Report by Rahel Goenner, WLZ Head Link Worker

At our most recent Campfire Night I was astonished at the great people we are working with across the partnership. There were more than a 100 children, carers and parents making their way out on a slightly rainy November evening to be together in a special place full of special people. What a great way to start out our new year of working in three local schools with many old and new faces including our own fairly new Link Workers Esther and Matthew.

People like Hassan, Joel and the other play workers at the WCAP, who with great passion for the young people, stayed late that evening, tended the fire and cleaned the mess.

People like the two students-turned into volunteers of a local secondary school, who stayed on to help out managing loads of marshmallows and wrapping chocolate filled bananas.

People like the remarkable stilt walker from Albert & Friends Circus, who with great stamina added that extra circus sparkle to the evening and inspired our kids to hopefully get stuck in with circus skills in the near future.

People like the older brother who had come along to bring his eager sister and got stuck on an old piano in the corner playing tunes for everyone.

Little people like two of our sometimes rough boys who suddenly started serving soup to the adults.

People like a woman, and mum of one of our girls who missed the evening but had chopped and peeled loads of vegetables that morning and with much skill aided our soup-making efforts.  Or another local Mom and reference board member who came to cook and brought much enthusiasm to our evening.

People like an incredible data analyst who turned into excited face painter and musician on the night.

And finally and vitally, a unique place like the Adventure Playground, a place of endless opportunities, full of the unexpected, a little sanctuary for wild and risky things free of aims and learning goals. A rare place for children to just be.

From the staff to the parents and of course the children, the evening was made special by wonderful people old and young, of all different backgrounds, enjoying each other and a few simple things. Things like a big fire, playing in the dark and a meal of homemade soup and bread.

Simple things that remind me of a village/community, providing and caring for their children while also raising them into responsible, able and caring adults!