Cheshire carnival brings spirit of Rio to Sutton Coldfield

14 September 2016

Greenacres staff and residents enjoying their Cheshire CarnivalThe Paralympic spirit is alive and well in the West Midlands, thanks to a spectacular carnival at a local care home for disabled people.

Greenacres care home in Sutton Coldfield was the latest in a series of nationwide carnivals, organised by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, to celebrate the Paralympic games.

The festival of sport and music held on 10 September had an appropriately international theme.

It featured children’s karate groups, a young bhangra drumming group and a steel drum player.

Cheers went up throughout the day as people watched the action in Brazil on the big screen, witnessing Paralympics GB win a host of medals.

Peter Cusack, a resident at Greenacres for 19 years, said:

‘It was a really good day. I loved the atmosphere, the music, the food — everything.

‘Everybody clearly had a really good time.’

Volunteer coordinator Cassie Glenholme helped to organise the day along with activities coordinator Gemma Milligan, activities assistant Zoe Faulkner and many other dedicated staff.

Cassie said:

‘It was an amazing day. The residents loved it and so did everyone else!

‘We raised a fantastic amount of money to support people.

‘The local community have done us proud.

‘We found so many talented local groups who want to come back here. It’s given everybody a bit of a buzz.’

The sport and the music will go on at Greenacres.

The talented youngsters at Birmingham Music Services will swap bhangra for brass bands as they continue to offer free performances.

Children at a local karate group will continue to work with residents to keep up a personal fitness regime alongside local instructors and therapists.

Cassie added:

‘We’ve found some absolute diamonds through this event.

‘They’ve inspired us to keep going, do more stuff like this and raise more money to support our residents.’

Building on the success of its long-running programmes supporting participation in everything from tennis to boccia to snooker, Leonard Cheshire Disability is currently looking at which sports and activities to run more widely post-Paralympics.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Carnivals — our Cheshire Carnivals — began in August and will be staged across the UK throughout September.

After Sutton Coldfield, the Rio roadshow will roll into Newport, London, Kent, Cumbria and Wolverhampton.

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