Family Frolics on a Rainy Friday in Southend!
Despite the deluge, over 2,500 people flocked to Garon Park, Eastern Avenue, Southend-on-Sea on Easter Friday to attend an event hosted by Wellbeing@GaronPark.
Award winning band Wartime Nebraska kicked off proceedings as people poured in. The day was brightened by Byzance bellydancers and children were kept smiling by entertainers Crazy Ryan, and Tidimix from Mega Inflatables.
Families strode through the mud to visit the Kindness Exchange, who’d taken over a barn with a host of free craft activities. Street Artists braved the cold to create two artworks which will remain at the park. The Easter Egg hunt – held to celebrate Southend-on-Sea’s 125th year – proved popular, with around 200 prizes given away.
In the site’s clubhouse (the park is used for football and cricket) kids got to practice their coding skills with SouthendTech, and people could find out about the Men’s Shed scheme – which supports men’s mental health.
Southend’s Mayor Fay Evans arrived at midday for a tour with Wellbeing@GaronPark Chair Stuart Routledge, who explained plans to develop facilities to improve health and wellbeing. The Mayor also met Pepper the Robot from Southend Borough Council and spent time chatting with the many stallholders.
Wellbeing@GaronPark is grateful to charity Porters Soccability who provided most of the day’s volunteers. By also selling tea and cake in the clubhouse Porters raised funds to help them send kids to this year’s Special Olympics.
Wellbeing@GaronPark would like to thank everyone that turned up to volunteer – many stepping in at the last minute. A special mention to volunteers George Murfitt,
Brandon Bartlett and Michael from South Essex College who marshalled in the car park. Visitor Samantha Ra said “I must mention the guy directing traffic to the car park. I’ve never seen someone so enthusiastic about their job, especially in the pouring rain!”
Others had good things to say too. Visitor Becky Francis: “I was impressed with how upbeat everyone was! We managed to catch the magician’s act, which was great!” Kirsty Hardie said: “A great day. One of my boys won a golden egg on the Easter egg hunt. He was very pleased with his giant bunny!”
Chair Stuart Routledge said: “That so many people visited tells us there’s a lot of interest in Garon Park. Our plans include installing an accessible path – to make it easier for people with mobility issues, and buggies, to get around – creating a wildlife and sensory garden, and turning the barn into an art and craft centre. We encourage people to stay in touch so we can involve them as plans progress.”
Wellbeing@GaronPark would like to thank their sponsors: The Big Lottery, Southend Borough Council, Dedman Gray, Hivedome, Estuary Housing, Westcliff Rotary Club, EASST, M&S and Greencrop Forage & Contracting.