For the past two years it has been a case of shade, shade, shade to protect from the heat. This year, more shelter than shade as the overcast morning became a rainy afternoon.
All, however, in stark contrast to the sunny smiles on the faces of the children from Thriftwood School as they stepped from their coach at Old MacDonalds Farm near Brentwood, wearing their Rotary Kids Out T-shirts.
There to meet them and their helpers on behalf of the club were Keith Wood who had organised the day, plus Peter Strong, Mike Sinclair and Les Sheppard. We were met by our guides for the day and taken to our reserved classroom, though this could only take about two thirds of the children so we were also allocated an overflow room.
Each child was given a Kids Out baseball cap (a great help later for spotting where our children were on the site) and the children and their helpers were then free to explore for half an hour before the first of the guided petting tours was due. We took that opportunity to unload the lunches (generously provided by past-club member Tina Joyce) and fruit (also generously donated by Burghstead Farm Shop) from Keith’s car and set them out on the tables in our two rooms.
By the time we had done this the first group of children and helpers were gathering ready for their ‘meet the animals’ tour. Our group leader welcomed everyone and went through the obligatory health and safety rules before leading the way to the first stop - feeding the pigs.
Once everyone had had a turn, it was off to the next stop to meet the goats, and so on through rabbits, meerkats, sheep, deer, young chickens, hedgehogs, a Shetland pony, and not forgetting the alpaca. All were either stroked, fed, or both. As we left the various feeding points, we would look back to see a flock of birds swooping down, eager to snap up the many food pellets missed by the animals.
With twenty minutes or so to spare before lunch the children and their helpers had time to explore some of the amusements. The Peppa Pig train ride proved very popular. Up to this point the rain had just about held off but now it began to get a little heavier, prompting the donning of raincoats, and this weather continued for the rest of the day.
And so to lunch. Following our preparation earlier, there was a lunch bag in front of each seat, containing a round of sandwiches, a packet of crisps, a soft drink, a piece of fruit and a large cookie biscuit.
All the children found a seat and then began the chaotic process of swapping sandwich packs to cater for individual likes and dislikes of fillings. The same was then repeated for the crisp flavours and the pieces of fruit (it seems that pears are not a popular choice for the younger generation).
There were some spare packs, due to some children having special dietary conditions or parents not heeding that lunch was being provided, so everyone’s choice could be satisfied.
After lunch the second of the three groups gathered for their guided tour and the rest were able to explore the other site facilities while we cleared tables and packed up what unopened crisps and drinks were left over to give, as in the past, to the school staff for adding to their own party event coming up in the next few days.
Sandwich packs weren’t going to be any good next day, so Keith passed these on to the Old MacDonald’s staff.
Everyone gathered in the soft play hall before the end, and the children and helpers lined up for a group picture and to say “Thank you Rotary” for a wonderful day. Happy faces clearly showed they’d all had a great time, despite afternoon rain.
The first Rotary KidsOut National Day Out started 29 years ago. It was so successful that today it takes more than 25,000 disadvantaged children on a National Day Out each year.
Our involvement again this year was just one of the hundreds of groups of children entertained as part of the Rotary Kids Out event nationally.
What a lot of fun!
more Our Rotarian KEN SMITH symbolises the dedication of the “Essex Blood Runners”. Here is some more about the Man, his Mission, and his machine
more The money is in, the Donations counted, the bonuses added up and we receive our Fun Walk Bonus - A Christmas present from Santa Claus.
more President Peter’s Walk in the Park for ORBIS raised £453.75 and we received fulsome thanks from the Charity.
more Essex Voluntary Blood Service (the "BloodRunners") have been nominated for a Colchester Borough Council Community Recognition Award in recognition of their work and outstanding 2020 achievements.
more Our quiz on World Polio Day October 24 raised £1280 for End Polio Now. As thanks, here is a FREE quiz to entertain you up to Christmas. Answers to be published here on New year's Eve. Feeling generous - donate to our Kenya Water Project
more We overcome the restrictions of Covid-19 to lay a wreath at the War Memorial
more President Peter takes A Blind Walk In The Park, supported by his family to raise money for ORBIS the sight charity
more Fabulous Fun for Folks to raise money for End Polio Now
more We complete a physical walk of 7 kilometres as part of the 2020 "Virtual" John Baron Fun Walk, all in aid of charity.
more Four Paul Harris Fellowships for Outstanding service to the Community awarded to four Club Members - Michael Ginn, Keith Wood, Margaret Fowler and Les Sheppard for their work in Rotary and the wider community both internationally and locally
more A task force of “litter pickers” from the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, Rotary Club of Billericay and the new Rotary Club of Billericay Town helped clear rubbish one Monday in June
more Rotary Club of Billericay was delighted to nominate Richard Leahy as the winning "Billericay Citizen of the Year"
more Club member Ken Smith volunteers as a Blood Runner, delivering blood (and MILK!) to those in need. This is his Covid-19 update on Facing the Covid-19 challenge - life In The Blood Runners Fast Lane.
