Adults with disabilities enjoyed all the fun of the fair with their families and carers at a circus-themed celebration in County Durham.
The Peterlee Pathways service, a branch of Durham County Council’s Care and Support Pathways, provides a range of fun activities and support to people aged 16 and over, who have complex care needs.
To celebrate the summer, the service hosted a summer festival filled with fairground fun.
Guests were treated to an array of spectacular performances by professional fire eaters, jugglers, gymnasts, dancers, a stilt walker, magician and balloon sculptor, and musicians.
With a little help from a professional singer and dancer, service users gave a sensational performance of their own too with both a vocal rendition and Makaton signing of The Greatest Showman’s This is Me.
The hungry crowd feasted on a range of traditional carnival foods, including hot dogs, popcorn and candyfloss, all served from a specially adapted big red London bus, which had been transformed into a circus trailer for the festival.
Further surprises on the day included appearances from Prince the sensory pony, a beautifully decorated ‘unicorn’ horse, and celebrity lookalikes, including Mrs Brown and James Bond, who took selfies with their audience, in a photo booth created by Pathways service users in their creative craft sessions.
The event was a real team effort. The council’s groundwork and highways teams spruced up the centre’s gardens, enabling guests to bask in the sunshine and supporters from Peterlee police service, fire and rescue service and the council’s Wellbeing for Life service all attended to lend a hand and showcase their services to the guests.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for adult and health services opened the festival. She said: “It was wonderful to see such a range of entertainment. The day has been cram-packed with all the fun of the fair and it’s a delight to see staff, service users and their families having such a great time.”
Paul Graydon, Durham County Council’s Countywide Pathways manager, said: “The summer festival was a fabulous opportunity for service users, carers and staff to come together with external partners, and local businesses, to enjoy all the thrills and sensations of the circus in the comfort and safety of Peterlee care hub.
“Our team of dedicated staff are already working on the theme for next year’s summer event which I’m sure will be even bigger and better than ever.
The Pathways Service would like to express its thanks to the many local businesses and organisations who lent their support to make the summer festival a success, including ceilidh band Maximum Pastry, entertainer Professor Nincompoop, Rebel Events Entertainment, Batleys, Hancocks, Poundstretcher, Asda Peterlee, Matfen Hall, Caterpillar, Positive Directions North East and Manor House West Auckland.