Schoolchildren in Coventry were among more than 700 disadvantaged youngsters who enjoyed a day at Drayton Manor Theme Park thanks to local Rotarians who once again teamed up with the KidsOut charity.
Young thrill-seekers were able to spend a fun-packed day at the Tamworth attraction as part of the National Rotary Kids Day Out scheme, which returned for the first time in three years following the pandemic.
Heart of England Rotary funded the subsidised tickets for the trip, last month, following negotiations with the Park’s new owners.
Coventry Jubilee Rotary Club was among the eight who supported the effort, including Erdington, Kinver, Lichfield, West Bromwich, Wylde Green, Lickey Hills and Stourport & Bewdley.
One of the organisers of National Rotary Kids Out Day, Bill Elliott, said: “There were times when we believed that this event would never take place again. So it was good to see everyone enjoying the day after so long. It has been missed. The park was not particularly busy and the weather was kind to us.
“There were a number of Rotarians who came along to support their sponsored groups. There were some glitches but they were easily rectified and it felt as if we had never been away.”
More than 200 children were also involved in the Alternative Kids’ Out Day which included visits to such venues as Warwick Castle, Black Country Museum, Twycross Zoo, West Midlands Safari Park and Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
Victoria Lynn, managing director of Drayton Manor Resort, said: “We were thrilled to welcome an amazing group of children to the resort for the annual Big Day Out.”
“We believe children from all walks of life should be given the opportunity to make memories to cherish forever, which is why we were so proud to partner with KidsOut and Rotary once again for this initiative.”
“Giving young people the chance to enjoy fun-filled experiences is incredibly important to us, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more children to the resort next year.”
Since the first National Rotary KidsOut Day in 1990, the event has turned into the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK. With more than 28,000 children participating in the last National Day Out in 2019, this year the National Day Out was attended by 16,500 disadvantaged children.
A spokesperson for the Kids Out charity said: “This is a fantastic result considering many have only just got back on their feet with the residual effects of the pandemic still lingering. The day is only truly possible as it is run nationally in conjunction with the unwavering pioneers, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (RGBI).
“To make the National Rotary KidsOut Day the success that it is, more than 10,000 Rotarians volunteer on the day at over 100 venues. Whether they live with critical health issues, in refuge or with a disability, disadvantaged children across the country are taken on a fun day out – whatever the weather! They certainly had the most wonderful valuable and positive experiences, many children having not been on a day out since 2019.”
Further information about KidsOut is available at: https://www.kidsout.org.uk/
Further information about Heart of England Rotary is available at: https://www.rotary-ribi.org/districts/homepage.php?DistrictNo=1060