more Many Charities are experiencing problems. We highlight a few of them where we have received thanks for our recent activities and donations
more We Make Vital Decisions to help our Community, especially the Charities and Good Causes needing our support.
more Charity of choice for Churchills Retirement Living
more The Club receives a Certificate of Appreciation for its support of the End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign.
more We volunteer to help the Billericay Lions with its Christmas Santa Sleigh Charity Collection
more Congratulations to Billericay Mayflower for another highly successful Christmas Market, and, to us for our efforts once again.
more Bright blue skies and the sun shone on us all at the Remembrance Day service at the Billericay War Memorial
more We supported Billericay Round Table’s annual Fireworks Display, taking ownership of the gate at Hillhouse Drive.
more Dediacted volunteer delivers vital blood and breast milk to the point of need.
more We receive a bonus of £820 to add to the £1640 already raised by our participation in the Fun Walk.
more An Autumn chill didn't dissuade our noble President Ben, guided by Ed Harrison and Les Sheppard (hardly the bodyguard types), from completing the traditional President’s sponsored blindfold walk in aid of Orbis, the sight charity.
more September 2019 and time for us to take part yet again in the annual Billericay Fun Walk to raise money for good causes
more World Polio Day celebrated with the first all-Billericay Tri-Club Rotary dinner, raising over £900 for End Polio Now.
more We have sponsored the ‘Best Back Garden’ class of the highly successful Billericay in Bloom competition for many years, and presented the prizes for this category at the annual prizegiving at the Canon Roche hall on July 19.
more We helped sponsor a climb of Kilimanjaro to raise money for Bowel Cancer
more Paella Party in the summer sunshine raises money for End Polio Now
more Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower's Summerfest draws in record crowds and we help support them.
more We host representatives of the club’s chosen soapbox derby charities as guests of the club to receive their donations from the Soapbox Derby income.
more In the 6th year of our support, following the Welcome BBQ we funded the visit to Rope Runners on July 1, followed by a garden party in Stock, and a visit to Thriftwood Scout Camp on July 12. Finally, we supported the farewell party on the last evening.
more We support the Essex Branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line for the sixth year in a row, as they host twelve children from Ukraine in the Billericay Area for four weeks respite and fun.
more We offered free Blood Pressure tests at Waitrose on April 6, 2019. Four Rotary members manned the stand and 4 volunteer nurses did over 100 tests.
more We help sponsor an Art Project for all the Primary schools in the Area, with the RotaKids playing a major part.
more Invited back by Waitrose as part of its “Wellness Week” to do a further KYBP testing session for the staff.
more The first major donation of 2019 Soapbox Derby charity funds elicits support and encouragement at Quilters Junior School.
more We sponsor one of the prizes for the Friends of Lake Meadows annual Photographic Competition
more All smiles at the Friends of Lake Meadows Photographic Competition
more Rotary Club of Billericay members were out in force to support Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower’s Christmas Market, with our main features being our Grand Raffle, our RotaKids clubs and the May 6 2019 Soapbox Derby.
more Our President Les follows the lead of past Presidents to do the traditional President’s Blind Walk in aid of the Orbis charity on November 12, 2018.
more Over half our club members and a very large crowd gathered today at the Billericay War Memorial to celebrate the Centenary of the end of World war I. President Les Sheppard laid our wreath to commemorate the fallen in our town's Act of Remembrance.
more We receive our Fun Walk Bonus of over £900!
more Happy to help - we man the Hillhouse Drive gate at the 2018 Billericay Fireworks show in Lake Meadows.
more Roger Kettle reports on his fund raising walk at Barleylands
more Our participation in the World's Greatest Meal raises £424 for "End Polio Now", worth over £1500 with top up donations from Gift Aid and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
more Preview Party on Friday night launches the 2018 Billericay Art Trail.
more Mike Ginn reports on his time as an "ambassador" for Aquabox, the pure water charity with a personal view on the Kerala disaster
more Club member Ken Smith reports on his involvment in “Essex Bloodrunners”, the Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS). They transport blood and blood products and milk within the NHS.
more Fundraising evening for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
more We launch the 2019 Soapbox Derby at the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower Summerfest, accompanied by the RotaKids clubs of Buttsbury and Quilters.
more We yet again sponsored the ‘best back garden’ class of the Billericay in Bloom competition, and went along to Canon Roche hall for the Winners announcements and to present the prizes for this class.
more A most satisfying and worthwhile Monday, July 2 when the Club entertained to lunch representatives of four major charities who received major donations from our successful Spectacular Soapbox Derby on May 7, 2018!
