed to hold a Summer Outing for children to Fishers Farm!
This was a complicated task, due to the Covid restrictions. To guarantee distancing, CASE had to spread the families into three coaches.
We also had to ask everybody to wear masks on the coaches, ask people not to stay in groups, and make sure that our guests luch would be safe.
Together with other measures, this meant that we had to invest more efforts and resources on the same outing, and the responsability for this event caused much more stressful than usual – but the health and well being of our young guests and their parents comes first!
It was very hard but we managed to have a summer outing to Fishers Farm for children today. Due to the need to ensure…
Our events through the years
CASE Central’s events for children have so far included:
Summer and Educational Events
CASE Central has established an ongoing programme of educational events and outings, aiming at making children develop an interest in nature, science and technology.
So far we have taken children to the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, the Observatory and Science Centre at Herstmonceux, Kew Garden’s Wakehurst Place (to visit the Millennium Seed Bank), Fishers Farm Adventure Park, Drusillas Park and Zoo, Brighton Sealife Centre and the i360, the Smuggles’ Caves in Hastings, Bentley Wildfowl Farm and The Bluebell Railway. CASE Central has also recently liaised with the Brighton Science Festival to bring science to children in Hollingdean. To know more about these interesting places and organisations, please click on their links.
These events are not only educational, but also, of course, recreational: we offer days of fun to families who would not otherwise afford such experience. At times of benefit cuts, wage freeze, rent and fuel costs rises, when many families have to choose between ‘eating or heating’, a special day out can often be just unaffordable. Our outings are, as well, a great occasion for our adult and young guests to make new friends!
For photos and reports on our most recent outings and events, please click on the following links:
- The Pocket Science Festival (16 March 2019)
- Fishers Farm Adventure Park (25 August 2018)
- Sealife Centre and i360 (30 July 2018)
- Hastings Smugglers’ Cave (11 August 2018)
- The Pocket Science Festival (17 March 2018)
- Drusillas Park (23 August 2017)
- Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre (9 August 2017)
- The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum (26 July 2017)
- The Observatory and Science Centre at Herstmonceux (16 February 2017)
Christmas outings to Panto
The magic Christmas experience that a Panto only can give to children is often inaccessible to many families in the present economic situation.
CASE Central has continued to offer outings to parents ans children to two Pantomimes during the Christmas season. Our outings are free and will include the travel to theatres, free admission, a meal and refreshments. In the last few years we have taken our young guests to Worthing and Eastbourne Theatres, who are renown for their professional and amusing performances. This last Christmas 2017 we maintained our tradition, taking children to see Snow White in Worthing and Dick Whittington in Eastbourne. For a full report and some photos from the events click here.
A Christmas Party for children of families on low incomes
Our Christmas Parties are waited for by many families. At our annual party, our young guests enjoy plenty of entertainments, including the show of a magician, a Punch and Judy show, and disco music. We also offer them a Christmas dinner, and a present each from Santa. We will never forget when, at the end of our Christmas Party in 2016, one of the parents told us that this was their children’s first Christmas Party ever! We felt sad, because these children had never had a Christmas Party or a present before, but also proud. Our hard work is necessary, and this is rewarding, and we thank many donors for contributing to make our Christmas Parties possible every year.
Other seasonal events in Hollingdean
These events aim at encouraging a community spirit among the locals in Hollingdean.
They have included a Hounded Office on Halloween 2015, 2016 and 2017, Bonfire Night Barbecues, and Annual Dog Shows in the park nearby.
These events have been organised by CASE Central in active collaboration with people in Hollingdean – neighbours, adult children and friends of our volunteers, local dog walkers, etc. and have been supported by local businesses. We feel that these events have encouraged people’s active involvement with us and have promoted our image in the area. So far, these events have been organised without special funds from charitable trusts and we have counted on the contribution from local people and local shops. For this reason, we can only organise them when we can count on this voluntary help and support.
Outings for children of refugees and migrant families
When funds are available, we have also organised outings for children of refugees and migrant families. These outings have aimed at encouraging social integration, and the demolition of barriers caused by prejudice.
Among the outings, we have included a residential weekend to dream holiday places, such as Lulworth Cove (Refugees Outings 2015 and 2016).
Unfortunately, the recent refugee crisis has made funds for this kind of events more difficult to receive, as money is needed for more urgent help in places like Calais. In 2016 we had to suspend our holidays for refugees. We are now developing new educational ideas, especially aimed at migrant workers from the EU on low incomes.
If you want to know what the local community says about us click here.