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Circus Starr loves to hear feedback from our audiences, sponsors and partners.
If you have enjoyed one of our shows and have a story to tell or a picture to share, please get in touch.
Or post your story and picture on our Facebook page.
"Your show always means so much to our families who are often in a sad and stressful time in their lives; you lighten hearts and provide a much-needed distraction from daily worries and concerns.
Its great to see the positive effects this show repeatedly has on children with disabilities, which in turn builds positive memories for the future. The parents of those with complex needs commented on the unexpected levels of enjoyment and stimulation the show gave their children. As a result, they feel they can take their kids to other creative performances to give more joy for the whole family."
"At Circus Starr things are different. Everyone comes from a place of empathy because they are from families or organisations who understand the issues some children with additional needs have to manage. The staff are kind, accommodating and understanding so everyone can just forget their worries under the magical spell of the starry canopy"
"It isn't always easy to find an event that caters for families where there is a child with a disability / additional needs. However, Circus Starr always fits the bill, giving families a fantastic, captivating show without the stress of worrying about whether their needs can be catered for.
One parent whose child is unable to walk told us that their family were met on arrival and looked after by a member of staff who ensured they were seated and had everything they needed. Other parents told us that children who normally find it difficult to concentrate for any period of time sat and watched the whole show without a murmur! On behalf of all the families and children, we would like to say a very big 'Thank You' for the generosity and kindness of the Stockport businesses who supported this show!"
"A wonderful experience to share. Live performance is a fantastic experience especially for young people with Autism as no language is required so it is very accessible." NAS - Bridgend and district branch
"Circus Starr allows our Young Carers to attend an activity with their families, which they don't often get to do. It's a chance for them to have a break from caring."
One family quoted, "What a show! Stunning and dazzling, my daughter has gone to bed wrapped in a piece of starry shiny material, and I think we will have wild dreams tonight!! Thank you for memories we'll never forget"
"The circus is a way for people to engage in something as a whole family or community group, and enjoy it whatever their age. We like to be able to offer something extra to particularly good students who work hard in our classes and whose families provide great support to our charity."
"Our members love the show, they appreciate that it is interactive and multi-sensory. It allows people to meet up with friends and make new friends, they engage with one another."
"Circus Starr have a very relaxed atmosphere so families feel they can attend without being judged. It's nice to see our families excited about taking their families to the circus without the apprehension of other people judging them." NAS - Dover and Deal branch
"It is invaluable to be able to offer treats like this to families whose children are undergoing demanding, unpleasant and long treatments. It gives families a chance to go together and experience some fun and positive times together."
"Circus Starr brings families the opportunity to experience something together that they can talk about for weeks to come. What we value most about our engagement with Circus Starr is to be part of their generosity and to make our families smile and forget their troubles just for a bit."
"Many of our families live in a disadvantaged area and would never be able to afford to go to a circus they had to pay for. It is important for children to have positive experiences to share with family and friends. Some families were anxious about taking their child, as it was their first time at the circus, but reassurance from families who had already attended calmed their nerves, and the show left them feeling pleasantly surprised."
"The children and their families thoroughly enjoyed their time at watching the performance, especially as they often feel isolated and socially excluded from such events. The children and their families were able to spend quality time together enjoying themselves in a welcoming environment."
"The children and families came together to share in quality time and enjoy the circus, to explore the fun aspects of life as times are difficult and circus time gives our families a boost. After attending the circus, two of our children have joined the local gym and trampoline activities. Thanks to your acrobats, they inspired our young children."
"It is a fantastic opportunity for our deaf children to have the privilege of attending the circus for a day of fun and social inclusion. Watching their faces as they watch the show is a joy. They then practise their communication by sharing their experience with others. It's a wonderful, multi-sensory experience that is accessible for all. A fantastic day for children."
"Our children have all experienced long term illness, and attending Circus Starr gives them an aim to get out of the house/hospital and smile. Circus Starr do a great job at bringing magic alive inside the circus tent!"
"Circus Starr allows children to access an enjoyable activity and spend time with their family. This can reinforce family bonds and improve overall well-being."
"The children thoroughly enjoyed the show as they have never experienced anything like it before. A valuable experience to all. Being able to provide underprivileged children with such a magical experience is extremely rewarding as it is something they would never have had the opportunity to do."
"The children enjoyed the performance, and this allows them to temporarily forget their traumas, and opens up new experiences to them. We hope this experience will inspire and encourage the children to let go of their traumas and work towards a brighter future."
