Wednesday 8th June, was Rotary KidsOut Day, when 440 Rotary clubs across Britain and Ireland made sure that more than 25,000 disadvantaged children had an amazing day out at the seaside, theme parks, adventure parks, museums and zoos.
Since 1999, this day out for the children, on the second Wednesday in June each year, has been a special time for the members of these Rotary clubs as seeing the enjoyment on the faces of the children is incredibly fulfilling.
The day out gives the children a day when they can forget about their problems and is one that they will remember for a lifetime. As Graham Greene so aptly said in The Power and the Glory, "There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
One of the largest events is found at the Drayton Manor Theme Park in Tamworth, Staffordshire, where more than 2,500 children enjoy the rides, Thomas Land, and zoo. In Tyne & Wear, the Rotary Club of Monkseaton Centenary took youngsters to the Blue Reef Aquarium where the children were enthralled by the sea life on show. The Rotary Club of Doncaster St Leger brought children and staff from the North Ridge Community School, a special school for children with severe learning difficulties, to Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire. Over 700 youngsters from across Essex, London and Hertfordshire joined together for a great big day out to the Paradise Wildlife Park.
The number of children that get to enjoy this amazing treat has grown from a couple of hundred in the early years to several thousand this year.
Youngsters are already asking if they can go again next year!