Our accessible Easter Egg Hunt returns!

On Easter Saturday we held our annual, accessible Easter Egg Hunt, the event that launched Club Wilber back in 2019, here at Wilberforce House. Our amazing hunt uses specially made eggs with a sound mechanism inside so they can be found by using hearing rather than sight! These bleeping eggs are hidden along the way in baskets and hay on little picnic mat stations to draw the children in, where they then found smaller eggs full of treats. At the end of the course the children get to exchange these eggs for a chocolate one, and plenty managed more than one go round the course! Sighted siblings joined in the fun by donning an eye mask, so they too were relying on their hearing to experience this unique, seasonal activity. The egg hunt is one of the biggest on our Club Wilber calendar and has always been hugely popular. On its first year, the event won the Silver Award in the Charity Event category at the Minster FM People’s Choice Awards.

This year the event was bigger and better than ever with craft activities and face painting inside Wilberforce House, alongside Weston’s Café serving up hot drinks and bacon butties.

For both the Club Wilber families, and the residents, the egg hunt isn’t just a chance for a chocolate haul, but also an opportunity to socialise and spend time with people that share experiences. This year was our most attended with twenty families across the day.

Club Wilber provides a supportive environment and an opportunity to get together for families in Yorkshire who have a child or young person aged 0-25 with a visual impairment, including those with other disabilities. Our activities and events are designed for the whole family to enjoy together, and offer a chance to spend time with people that can share your experiences and gain support and advice.

 

 

Things come in 4s- putting our senses to the test!

A couple of week’s ago, on the 29th February, we gathered a room full of Club Wilber sponsors and asked them to leap in and put four of their senses to the test!

After some time spent mingling and catching up over coffee, Operations Director, Samantha Scholey, introduced Club Wilber, and gave an update on recent activities and plans for the coming year. Then the eye masks were handed out and the fun began…

Our first sense to be tested was our hearing, with a ‘guess the intro’ round and ‘guess the voice. In particular, guessing the voice of a well known person was hard without the context that your sight gives you. You knew that you knew it, but it became unfamiliar without seeing their face or surroundings.

We then moved onto testing our senses of smell and taste, with half the team sniffing and half the team tasting! Citrus aromas of grapefruit, orange and lemon merged into one and eucalyptus, tea tree and other essential oils became very similar. Some people were better at the task than others and I’m pretty sure winter colds and blocked up noses didn’t help!

At the start of the taste test, the ‘willing’ volunteers looked like they were embarking on a bush-tucker trial, nervous with the anticipation of what they would be putting into their mouths. Samantha, and Club Wilber administrator Sarah, really came up with some concoctions to test the tastebuds; Rosemary and Lime chocolate, pickle, cheese cracker and popcorn and date and honey.

Our final sense to be put to the test was touch, with two large boxes per team filled with a both a variety of dry materials, and one with wet. The task was to feel around and find pieces of an alphabet puzzle, and complete it. The wet box was first; full of rice pudding and bubble bath followed by straw, cereal and wrapped up lollies! The word disgusting was an understatement and, again, without your sight to aid you your brain went into overdrive trying to recognise what you touched.

 

We finished our afternoon with a round of applause for the winning team and a round of delicious canapes.  The experiences of the last few hours were a real conversational piece and everyone took something away, in particular, how much your sight aids you and your other senses.

A big thank you, as always, to the Delta by Marriott hotel in York for their room hire and refreshments and a thank you to our sponsors who continue to support the work we do with Club Wilber.

 

Club Wilber went on Safari!
Club Wilber had fun on Safari last week!
Helen and Ava from Sam’s Safaris came to tell us all about the animals in their care. We learnt some cool facts and enjoyed having a feel of all the animals; running our fingers along lizard scales, feeling sticky snail feet and patting the blanket soft fur of a chinchilla. We even had a noisy duck piping up to greet us. Afterwards, we had a game of hungry hippos, played with some rain sticks, had a go on the African drum, and enjoyed some safari themed refreshments!
Thank you to the Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Charitable Trust and LNER who helped fund this activity.
InSight Magazine – Winter 2024

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:

 

Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine

Club Wilber visits the Panto!

Finishing a fabulous, festive season at the Wilberforce Trust, we attended the pantomime at York Theatre Royal at the weekend with some of our Club Wilber families. This year’s show was Jack and the Beanstalk and it was as entertaining and funny as we have come to expect from this historic theatre. Like last year, we were also delighted to be able to experience a private ‘touch- tour’ of the set and costumes before the show.