"The circus gives children and their families a treat and something to look forward to during difficult times."
"The circus gives people the chance to switch off from their day to day struggles to enjoy something a bit different; to smile, to laugh and enjoy quality time with loved ones. It provides the opportunity for the patients to get the most out of the time they have, and to enjoy their lives."
"Often these families find it hard to access entertainment venues together, and we value being able to offer our families something beyond health services."
"The provision of the circus tickets allows the families to spend good quality time together, and take time away from what can be very distressing circumstances in their lives. The excitement from the children in the build up to the big night was an absolute delight to watch. If there was ever food for the soul..... this is it!! On the night, the families from Hollin Street all walked to the event together which again was a delight to see. They were absolutely buzzing from the night's events."
"For some families it can be the only chance for them to have some fun together on an outing. One family with 3 boys with ADHD and Asperger's could not believe how all of them sat for 90 minutes 'in awe'. She said 'they could just be themselves!'."
"Some of the hard to reach and vulnerable families could not afford to experience this with their children without your support. It gave them lots to talk about and encouraged them to get active."
"Families we support do not have the opportunity to access activities like this due to low income, ill health, etc. Circus Starr helps with this. Children loved the experience, they haven't seen anything like it before."
"One child was fearful of coming into the big top as it was dark, but now has a positive experience of what might happen in the dark so is less fearful. Children may not have the opportunity to experience this kind of show."
"Fabulous experience, uplifting and motivating! Broadened horizons, inspired and motivated the children. It was an uplifting and exciting night out, the children were enthralled."
"They have provided opportunities for children to attend their shows, who definitely otherwise would not have been able to attend. In some cases the children were offered tickets as an incentive for good behaviour. All the children that attended were enthused by the experience. Very positive that there are companies still willing to offer opportunities in social inclusion. Getting an opportunity to attend was a big bonus to the children."
"Tickets are expensive and many families would not access this exciting form of entertainment. it's great for us as an organisation to be able to offer this to our families. it's lovely to see the excitement on children's faces. We wouldn't be able to offer this opportunity without Circus Starr."
"It is great for the families to have tickets as they really enjoy the shows and it takes their minds off the difficult times. It provides them with happy memories when they go through difficult times."
"Children have come back to the centre bursting to tell us about their adventure. Parents gave very positive feedback and enjoyed the show immensely. It feels like, in giving out these tickets, we have made a difference to the lives of children and families by giving them a positive experience to share and remember."
"Allowing our families access to an extra special experience is extremely rewarding."
"It gives local families a chance to enjoy something together in a safe, friendly and accessible manner. As a small, local charity, with few extra resources of our own, it's great to be able to hook up with the circus to offer something we couldn't have done on our own."
"The families of children, and the children themselves, are very grateful for the opportunity to see a performance where they are welcomed. the experience can be a positive starting point for communication."
"It made a real difference to be able to be totally immersed in the performance. A valuable experience for many who would otherwise never usually get the opportunity."
"Most families with an autistic child find it extremely difficult to go out together. At the circus the children really enjoyed the evening, and that family enjoyment has a knock on effect, making life easier for them all. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there who will provide such super entertainment for children with disabilities/additional needs."
"Lots of children and families would not have this experience without Circus Starr. It promotes lots of positive language, new vocabulary and experiences they can share with the adults and their peers."
"For many families it will be their first time and opportunity to experience the circus, and it gives them something to look forward to away from the stress of daily life. We are proud and privileged to be associated with Circus Starr. We appreciate all the effort that goes into the show, not just the performance, but the effort of all who make sure the tickets go to the children who so enjoy the opportunity."
"Providing free access to women and children on low incomes is a great way of letting them engage with an event they would otherwise have no access to. Some of the children have talked of nothing else since the show. It's excited them and given them new experiences to learn from. The value of a shared experience, and a chance to build happy memories as a family is so important to abused women and children."
"It actively gives children an outlet to something they may not be able to engage in otherwise."
"I believe Circus Starr are very valuable to our service users as they look forward to the annual visit to the circus."
"Circus Starr is valuable because of the community spirit which brings joy and happiness to vulnerable/poorly children. Children seemed happier and more interactive, resulting in 'circus' being the theme of the month within the unit. Face painting and dressing up plays a big part in activities here at Dragon Square."
