Happy Birthday Club Wilber!
As Club Wilber turns one today, we are celebrating the first anniversary of this fantastic journey and the amazing families we have been working with for the past year.
The adapted Easter Egg Hunt was the catalyst for forming Club Wilber, and after the success of the event and the obvious need for more activities like this to be available to children and young people with visual impairments, their siblings and families across Yorkshire, we decided to create Club Wilber and run a programme of regular activities. The activities continued to grow throughout 2019, including a VIP game to Leeds Rhinos, two trips out to sea on the specially designed WetWheels boat, sensory craft sessions, animal therapy sessions, a Halloween party, a coach trip to Cadbury World and a Disney Princess party.
There are two key reasons for the existence of Club Wilber and why we have continued to develop it.
One is to create activities that are family inclusive so all the children in the family are involved regardless of their sight. Research shows that the effect of spending time with siblings has on us is significantly important because the bond between siblings is unlike any other that we will experience in our lifetime.
The second is to create an opportunity for families to spend time with other families with similar experiences, because many with visually impaired children don’t know anyone else in the same position and it can be a lonely experience. Our activities and events offer a chance to spend time with people that can share similar experiences and gain support and advice.
We are so proud of how far we have come in this first year since creating Club Wilber and have loved every second of being able to provide stress free, inclusive family outings that do not cost the earth and have provided a safe environment to create friendships and family memories.
While COVID-19 and the lockdown has changed our plans, it has not dampened our spirits, and we have continued to run Club Wilber virtually by running online activities, setting competitions and keeping in touch with the families.
We were even able to celebrate Easter; with the help of the generous donations of Easter eggs from Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose in York, the money raised through our Easter Egg appeal, donations from staff, the efforts of Chocolates and Truffles, and our staff and friends making deliveries, we were even able to deliver Easter eggs to all of the Club Wilber children and their siblings.
78 Easter eggs spanning across the whole of Yorkshire, North, East, South and West.
Today we will be having a virtual birthday party in which we will be getting together to celebrate with some cake, chat about memories from the past year, and maybe even enjoy some surprise gifts!
We would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate our Club Wilber Sponsors today, businesses who have signed up to support Club Wilber to ensure we can continue to provide a variety of engaging, inclusive, affordable and fun activities – there may even be some surprise gifts for them too!
Happy Birthday Club Wilber – we cannot wait to see what the next year brings!
If you would like to register your family with Club Wilber, or sign up your business and become a sponsor, then please get in touch with Pip at [email protected]
The Wilberforce Trust is dedicated to helping those with visual impairment, sight loss, hearing loss and other disabilites across York, North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.