BLUE Triangle held its first ever ‘Big Event’ for its service users on the 22nd May in partnership with Wiston Lodge.
Blue Triangle is a Housing Association that specialises in providing accommodation and support for people who are homeless, many of whom have complex needs; and Wiston Lodge is a facility based just outside Biggar, South Lanarkshire, which specialises in personal, social and emotional development using outdoor adventure activities, nature connection, music and arts.
200 people from across nine local authority areas travelled to the event which was held in the very impressive surroundings of the Scottish Borders and there was a full range of activities on the day including:
- Bush craft
- Arts and crafts
- Highland Games
- Wall climbing
- Video booth
- Birds of prey
- Making music through drum circles
- Creative writing
- Keep fit
- Face painting
- Barbeque and food stall
- Competition – guess the weight of the cake, name the bear, count the sweeties in the jar
The event was attended by other partners such as Street Soccer, The Scottish Police and Fire Service, and Raleigh International. The aim of the day was to challenge people to stretch themselves and do things they didn’t think possible and learn new skills.
It was also an opportunity for staff and service users to interact and get to know each other in a very different environment and also for service users to have a great day out in the countryside when few of them have ever had the chance to have a holiday or have a day out in the countryside.
The money for the event was raised by Blue Triangle themselves through fundraising activities and the service users were consulted on the sort of event that they would enjoy.
Service users were able to record their thoughts on a video diary for the day and many encouraging comments were received.
Service user quotes:
“It was a fantastic day out I had a wonderful time meeting people from all over Scotland.”
“My favourite was the climbing wall after three goes I got right to the top.”
“The highland games was the best laugh ever I would just love to go back and do it all again.”
Fiona Stringfellow, chief executive, and Blue Triangle (Glasgow) Housing Association, said: “Despite the challenges of arranging such an event, it was absolutely wonderful to see so many people overcoming their fears to do things that they would never have tried before and coming away with a renewed sense of what they could achieve in life.
“I have to thank the Blue Triangle Working Group that pulled this event together as not a single thing went wrong on the day – and all that comes from detailed planning of which I had very little involvement.
“I’m also very grateful to Wiston Lodge for providing such knowledgeable instructors who were very patient in helping our service users take on the more specialist challenges such as archery and canoeing.
“Finally, I’d like to thank the generosity of Carpet King Auchinleck and Halfords who both donated bikes, and Trespass who provided us with gift vouchers. The service users are already asking when the next event will be!”
Tony Burley, general manager, Wiston Lodge, said: “It was great for Wiston Lodge to be given the opportunity to host the Blue Triangle’s Big Event.
“The organising team worked hard to give us a brief that made our job, of providing what was required at, an easy one.
“From our view the day went extremely well and we enjoyed providing the Adventure Activities culminating in a mass Highland Games, the Cafe and BBQ and the grounds for everyone to roam around in.
“We were pleased the weather held and to see the service users engaging fully with everything that was going on.
“I would like to think that we have showcased some of what we can offer to the various Blue Triangle services and look forward to the opportunity of meeting with the managers to discuss providing some innovative and stimulating programmes to enhance their current great work.”
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