more A Summary of our contributions to the visit of the 12 children from Ukraine brought here by the Chernobyl Children's Life Line
more We continue to sponsor events for the children visiting from the Ukraine, who have been affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster. Four weeks here equals two more years of Life!
more A report of one of the two visits to the Chelmsford Bowl sponsored by the Rotary Club of Billericay.
more A Visit to the Billericay Fire Station to see the equipment, use the hoses and HAVE FUN!
more Thirty-two children, twelve teachers and assistants, four Rotary members - and great fun for all at Old MacDonald’s Farm on KidsOut Day
more More support to End Polio Now - the Wilkins Jam Jar appeal has netted a further £500+ in donations to the End Polio campaign
more The Club has just been recognised with District and International awards for its contributions to the End Polio Now capaign, and support of Rotary's own Charity - The Rotary Foundation.
more Rotary Club of Billericay members braved the crowds and the cold to support Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower’s Christmas Market, with our main features being our Grand Raffle, our RotaKids clubs and next year’s Soapbox Derby
more Club president Peter Greene did the annual walk of about a mile to raise money for ORBIS, the sight charity and its Flying Eye Hospital.
more We man the Hillhouse Drive gate at the 48th. Billericay Fireworks show in Lake Meadows.
more Bonus delaration at end September adds a further £671 to the £1,200 Patrick Rothon raised through his John Baron's Fun Walk back in May - making a total of over £1,800.
more A charity the Rotary Club of Billericay has supported over the long term has reached an enviable milestone - over a BILLION meals served to children worldwide
more We presented the prizes for the “Best Back Garden”, a Billericay in Bloom category which we have sponsored for many years.
more Soapboxes and two RotaKids stalls added to a day of fun and friendship
more Thirty-five children, twelve teachers and asistants, four Rotary members - and great fun for all at Tropical Wings on KidsOut Day
more We continue to sponsor events for the children visiting from Belarus, who have been affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster .
more May 2017 and time for us to take part yet again in the annual Billericay Fun Walk to raise money for good causes
more Soapbox Derby Donations Exceed £30,000 as four major charities receive donations from our 2017 Soapbox Derby.
more Collaboration between the town's Reading Rooms Committee and our Rotary Club leads to an innovative design competition for our senior schools.
more A Purple4Polio Tea Party on Wednesday March 8 in St Mary Magdalen in Billericay High Street raising money to fight Polio
more Rotary Club of Billericay were out in force to support the Billericay Christmas Market, so superbly organised by Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower. We raised over £1600 in our grand Raffle.
more In the presence of a large crowd at the Billericay War Memorial President Mike Sinclair laid our wreath, and Community Services Chairman Keith Wood did so for the Reading Rooms, to commemorate the fallen in our town's Act of Remembrance
more 47th Charity Fireworks Spectacular at Lake Meadows park, organised again by Round Table
more The club supported Basildon Hospital's Polly Parrot Appeal.
more Half as much again! - well actually more than that. Presentation of bonus cheques for 53% of the money raised by participants took place at Anisha Grange, Billericay, at the end of September
more Grateful thanks for our fundraising
more We man the Shelterbox tent at the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower's annual Summerfest. Another great success!
more We continue to sponsor events for the children visiting from Ukraine, who have been affected by the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster .
more Hand over of £15,000 to three designated major charities, all from the proceeds of our spectacular Soapbox Derby.
more Annual Fund raising "Blind Walk" in aid of ORBIS - the sight saving charity.
more We took 34 Kids to enjoy a day out at Tropical Wings Zoo in South Woodham Ferrers
more Second time out - we take part in the Bonus Fun walk again in 2016 to raise money for local good causes.
more April 23, 2016 - 100 successful tests in four hours. Know Your Blood Pressure testing at the Waitrose store in Billericay.
more We were delighted recently to receive a message of thanks from Catherine Butt, the Hope and Homes for Children Rotary Liaison Manager.
more The Rotary Club of Billericay supported Sebastian Pallier"™s fencing in 2015 as part of our support for good causes in the community, and was rewarded by his successes!
more We participated fully in the annual Billericay Christmas Market organized so well by our sister club the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower. Our Grand Raffle and other fundraising raised over £2900.
more As we do, year after year, we donated funds to support the Christmas Lights in Billericay High Street.
more A Free complimentary full English breakfast and talks by Mr Vohra (NHS Consultant Urologist) and other speakers about male cancer. Sponsored by Nuffield Health Brentwood and REIDS restaurant and supported by Macmillan Nurses.
more 46th Charity Fireworks Spetacular at Lake Meadows park, organised again by Round Table
more Double your money! - well almost. Presentation of bonus cheques for 90% of the money raised by participants took place at Anisha Grange, Billericay, at the end of October.
