On Safari with Venus
It was a lovely, sunny August Thursday morning that 14 parent/carers, workers and excited kids from the Venus Centre in Bootle all the way to the wilds of Knowsley Safari Park.
On arrival at the Park, we were met by a smiling, welcoming committee who gave us our tickets along with instructions on how to access our wristbands and packed lunches then sent us off into the park on our Safari Adventure, waving at the happy kids as we went.
We parked up and gratefully received a lovely packed lunch of yummy cheese and ham sandwiches, freddo bars, chocolate biscuits, crisps and apples from Merseyside Variety Club. Mums and kids happily posed for pictures then off we went again further into the Park.
On our route through the park we saw Antelope, camels, deer, rhinoceros and all sorts of other fascinating creatures.
It was with lots of excitement that we saw signs to roll up our windows because we were approaching the Big Cat enclosures. All parent/carers made sure that everyone was safe and we set off to meet the Lions! As we slowly approached the enclosures, the usually sleepy Lions were particularly active and the children were thrilled to see the odd one strolling along next to us!
After the excitement of the Big Cats, it was then with some trepidation that we approached the notorious Baboon Forest! We were brave (daft??) enough to avoid the vehicle friendly route and went straight for the full on monkey experience! Our up-close encounters with the Baboons gave so much joy and excitement to the children in our party.
Many of the families who access support from Venus have never had the opportunity to visit such attractions as the Safari Park, not only because of the prohibitive cost and the distant location from their homes but also the difficulties associated with accessing them when parent/carers and/or children are faced with the multiple and complex needs, such as mental and/or physical health problems, domestic violence, substance misuse etc.
Families who came along on the trip with us told us they had a fantastic time, that they were delighted to see their children so excited to have new experiences and have so much fun together.
Altogether, we’d like to say a big THANK YOU!