Stepping Up to Blackpool...again!
Last week we had our Step Up group visit to Blackpool - this is our second year after a successful visit last summer!
The aim of the day is to build independence, confidence and resilience - as well as having an extended period of time to form new relationships with other members of the group & make new friends. As well as 16 of the Step Up group, we were also joined by 8 peer mentors - 6 of whom have done the Step Up programme in the past. This provided another branch of support for our Step Up group, to get know previous members and talk to others who have been through the process before!
We set off from Stockport at 9.40 and then had a delay as we changed trains at Manchester Piccadilly, and then set off on our hour and half train journey. Lots of fun was had by everyone playing cards, chatting and asking peer mentors for advice!
When we got to Blackpool we walked straight down to the beach but the sea was all the way in so we couldn’t go down for even a quick walk on the sand! We then wandered down the promenade, took obligatory selfies with the tower and headed for some lunch.
After lunch we went to central pier (via a classic Blackpool rock stall!) where we then had a few hours spending time on the rides, walking along the pier, having ice cream and playing in the arcades. We’ve never known such a group of talented (or lucky!!) young people - we had a number of extra members of the group on the way home including sonic, Spider-Man and dumbo! The waltzers were a firm favourite (apart from with Beth who was nearly sick when she went on!) and it was great to see the group mixing and sharing this experience together.
This from Antony, who has now done quite a few Blackpool Trips with PIE, 'It was another successful trip to Blackpool - I loved my group (named The Fruit Bags for the day) - they were very brave looking for the most vomit-inducing rides possible and had great success in the arcades!'
Beth had this to say, ‘It’s always great to take the young people to Blackpool - whilst it may seem it’s all about having a fun day out, we encourage them to try new things and spending this extended time with new peers really helps to break down barriers and form new friendships. Good luck to everyone in September!’
All too soon it was time to head back, we couldn’t believe the weather held out all day and didn’t rain once - thank you Blackpool for another great day!