July heralded the end of the school year, the start of the summer holidays and of course, another packed month of SPACE events and activities.

After a two year absence because of the pandemic it was absolutely wonderful to be back running the Ware Duck Race again. Two thousand ducks wiggled and jiggled their way to the finish line raising invaluable funds for SPACE along the way. The weather was glorious and the community atmosphere was amazing.

A huge thank you to Trevor and the Amwell Rotary Club, Carl and the Hertford Canoe club and everyone else who helped make this year’s Duck Race the best one yet – your support is hugely appreciated. And of course a special thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket and came along on the day to cheer on the ducks.

Some different water wildlife now as we move from ducks to fishes for our first ever Introduction to Fishing session!

We lost count of our collective tally but between us caught at least 40 fish! Perch, bream, roach and rudds were all neatly hooked by our Intrepid anglers and released safely back into the waters.

If it looks peaceful and tranquil that’s because it was! Our anglers were all amazingly patient, calm and focused.

At the end they all received their Cast Starter certificate and there was a lot of chatter about wanting to have plenty more fishing adventures in the future. What an amazing skill to be able to begin to learn in an afternoon.

This was our first SPACE fishing session and we will be organising more… so watch this SPACE!

Back indoors we had a fantastically fun afternoon at St Albans Library where Hertfordshire Libraries hosted an inclusive and relaxed production of Big Goldilocks from the wonderful Booster Cushion Children’s Theatre exclusively for SPACE families.

It was utter joy to see so many children getting involved and joining in. The library staff were so kind and welcoming and the rapport and interaction between the performer and the children was brilliant with fun and laughter throughout.

A huge thank you to Hertfordshire Libraries for organising this event. We are looking forward to more collaborations in the future!

Before schools broke up we ran a number of sell out online workshops for parents and carers in July including our brand new Autism and Complex Needs Workshop, our flagship Navigating the SEND World Workshop and we were also joined by Educational Psychologist Susan Brooks who ran a workshop to help us develop strategies to support mental health in Neurodiverse Children.

Excellent and extremely helpful anxiety advice to help my daughter

Mental Health in neurodiverse children workshop attendee

During July we were also at The Patch for our regular outdoor play session.

One mum remarked that this was the most relaxed she could ever remember being whilst taking her family out.

Grubby knees, mucky hands, sticky marshmallow faces, new friends made and lots of smiles, chat and laughter from both the young people and their grown ups!

Our Introduction to Golf sessions are still proving very popular – the focus and perseverance we see demonstrated at every session is a joy to witness and certainly pays off with some amazing shots!

There were lots of inventive and creative builds from our Lego superstars at our Lego club. Boundless energy and endless fun at Jump City for Trampolining. The biggest smiles from behind the wheels at our driving experiences – we just love seeing our young drivers grow in confidence! Tasty chicken filo pastries baked at our monthly online cooking sessions. And amazing works of art created by the talented young SPACE graffiti artists who came along to our exclusive session at Croxley Green. And so much more!

And finally, we enjoyed a wonderful day at Hoovesfest soaking up the atmosphere and meeting lots of you – thank you to everyone who popped by our stand to say hello to Katy and Hayley, it was great to see so many new and familiar faces.

We hope you all have a wonderful summer. Remember SPACE is open as usual and here to support you throughout the holidays.