At the start of the tour we were introduced to the stage, set and story by one of the theatre’s accredited Audio Describers, who talked us through different scenes and costumes we would expect to encounter. She explained what we might hear to tell us that something in particular was happening, such as a character entering the stage, which was really helpful to build a picture of what we were about to watch. We were then invited onto the stage to look at the props, set and costumes and more importantly to feel them. These included the ‘Cow Wash’ (like a car wash!) and the top of the huge Giant costume. We could hold some of the smaller props, like the velvet bags of beans and coins, and the team were so helpful with explaining things and allowing the children to ask loads of questions. Being able to use their sense of touch is hugely important for a lot of the children, enabling them to build a picture in their minds of what the characters and set may look like.

Once we took our seats in the main auditorium, those that wished to could use a headset so the action on stage could be described to them to bring the action to life. The performance was amazing and everyone, grown- ups and children alike, had a really enjoyable time. A big thank you to the staff and crew at York Theatre Royal, especially Gill and Ted the Audio Describers, who helped make this a really magical event. A particular thank you to the York Theatre Royal pay- it- forward scheme, who provided some free tickets, and to The Victoria Wood Foundation for their generous grant which enables us to continue providing arts and culture activities.

 

Our tenants celebrate with a Christmas Party!

Last Friday we held the first ever tenant’s Christmas Party here at Wilberforce House. With the open plan space of the Living and Learning Zone and a buffet provided by on site Weston’s Café, it’s the perfect venue for our tenants to meet together, and kick off the festive season.

Alongside the buffet, full of party and festive favourites, there was a disco in the Rainbow Room and even a visit from Santa, much to the delight of a number of the tenants. He arrived to a flurry of bells and worked round the room, chatting with people and handing out a little gift. He even posed for some photos by the Christmas Tree!

Superstar of the party was our tenant, Lee, who DJ’d for the whole party, pulling together a brilliant playlist of Christmas hits, disco classics and modern floor fillers. Tenants and staff alike were singing, dancing and shaking the maracas!

We are well into the Christmas season here at Wilberforce House, with a dinner and carols left to look forward to, before the big day itself.

Club Wilber’s Christmas Party

Last weekend, and for the first time, we were delighted to open the doors of Wilberforce House for the Club Wilber Christmas Party! Across the open plan Living & Learning Zone, we had craft activities, a sensory space, a disco area and a chocolate fountain.

As our families arrived late morning, they dived straight into the festive fun; making snowmen, decorating and filling their own crackers. As soon as the smell of chocolate filled the air, children, and adults, jumped to the fountain to dip festive kebabs of fruit and sweet treats. The sensory area, with lights, textures and sounds, was popular with the littlest Club Wilber members, and it was the perfect place to escape the busyness of the café area.

After a buffet lunch of sandwiches, pizza and nibbles, the children were excited when the Big Man himself, Santa Claus, walked through the door to the jingle of bells and took a seat by our huge Christmas Tree. The families took it in turns to meet Santa and say a few words and receive a present. The expressions on the children’s faces at this special moment at the party make all the hard work worth it for the team!#

We were delighted to welcome Club Wilber Ambassador and York City Knight’s player, Will Jubb to the party, along with his partner Jess. They spent time making snowmen with the children and chatting to the families, who are always really excited to see Will. We also gave him a congratulation present for his recent graduation, with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fisheries Studies from The University of Hull.

Like the Birthday Party and at Halloween, these parties are the perfect time for the families to catch up. We waved everyone off and wished them a Merry Christmas and we’re already excited for our Panto trip together in January!

InSight Magazine – Autumn 2023

Our latest edition of InSight is out now.

This edition includes:

 

Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine

Christmas Raffle & Christmas Cards are back!

Our Christmas Raffle is back and there’s a host of fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a big Christmas hamper, a Betty’s hamper, two £100 Lifestyle shopping vouchers and a box of Nestle favourites. Tickets are £2 each and available from reception at Wilberforce House and by emailing reception@wilberforcetrust.org.uk

We are also delighted to be offering Christmas Cards again, this year featuring a wonderful contemporary design. The cards come in packs of 10 and are £4.50 a pack. As with the raffle, all proceeds raised go to the trust.

 

Donate A Star Campaign
This Christmas we are asking our supporters to donate a star to our virtual tree, and help us provide a Sensory Garden for our tenants, and visitors, to enjoy.

A garden is a wonderful thing bringing joy both to wildlife and to the beholder. Yet not everyone is able to enjoy the visual beauty of a garden. People with sight loss experience the world in different ways, so with a little help from you we can provide a sensory garden which appeals to ALL the senses and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Your gift of a star could help buy magical mint, succulent strawberry or calming chamomile for the garden. Many small individual gifts can build a legacy we can be proud of and look forward to when the warmer months arrive.

You can donate a star by clicking the donate button that you see on every page of our website and by clicking here.