Saturday 30 June saw a very special event for Queen’s Park junior parkrun in Bolton. The event was “taken over” by junior parkrunner, Thomas, and his friends.
Thomas’s mum, Joanne Brown, explains to us the motivation behind setting up the event, and the huge impact it had on all those children who took part on the day:
“Friends of Green Fold are a parent-teacher association; we raise money for Green Fold special school, part of The Orchards Federation, situated in Farnworth, Bolton.
The children we support all have Severe Learning Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and they travel from all parts of Bolton.
There are fewer pupils and our events must always be carefully planned to ensure there is adequate staffing and our pupils’ sensory needs are catered for. That’s what drew us towards parkrun, an event that takes place every weekend, bringing families together, making it perfect for us.
As soon as I mentioned it to Emma Donaldson, the Event Director, I felt welcome and assured that our ‘takeover’ would be a success; she was so positive and enthusiastic. We dished out flyers at school, advertised for marshals, enlisted some staff to provide Signalong and Aided Language Symbols, which enabled Sarah and Vera to do a great job providing total communication on the day.
The whole event blew us away! In total, 93 children took part overall, with 38 volunteers acting as hi-vis heroes. As well as that, there were so many families and friends who came along just to cheer us on.
The icing on the cake was our special guest, Tony Griffin, 38 times Paralympic medallist who happily handed out medals and certificates to our very own future stars and brought along his Paralympics 2012 baton relay torch!”
Queen’s Park junior parkrun Event Director Emma Donaldson added: “As the Event Director, I was particularly proud to be involved in this event. We had able-bodied and disabled participants and volunteers having fun together on a Sunday morning.
I’m really grateful to Green Fold for trusting us with their children and for our amazing symbol briefing flip book, and to Tony Griffin for joining us and inspiring all our young stars.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how you take part, there is always a welcome for you at junior parkrun.”
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