"The young people who attended from iMap were totally enthralled throughout the performances. some of the, were able to communicate how much fun was had to their peers when they got back. The circus definitely stimulated their minds."
"Circus Starr allows families to have a bit of fun away from the worries of dealing with childhood cancer. They have meant that we have been able to offer families that we work with an enjoyable and memorable experience."
"It enhances their lives by giving them enjoyment in seeing something most able-bodied children take for granted."
"Our patients and their children enjoy the show. We promote the event as well as previously being the chosen charity. I know Circus Starr benefits bereaved children that we work with."
"An amazing opportunity for our families and young people to try something new. The performances were both accessible and enjoyable. It's a pleasure to work with a group that offers so much to visually impaired families and young people."
"Thank you so much for the donated tickets which enabled many of our registered Young Carers to attend this event. Some of these youngsters assume a very responsible role caring for a parent or a sibling. Childhoods are too easily lost, coping with pressures even adults would struggle with! We very much value your generosity in helping allow these Young Carers some 'time out' ...time to just be kids for once!"
"The kids and parents I take really enjoy themselves and have a positive experience together. Children and parents light up when they talk about the event, and this memory aids their resilience."
"The circus is fantastic and allows a form of escapism for families in tough times. One of the children we took smiled - it's the first time I have seen her smile in a while!"
"A lot of the ladies and children that come to Asha are vulnerable or disadvantaged and don't have the confidence or money to take their children out. The children have loved the circus and go as a group with their families, reinforcing family fun and bonding with their mothers if the parents suffer from depression."
“Living with physical or learning disabilities can present enormous challenges not just for the child affected, but also for their families.
We provide support and services for families and try to make life as fun and normal as possible. Circus Starr has made a great contribution towards this.”
“The fact that the show was accessible for pupils in wheelchairs meant that children who might normally have difficulty going to a circus were able to enjoy the show with their more able classmates. The exciting atmosphere, the sounds and smells, provided a multi-sensory experience they will remember for a long time to come.”
“Thank you SO much for the donated tickets which went to families of children with special needs, some of who have respite at Children’s Hospice South West.”
“It was a very enjoyable evening and I would like to congratulate you on your fundraising efforts for St Michael's Hospice and other local organizations…I wish you well for the future."
"Some of our families live in the second most deprived area within Doncaster and your generosity meant they were able to enjoy something special together that they would not normally be able to afford. One parent told me 'his face was a picture ...it was great to hear him laugh out loud' that comment is all the more significant when you know it is about a child who is struggling with his speech and language development. Another 7-year-old boy said 'this is my best time yet!' which just about sums up how much your circus is appreciated in our local community."
“We passed the tickets on to the Northampton families that we support. One family told us “The show was brilliant, it was so nice to take my 2 eldest children out for a special treat…we didn't stop smiling!"
"Please would you pass on a very big thank you to all the companies in Stockport who gave support for the Spring 2013 shows. We appreciate that times are hard but due to companies being proactive and supporting great causes like Circus Starr we have been able to take our young people out for a really good time in spite of the budget restraints placed on us."
"Children and their mothers receiving support from The Haven have had harrowing experiences of violence and abuse. Kind gestures like yours help children rekindle their youth, and enjoy being children again."
"This is a wonderfully exciting opportunity for disabled children and their families, providing a much-needed social event for disabled children within their communities. All the children were engrossed by the show...we are pleased to be part of the process and happy to engage with people who have a similar ethos to us."
"Our young carers are aged between 8-18 and give physical or emotional support to another family member who may have a physical disability, mental health problems, a long-term illness or misuse drugs or alcohol (or a combination of these issues). We really appreciate your support that enables these children to have a well deserved break from their roles and responsibilities...they all had a wonderful time"
"Our Child Contact Centre supports parents who are no longer able to communicate. We provide a neutral place for children to meet the mother or father who no longer lives with them at home. The Circus is a wonderful opportunity for these families to enjoy a fun and eventful day out. We thrive and survive on donations from organisations such as you!"
"We provide free experiences for children and teenagers with life-threatening illnesses. Without support like this, our special children and their families would not be able to have the limited quality time together to create happy memories of fun and laughter."
"Thank you to all the businesses who supported the show. We provide childcare to working parents and those living in areas of deprivation. Without your donations it is most unlikely any of the children would ever see the circus. Feedback from children and parents was excellent!"
"Thanks to the kind donation we were able to take a coachload of single parents and their children on a very pleasant outing they would not normally have been able to afford."
