Families basked in sunshine and came together for a magical day of live music, dancing, arts and crafts. The summer party, called Treefest, was organised by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and held at The Treehouse on Saturday.
It was for children and families receiving care and support and other highlights included face painting, a barbecue, maypole dancing, Morris dancing and a display by Ipswich School of Dancing.
Nearly 200 people attended the fully-booked event, which also featured a heart-warming performance by brothers Henry and George Barnard.
Talented drummer Henry, ten, receives care at The Treehouse and he was joined by brother George, 11, who played the guitar and sang Oasis classics Don’t Look Back in Anger and Wonderwall.
Lucy Hynes, EACH Groups and Events Co-ordinator, said: “It was a truly beautiful, fun and memorable day.
“Treefest is a long-established date in our diary but this was the first time we’d held it on this scale since before Covid.
“Everyone had a great time and the day showcased everything we do well, and care so passionately about, here at The Treehouse.
“It was about families enjoying quality time and having fun together in our wonderful grounds.
“There was something for everyone and the relaxed festival-style atmosphere – capped by beautiful sunshine – helped create so many magical memories.”
Families were able to cool down with a free ice cream courtesy of Roberto’s Ices and there were activities in the woodland, playground and patio areas.
These included ‘Hoops with Bells’, ‘Sunshine Hands’, ‘Gecko Decorating’, ‘Weaving Hanging Sunshine’, ‘Sun and Comet Weaving’, ‘Hook a Duck’ and a ‘Community Mosaic Art Mandala’.
There was also a model railway demonstration and an activity organised by Zest Young Adult Services, which has been developed by St Elizabeth Hospice, working closely with EACH.
The aim is to ensure young people aged 14 and upwards have a smooth transition into adult care, and from this summer, the service is being expanded into north-east Essex, working with Colchester-based St Helena Hospice.
In addition to brothers Henry and George, other interactive highlights included music from Sunset Bamboo, sessions with EACH Music Therapist Ray Travasso – who also compered the day superbly – and a conga-style woodland procession to finish off the day.
“It couldn’t have gone any better and the feedback afterwards was extremely positive,” added Lucy.
“Everyone had a wonderful time and my thanks go to everyone who made the day possible, including colleagues, volunteers and all those who gave up their time to help in some way.
“It was a huge success and an event that will live long in the memory.”