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Week 3....with a little help from some friends!

So following my plea for assistance with writing this weeks blog, the lovely people connected with CCLL Sheffield did not let me down. This weeks blog is therefore made up of contributions from numerous individuals, sharing their photos and stories from the last week. I hope you enjoy reading the summary of our last 7 days!

We started off with a trip to #CliftonPark

http://www.cliftonparkrotherham.co.uk/fun-park

with Jay at Greenspace Leisure once again offering our visitors free admission with the fun park. They enjoyed all of the rides here, although we would have to say the roller coaster was a firm favourite. In fact at one point the only way we could get them to leave the ride was with the promise of an ice-cream!

On Monday there was a free day for families to plan activities of their own. One of our hosts planned a trip to #MillhousesPark in Sheffield

http://www.millhousespark.co.uk/ and once again came across the generosity of the Sheffield people. Three of our girls enjoyed a free ride on the boats in the park there and couldn't have been happier about it!

Over the week there have been a few activities planned by host families outside of our normal itinerary - the girls have enjoyed several shopping trips and visits to the city centre as well as a trip to the very traditional English tea café in Todwick.

Tuesday was our mystery tour day sponsored by some of our lovely charity supporters. The girls were given a choice of activities to take part in and opted for a visit to RockUp at Meadowhall followed by Air Haus for some inflatable fun. Some of the girls were incredibly brave climbing to the tops of very tall towers, in fact Tatsiana has declared one of them as 'absolutely fearless'! Having said this Tatsiana also had her own fun climbing to brave heights the following day but more of this later......

On Wednesday Heather and Paul were in charge of the group, taking them to #MountCook

https://www.mountcook.uk/

This is an adventure centre in Derbyshire and was a planned jointed activity with several other local CCLL links. The day included climbing activities and tag archery as well as several other fun games. Tatsiana very kindly sent over a selection of photos from the day for us to see.

There was also a photograph which showed Tatsiana herself at the top of the climbing frame...she proudly told me she's made it up here quicker than one of the children and the picture had already been sent home to share with her kids!

After joining in at RockUp, Air Haus and Mount Cook I think our leader has had quite an exciting week :)

On Thursday there was the very important business of a meeting the #LordMayor of Sheffield, Tony Downing.

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/lord-mayor

This seemed to a highlight with many of the host families including pictures of their visit in the messages sent to me.

After tea with the Mayor it was off to Elaine's house for craft, baking and the hot tub! What more could a group of ladies want?! There were some very happy faces after this activity and having had a sneak peak at some of the craft produced on the day I think we have quite a talented bunch of girls with us this year!

Friday was all about the Beetle Drive and a chance to thank some of the people that have worked so hard for us throughout the year to try and raise funds. It is also a time where we get to socialise and introduce new people to the charity. This year is the first year we've decided to try and host a Beetle Drive whilst the children have been here and we think it was a great success! The girls were given a quick guide on how to play by Tatsiana (once she'd managed to decipher the rules written by Sue) and they were ready to play. With over 60 people in attendance it was a busy evening but the food, drink and chat was flowing whilst we all realised quite how competitive some of our Belarussian visitors were - I mean has anyone ever seen a dice being thrown that quickly before?!

Kathryn, Ben and Sue D managed the Kitchen duties impeccably with Jo and Steve on floor duty checking on score cards and serving drinks. The last couple to win a game finally managed it after 10 attempts and the best dressed beetle prize went to a sombrero-wearing creation because it reminded our leader of the previous Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid!

The winning 'fancy dress' beetle!

By the end of the evening when the final total raised was announced, I had managed to forget all about the flooded kitchen, lack of working electrical sockets and the inability to open the shed with the extra tables in that had greeted us on our arrival to the venue!

On Saturday we were all invited over to Matt and Louise's for a BBQ. There were games and activities planned with face painting, scavenger hunts, pass the parcel and nail painting to name just a few! There were even labels on all of the delicious food produced in both English and Belarussian, which I am reliably informed were with work of the amazing Eleanor. The girls loved this chance to get together and the hosts really appreciated the hospitality too.

At the BBQ there was also a chance for us to see the winning trophy from the AFL London Women's Premiership Division 2019 Champions. This trophy was very kindly allowed to travel to Sheffield with our very own Jo Strong by the team.

The girls sent a good luck message to the team on the day of their big final last week and after their win the team wanted the girls to have a chance to see the silverware! As a thanks they made a new video clip for the team #LondonLions to show their support (editing work credited to Eleanor Lowry)

Make sure you check the video out on our Facebook site. We've already received a thank you message from the Lions team! ❤

So we've got one week to go and the fun and activities are not due to stop...make sure you check in with us next week for the final instalment from the 2019 visit. To finish this weeks blog off I thought it might be nice to share a proud picture of Jo and parents with the winning AFL Trophy. Jo does so much behind the scenes for the charity and having also been named in the Aussie Football GB squad last week it's been a busy and exciting time for her! (Jo's parents, Marie and John aren't bad at playing Beetle either...did I already mention the couple that took 10 games to win?! 😂)

See you back here next week folks!

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