"Your donation allowed us to help a number of children and families affected by autism who don't often get the opportunity to join in with activities that many children take for granted."
" We work with some of the most vulnerable families in Leeds and passed the tickets on to various families, including a family of nine who without your support could never have taken their children to such an exciting event. The feedback to all the children's social workers has been very positive. Your donation was a great kindness and you can be sure that it will be appreciated by the children who went for a long time."
"We allocated tickets to families who were (and are) trying to overcome considerable difficulties to make Christmas a happy and special time for their children. As a charity we endeavour to help with a wide spectrum of issues including emotional and practical; your kindness has helped greatly in giving a memorable outing to these children. Here's a sample of some of the letters they wrote:
*Thank you for the fun family outing. I had a great time I've never been to a circus before, it was the time of my life. Thank you, your the best, love from Kaylie*
*Thank you everyone. I had a brilliant night. I laughed so much my belly hurt. My best bit was the clown at the end. Thank you, Toby*
"Thank you on behalf of all the parents, carers and disabled children who attended Circus Starr. Everyone had a wonderful time ...here are some of the comments":
'The acts were great, my daughter was getting really involved in it - which is priceless!'
'I ended up laughing at my children laughing ...it was fantastic to have an opportunity to take all my children on such an enjoyable family outing, I'd like to thank who ever paid for our tickets!'
"98% of the children who attend our projects are from areas of deprivation, many of whom have additional support needs such as autism and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. WHALE Arts believes that the Arts inspire change for our community and its people. It works to achieve this vision by providing new opportunities for the people of South West Edinburgh to take part in arts activity, to widen their appreciation of the contribution arts makes to personal growth and to the life of the community."
"Rays of Sunshine grants wishes to children aged 3-18 living in the UK with serious and life threatening illnesses. Thanks to the donated tickets we were able to send a group of children and their families. We can all see firsthand how these outings help raise the spirits of everyone who goes."
"We are always delighted when local businesses play a part in our work as many companies have employees whose families are affected by the issues we support."
"Penniwells is an independent charity with approximately 130 riders per week, all disabilities, all ages. Many are severely challenged and our brief is to make their lives and themselves the best they can be. Thank you for your very generous gesture in helping send many of our clients to Circus Starr!"
"About with Friends supports people with learning difficulties to enjoy a social life. The social and interactive experience of Circus Starr is invaluable to our members who struggle with friendships and life skills, and being able to go out and about with their peers is very beneficial to them."
"Making life special, for whatever time is left, is at the heart of our work. I would like to thank local businesses for their kind donation of tickets to the Circus Starr event on behalf of all the families who benefit from our services."
"It is welcoming to see your continued Community Spirit ...all the adults, children, staff and family members who attended the Stoke shows enjoyed themselves immensely. Please keep up the good work!"
"This year 20 families were able to enjoy the show and have all come back saying what a treat it was and how much the children enjoyed it. These are children who are having to endure months, even years of chemotherapy. We encourage families to try and get out to do 'fun' things but often cost prohibits this. The chance to go to the circus was a really special treat enjoyed by the whole family."
"Our children are all under 5 and have disabilities ranging from Cerebral Palsy, life limiting conditions to autism. Many of our children rarely get the opportunity to do things as a family, so an opportunity to experience a live circus performance is very special."
"Witnesses with children were extremely grateful ... almost a disbelief that something nice was happening for them. It gives the family a chance to relax and enjoy themselves together and escape the effects of crime for a brief moment."
"A big ‘thank you’ for the tickets which were given to the children we work with: the 'Forgotten Victims of Domestic Violence’.
It is a sad fact that as things become more stressful in the home and workplace so the incidents of Domestic Violence increase. Your support meant such a lot to those who – through no fault of their own - are most in need."
Here are a few things the families said about their day:
“My 7 year old loved the lady who balanced things”
“2 year old liked the African dances”
“My 2 year old ‘high-fived’ [the clown]”
“My son and I both enjoyed the clown and also the 5 dancing men.”
As you can tell the children had a wonderful time and had lots of fun with their families. See more at: http://www.children-ne.org.uk/news/huge-thanks-go-circus-starr#sthash.sT0OECks.dpuf
"The performing arts play a vital role in the development of confidence and self-esteem (both watching and taking part)... Funding cuts mean that many organisations can't afford to pay for commercial opportunities so your work is more important than ever."