more After much detective work, the winner of our balloon race has been located and her prize of Â£100 has now been presented to her.
more A great day supporting the Billericay Fun Walk and raising money for Charity
more The Great Balloon Race raises money for Charity at Billericay Mayflower's Billericay SummerFest
more President Ed awards the prizes in the "Best Kept Large Garden" category which the Rotary Club of Billericay sponsored again this year.
more The BIG dinner has reached its target of Â£500,000!
more We take disadvantaged children from Thriftwood School for a day out to Tropical Wings in South Woodham Ferrers
more Rotary Club of Billericay and three volunteer nurses, Juliet, Faith and Cepta, returned to the Billericay Waitrose store on Saturday 18th April for the 4th year running, to offer free Blood Pressure tests to the public, and provide information and advice
more Members met on March 30th to participate in the international Big Dinner, and raise money for the "500 Miles" charity.
more Rotary Club of Billericay participated fully in the annual Christmas Market organized so well by our sister club Billericay Rotary Club Mayflower. Our Grand Raffle and other fundraising raised over £1500.
more Billericay Rotary's Cancer Awareness Day returned on November 15th. 2014.
more This Year's concert in aid of charity featured the very popular top essex Band "Re-Public" www.re-public-band.co.uk/). Tickets were £15 only.
more President Mike awards the prizes in the "Best Kept Large Garden" category which the Rotary Club of Billericay sponsored again this year.
more Club Members supported a major event for Billericay, organized by the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower.
more We supported Rotary International’s Kids Out Day on June 11, by giving some disadvantaged children from Thriftwood School, Galleywood a sunny day out with lots of fun at Marsh Farm at South Woodham Ferrers.
more The Know Your Blood Pressure day aims to encourage the public to have their blood pressure tested for free.
more Rotary Club of Billericay participated fully in the annual Christmas Market organized so well by our sister club Billericay Rotary Club Mayflower. Our Grand Raffle and other fundraising has allowed us to buy 4 more Shelter Boxes for the Philippines Appeal
more The forbidden subject - men's health! Don't hide your heads in the sand - beat the silence - men should come along to learn about this subject!
more Billericay Rotary supports the Round Table's 44th Annual Fireworks display in lake Meadows Park.
more Grand Charity Summer Concert - after its very successful "Blues at Burstead" concert in summer 2012, the Grapevine Blues Band performed an evening charity concert at Emmanuel's Church Billericay on June 29, 2013 in aid of the End Polio Now campaign.
more We sponsored the "Best Kept Large Back Garden" Award for the Billericay in Bloom competition, and awarded the prizes to the winners and 2 Runners-up.
more In response to last year's success, we staged an Autumn Charity Concert featuring the Harmony Brass Band and violinist Joanne Davies in aid of St Luke's Hospice & the Salvation Army, and other charities supported by Rotary.
more A Day out for the children of Thriftwood School courtesy of our Rotary Club.
more Nick Alston CBE, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, spoke to our club. His father was Deputy Chief Constable in Essex. He was at KEGS & Cambridge University. He has been involved in "shaping major changes in policing" in the UK for many years.
more Over 40% of strokes could be prevented if high blood pressure was controlled. The Know Your Blood Pressure day aims to tackle this statistic. The public were encouraged to come along on the day and have their blood pressure tested for free.
more Our Club supported the charity ORBIS and its fund-raiser Orbithon, with a "Blind" walk for a mile by President Elect Keith Woods. This walk as also supported by other clubs in our District. Keith's walk was a front page feature in the Billericay Gazette
more A Christmas Celebration with Carols, Verse, Festive Food and drinks. And .... Santa Claus
more Following the success of the 2011 Christmas Market, with over 25,000 visitors, The Rotary Club of Billericay gave wholehearted support to the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower who organized the event again this year, raising over £30,000 for charity.
more Rotary Club of Billericay supported this very successful event, organised as in previous years, by the Billericay Round Table.
more A wonderful evening of music by the popular Harmony Brass. Music for all tastes - Big Band, Show-time & Pop with guest violinist Joanne Davies. In aid of St Luke’s Hospice, Remus Horse Sanctuary and other Rotary Charities.
more This open-air music event featuring the Grapevine Blues Band was held at Ivy Cottage, Little Burstead in aid of Little Havens Childrens Hospice.
more The highlight was our excellent value-for-money Gluwein Bar supplemented by the best Live Band on the High Street. Our exhibits included an "Aquabox" demonstration and a full Shelterbox display. Over £2000 was raised for our charitable causes.
back Our club contributes to the community by holding or supporting projects which encourage our young people to stretch their capabilities, and supporting projects which enrich the life of our town.