Throughout Greenfields, we have an ambition to Improve Lives, which informs everything we do. This includes working with residents to carry out a whole host of events and activities in the communities we serve. In the first of a series of regular guest blogposts, Neighbourhood Co-ordinator Emilie Harris reveals all about a super gruesome Halloween event she organised in Braintree!
On Friday 27th October we held a ‘Halloween Fright Fest’ at the Carousel Children’s Centre on Chapel Hill, Braintree. We have done Halloween events here in the past, but as we have been doing our ‘Make a Difference Days’ as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we thought we should get this event back up and running!
We started the day at 8.30am, getting our rangers to unload a van full of our Halloween decorations, gruesome games, gazebo and smoothie bike and started by decorating the hall at the centre! Pulling apart all of the cobwebs and draping them over every possible object or piece of furniture seemed like it would take forever, but before we knew it, it was approaching midday when everyone would be arriving!
The last member of staff arrived, managing to get through a queue of parents and children, and a sea of pushchairs and prams, with the final ingredient for the day – the maggots for our ‘Count the Maggots in a Jar’. We just about managed to get them in the jar, stifling our squeals, before everyone entered the hall.
The event proved very popular, and it was a great mixture of children’s ages, so the supply of sweets went down fairly quickly! Some of the younger children were a bit too scared to put their hands in the ‘Guts and Gore’ boxes but the older children soon showed them how it’s done! Everyone was getting involved, even the parents by trying to demonstrate apple bobbing and desperately trying to hunt down all of our Halloween characters that were lurking around the venue… it was worth it though as they then got to ‘Trick or Treat’ in our lucky dip!
The pancake stall was a huge hit, with apple and cinnamon, blueberry and banana, and some savoury pancakes being tried, though some found the tuna pancakes to be slightly ‘interesting’… That being said it was a great opportunity to get children and parents involved in cooking and showing how easy it is to make healthy and tasty food from scratch.
The two hour event seemed to go so quickly, and before we knew it, it was sadly time to take down the decorations we had spent hours putting up. We collected £47.32 for Macmillan Cancer Support from the charity entry fee per child, and had over 70 children attend within the two hours, so it is no wonder we felt so tired afterwards! We packed everything away, aside from a few helium balloons which escaped and will be on the ceiling of the hall at the Carousel Children’s Centre for a few weeks to come, and the decorations will be ready for when we do another Halloween Event!