Kids Out - 2019

Day out for children with special needs

Kids Out for fun!

RAIN clouds may have forced West Fife Rotarians to turn elements of their annual Kids Out fun day “inside out”...but that did not dampen the spirits of the 300-plus participating youngsters and staff from the departments of additional support in five local primary and secondary schools.

“The smiling faces of the kids enjoying themselves say it all” summed up Glenn Gibson, principal teacher of additional support at Queen Anne High, as 40 Rotarians from Dunfermline, Carnegie Dunfermline, West Fife and Inverkeithing & Dalgety Bay clubs hosted youngsters aged from five to 18 from Calaiswood School, Pitreavie and Cairneyhill Primary Schools and Queen Anne and Woodmill High Schools.

For a second year, Dalgety Bay Sports and Leisure Centre was the venue for a wide spectrum of attractions, ranging from a mini zoo and Pets as Therapy dogs to emergency-service vehicles, crafting and face-painting.

Lead of the joint organising committee, Rotarian Alan Mitchell, of Dunfermline Rotary Club, said the wet weather required last-minute changes as some outdoor activities were transferred indoors.

 “The clubs owe a big thank-you to the staff of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust for helping us to accommodate the switch,” he said. “Almost all the programmed activities were able to go ahead as planned.

“The magic and bubble shows were among the perennial favourites, as were the pony rides by Tappitlaw Riding School, and the astro-turf pitches made the popular activities by Active Schools Fife weather-proof!

“Within local-authority budget constraints, it is difficult for the schools these days to organise this type of outing. Kids Out each year offers the youngsters the opportunity to mix with other kids and share enjoyable experiences in a safe environment.”

Mr Gibson added, “It’s all about the kids. They talk about the event all year and they couldn’t wait to get here this year. Private transport makes attendance very easy. The support staff provide the numbers and the Rotarians do the rest.

“It is a fantastic event which allows youngsters to gain confidence from getting involved in things they haven’t experienced before and provides them with the opportunity to engage and socialise with their peers in other school departments.”

Alex Bird, Active Schools co-ordinator at Dunfermline High, said, “From our perspective, this is a brilliant day which gives kids an opportunity to sample taster sessions which  could lead to pathways to additional provision provided by local sports clubs like Dunfermline Athletic, Dunfermline Tennis Club, Wheelchair Basketball Scotland and Disability Sport Fife.

“Our inclusive clubs at Dunfermline and Beath High provide youngsters who can’t access mainstream activity with the motor skills and confidence to progress into mainstream sports-club provision.”

Schools’ transport costs were sponsored to the tune of £1500 by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and equipment transfer, broadcasting services, marquees and first-aid facilities were supplied respectively by Forth Logistics, Radio West Fife, the Boys’ Brigade and Saline First Responders.

The West Fife event was also part-sponsored by the national Kids Out charity, whose concept has been adopted since its inception by Rotary clubs throughout Britain and Northern Ireland and pioneered in Scotland by the Dunfermline club. Now operating as the “fun and happiness charity”, it has delivered fun days out to more than 740,000 kids since its launch in 1990.