School children enjoy beach party at Barry Island
3:02pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of special needs school children came to Barry Island as part of the annual Variety Club Beach Party on Friday.
Special schools from across South Wales, including Ysgol Maes Dyfan, Ysgol Erw’r Delyn and Ashgrove School, enjoyed a day at the seaside as the weather held off.
Entertainment was provided by a sandcastle competition, a disco, a juggler, a giant connect four game and a wide range of other activities.
‘Sparky’ the remote-controlled robot, part of the Half Human Theatre, also wowed the crowds.
Each child was also given free chips, ice cream and a bottle of water thanks to local traders Marco’s Cafe, and chippies Boofy’s and O’Shea’s.
The annual day out has run for over 40 years since it was established by Pat Collins and Langdon Doidge, husband of current Variety Club of Wales co-chair Peggy Doidge MBE.
Susan Frampton, Variety at work officer for the Variety club children’s charity, said: “We have got over 1000 people coming today with 650 children and the rest made up of helpers.
“They are all special needs children from 26 schools.
“If it wasn’t for the help of O’Shea’s, Boofy’s, Marco’s and the Vale of Glamorgan Council we wouldn’t be able to make it happen, as they really make the event what it is.”
She added: “It’s just for the children to have a fun day as some of them don’t ever get to go down the beach.
“One year we had a 16-year-old boy that had never been to the beach before."
The beach party is always held on the second Friday of the beginning of the school term.
“When you see the children enjoying themselves on the beach you understand how much it means to them,” added Sue.
Mrs Faye Norris, head of sixth form at Ysgol Maes Dyfan, said that the whole school looked forward to the annual beach party.
“As soon as we get back to school the first thing we look forward to is when the beach party is,” she said.
“The kids absolutely love it. There’s lots of things the kids can do, as no matter what disability they have they can all access the beach party.
“They all get something out of it and love it.”