Bringing Families together at Winter Wonderland 2023

The Children's Respite Trust and Teddy Bear Run host another successful Winter Wonderland

The Children’s Respite Trust and the Teddy Bear Run hosted another incredible Winter Wonderland to bring magic to the lives of families with disabled children. The event opened its doors to 24 families with its purpose to create lasting memories for those who face unique challenges.

Families pose for photos at the winter wonderland

Against the backdrop of festive decorations and Christmas spirit, everyone was welcomed to the Norfolk Pavilion at the South of England Showground. The young people darted between activities decorating cookies, making decorations, playing games and enjoying the sensory stations. Adults looked on while getting the chance to chat with other parents that are in a similar situation to their own.

While the children basked in the excitement, the incredible 120 drivers arrived each accompanied by a teddy to be given out. Their beautiful and impressive cars added to the children’s awe, inspiring conversation of ‘that one’s my favourite’. Thank you to every driver (and passenger) that took part in the Winter Run ensuring these families know there are people that care so deeply. Together the Teddy Bear Run raised a spectacular £4648.06 towards our work supporting the disabled children and their families.

Sharing the magic meeting Santa at the Winter Wonderland 2023

The highlight for many was the opportunity for the children to meet Father Christmas, a magical encounter that left big smiles and memories that will last a lifetime. As families were guided through the Winter Forest, beautifully put together by the Teddy Bear Run volunteers, they were transported to the North Pole on the captivating journey to see Santa.

We extend our deepest appreciation to the individuals and organisations whose generosity and dedication made this magical day possible. To Westley, Nikki, Trevor and Jane – we are so grateful for this partnership and all your efforts to make such a lasting impact. You created a truly enchanting space and games that the children spoke about for days. It would be impossible to name all the selfless volunteers that dedicated their weekend to setting up the enchanting wonderland however we admire and appreciate you all.  Your commitment and enthusiasm really created an atmosphere of warmth and inclusivity for our families. Thank you for making Winter Wonderland a reality.

Upstairs the care team played a pivotal role in the success of the day. From setting up the venue to orchestrating activities, the team ensured a memorable experience for everyone involved. In addition to the staff team, we were joined by some of our incredible volunteers Anne-Marie, Nathalie, Colin, Sue and Julie who added their individual sparkle to the day.

Children are in awe at the immersive Wonderland

Thank you to the spirited elves, Keri and Jordan, who entertained and engaged the children adding to the festive spirit. Danny the Elf, with his balloon wristbands and creative touch, inspired the hearts and minds of the young people. Steve and Jon, the talented photographers who captured the magical moments of Winter Wonderland. Your photos will serve as cherished mementos, preserving the joy and smiles shared by all. Thank you to Westways Vending for generously providing some refreshments.

One Mum told us ‘This is just amazing. I feel like I can totally disarm knowing he can be himself. When he flaps and is excited I know no one minds here’ which is a testament to the feeling of compassion and community created at event like this. Thank you to every family that attended and helped us create such a welcoming atmosphere for new and existing families.

We sincerely hope that everyone in attendance had a truly magical time, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who helped us make Christmas 2023 extra special.


The whole family enjoy the Winter Wonderland 2023