Disney themed summer party at Drove Road

Staff, young people and their families enjoyed a fantastic summer party funded by Rockinghorse, at...

Staff, young people and their families enjoyed a fantastic summer party funded by Rockinghorse, at the Portslade residential service.

Every year staff at Drove Road organise a party for the young people who use the service, along with their parents, siblings and the staff. It’s a great chance for them all to come together and enjoy an event that’s safe and accessible for everyone.

Staff at Drove Road

Drove Road is a respite and residential service located in Portslade. The centre cares for young people aged 8-18 years old with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. Through the services provided at the scheme, young people are encouraged to explore social and leisure opportunities and build upon independent living skills.

To enable the party to go with a real bang, Rockinghorse provided funds for the food, games, face painting, a bouncy castle and the highlight of the afternoon, a Disney Princess singer!

On the day itself, and despite the threat of rain, the bouncy castle, games and tables were set up outside. And the staff all got into the spirit by dressing up as different Disney characters including Snow White, Moana, Mr and Mrs Potato Head and Slinky Dog.

After everyone had eaten their fill of delicious food and enjoyed being outside, the special guest arrived! Elsa from Frozen glided into the room and entertained the very excited audience with songs from the famous film along with other Disney classics, even sharing the microphone with some of the more confident singers in the room.

Everyone had a wonderful time singing, dancing and playing games, and despite being a bit hot and tired at the end, it was all worth it!

Karen Rusbridge, the scheme manager at Drove Road, said: Rockinghorse supports us will all sorts of things, including this party, and it simply wouldn’t have happened like this without their help. The funding has helped turn a normal BBQ into a great party that everyone has really enjoyed! Thanks to Rockinghorse for all their support.”

Sarah, Lizzie and Richard in the sensory room at Drove Road

Richard and Sarah Ablett came along to the party with their 13-year-old daughter Lizzie. Lizzie has been coming to Drove Road for a few settling in sessions before starting some more regular overnight stays in the coming weeks.

Richard and Sarah said: Lizzie has autism and really benefits from structure, variety and certainty. As parents we have tried to do everything we can for her but as she’s getting older it’s becoming harder so Drove Road is essential for us, it provides a great structural environment for Lizzie.

“She has really enjoyed the outside space, feeling secure and the autonomy the scheme provides for her and the different zones here are really critical to enable her to find spaces she feels comfortable.

“As parents you sometimes feel like you just want to try and cope with everything, but this means you only look for help when you reach crisis point. But luckily Karen and Vicki have really been there for us.

“As soon as we met them, they said we were part of the Drove Road family and have coordinated all Lizzie’s needs which had really helped us feel like this is the right place for Lizzie.”

We’re so proud to have been able to support this event at this amazing scheme and are already planning out outfits for next year!