After weeks of rain due to La Nina summer, the sun was out blazing for International Day of People with Disability.
The atmosphere was incredible at Kempsey’s Riverside Park – where hundreds of happy attendees flocked in throughout the day.
“It was a fun day, everyone was so excited! It was just a really great vibe and I think everyone felt happy to be out, social and included,” said event organiser Aisha Spokes from the Kempsey Shire Council.
The Big Day Out event offered lots of fun activities for people of all abilities including – jumping castles, laser tag, a live interactive reptile show, arts, crafts, interactive games, and a magic show from Troppo Bob.
“The community atmosphere was something that actually needed bottling because you can’t buy it!” Liz Hayes from the Kempsey Shire Council said.
“You could see on all the smiley faces, how important it is that we celebrate the fact that people have different levels of ability,” she continued.
There were also interactive information stalls for disability service providers and other supporting organizations from the Macleay Valley.
“It’s a great event for the community – there’s a lot of organisations in Kempsey that run their own activities with clients, and it’s not often that we can all get together to network and show the different ways that we can help,” said ETC Disability Employment Services Team Leader Stuart.
ETC is committed to promoting social inclusion throughout our services and the ways we engage with the community.
Sponsoring the IDPwD Big Day Out event is one of the many ways in which we achieve our Vision and Mission and live by our values.
“This celebration that we have for recognizing IDPwD is really, really important. It brings us together, to recognize that some people in the community do need help,” said Liz.
Over 750 people attended the free all-ages event, with people travelling from as far as Taree.
“It was really nice to get that interaction from people across our region, because there aren’t a lot of things to do for people with disability,” said Aisha.
“To be able to provide that opportunity and bring people in, that means people with disability have the option to make friends outside their little circle – so that’s really exciting,”.
After a successful first event in 2019, but then sadly missing 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions – the 2021 Big Day Out exceeded organisers expectations.
“I think getting the extra sponsorship really did allow us to do those extra activities that we wouldn’t have been able to afford to do, which was great!” said Aisha.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank ETC and all our amazing sponsors – without your support, this event wouldn’t have been able to run.”
From all the happy faces, it was clear that everyone enjoyed the activities, warm weather, free food and live music while overlooking the beautiful Macleay River.
Organisers said that 2022 is going to be even bigger and better – so get ready!
Also on the scope to celebrate IDPwD, is Kempsey’s Glitz and Glamour Ball which is coming up in October 2022 (after being postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions).
This is an evening out to celebrate and enjoy being with others with disability, offering all the fun that people with disability can often miss out on.
Being held at the Slim Dusty Centre, this inclusive event offers dinner, entertainment and dancing, all in an accessible environment.
Tickets for the Glitz and Glamour Ball are available here >>
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