Manea fun Sunday for special children to raise funds for Highfields Academy in Ely

Dodgems are one of the attractions at a family fun day being held in Manea later this month.
Dodgems are one of the attractions at a family fun day being held in Manea later this month.

A Manea couple are organising a fun Sunday aimed at families with children who have special needs and to help raise cash for a local special school

Scott and Louise Payne have organised the event on September 24 to raise cash for Highfields Academy in Ely, where their autistic son Alfie (11) is a pupil.

“He loves the school and we regularly organise events to help raise money for it because it is always in need of equipment. We have held raffles and things like that in the past.

“But this came about after a friend of mine told me about a special outdoor festival being held for children with special needs and it took off from there.

“We have got all sorts of things going on. There’s live music, a karaoke tent for the kids, dodgems, stalls games, a barbecue, face-painting and bouncy castles.

“A lot of people have already donated to help cover the cost including someone from the village who has paid for all the barbecue food, the bouncy castles are coming for free and Ray-Al taxis are offering free transport to bring children who attend Highfields from Ely to Manea and back again so they can enjoy the fun too,” said Scott.

The day will run from 1pm to 5pm and it is open to all families but as Scott adds: “When we go places Alfie doesn’t always fit - the idea is that this day is for children like him, so they can come along and enjoy themselves without being judged. But obviously we want to raise as much money as possible so everyone is welcome.”

The day is being held at Manea Playing Field in Park Road and if the event proves a hit then Scott hopes to bring it back again next year and promises to make it bigger and better.

“The idea came up just before Manea gala so we have used a lot of the people that come along to that. Next year we will have more time to get organised and so hopefully we can make it bigger,” said Scott.

Anyone who would like to enjoy the barbecue should contact Scott in advance to help with catering numbers. There will also be a fish and chip van on the field and there will be other refreshments available.

“We just want to hear from people who want barbecue food on the day - they can either message me on Facebook or call me on my mobile 07741259781 - it is just so we don’t either run out or have too much left over,” said Scott.