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Saturday 14 March 2020 – Blue Reef Aquarium (Portsmouth)

Postponed – Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Postponed – Acorn Farm (Kirkby, Merseyside)

The Family Fun Day is the perfect opportunity for families affected by TSC to get together for a great day out.

You’ll be able to connect with other families who understand how TSC can affect lives, in a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere where the kids can enjoy themselves. So, come along and get a warm welcome!

The last Family Fun Day took place at Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth. Future Family Fun Days, planned for Birmingham Botanical Gardens and also Acorn Farm in Merseyside, are currently postponed and on hold.

You’ll find lots of handy information below about the first Family Fun Day of 2020 at Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth.

The Tuberous Sclerosis Association (TSA)’s Family Fun Day is an opportunity for families affected by TSC to come together for a great day out. The focus is on family activities with a laid-back and easy pace, where you can be amongst likeminded individuals and families who understand the impact that TSC can have on everyday life.

Typical locations for Family Fun Days are children and accessibility-friendly, such as zoos, parks and child-focused museums or venues. Previous Family Fun Days have been at Chester Zoo, Twycross Zoo (Leicestershire), Centre Parcs (Suffolk) and Windmill Hill City Farm (Bristol).

This year, the TSA is delighted to be hosting three separate Family Fun Days across different regions, following the Family Fun Day in 2019 being a sell-out!

Tickets are directly from the TSA via this link. All tickets reserved through the TSA via our website will be available for pick-up at the Blue Reef Aquarium’s ticket office. When you arrive at the aquarium, head to the ticket office and they will hand your tickets over.

The TSA works hard to try and make the Family Fun Days as affordable as possible for those who wish to come along, including subsidising the cost of tickets where possible.

Tickets for the Family Fun Day Portsmouth will cost £4.80 for adults and £2.80 for children, a significant reduction to the standard cost of Blue Reef Aquarium tickets. Carer tickets are free, providing you are attending the care of an adult or child also attending the Family Fun Day – please note that proof of carer status may be required by Blue Reef Aquarium upon entry.

Please note that there is a limit of x2 adult and x2 child tickets per family, so that as many families as possible can have the opportunity to come along. Families requiring more tickets can contact Blue Reef Aquarium to purchase standard tickets.

We know that each family is different and busy environments can be stressful. Therefore, each attendee is encouraged to enjoy the day in a way that fits best for them and/or their family. You might want to enjoy the aquarium with other TSC families, or do your own thing.

For most of the day, TSA staff will be situated at the Driftwood Kitchen – Blue Reef Aquarium’s café. This will be our ‘HQ’ for the event, so be sure to come over and say hello to us and other families! TSA staff will also be available at some of the Blue Reef Aquarium talks and highlights during the day.

TSA staff will be on-site between 10:00am – 4:00pm following this set agenda, but feel free to pick-up your tickets or leave at any time that best suits you:

• 10:00am – TSA staff arrive at Blue Reef Aquarium
• 10:30am – Tickets available for collection from the Blue Reef Aquarium ticket office (at the main entrance). TSA staff to direct people to TSA HQ, should people wish to come and say hello. Look out for TSA t-shirts! (Feel free to arrive later, if better for you)
• 11:00am – Arrive at TSA HQ, in the Driftwood Kitchen. At least one member of TSA staff will be at our HQ throughout the day to help people take a breather or come together
• 12:00pm – Visit to the Bay of Rays section, for the ray talk!
• 12:30pm – Lunch at TSA HQ – please note that food will NOT be provided and lunch can be purchased from the Driftwood Kitchen Cafe. Anyone wishing to bring their own food can eat lunch on the picnic benches located outside the main entrance. We will try to introduce families who have brought their own food to each other so they can sit together if they would like to
• 2:00pm – Visit to the Otter Holt, to see the otters feeding!
• 3:00pm – Visit to the Jellyfish Tank, for the jellyfish talk!
• 4:00pm – Staff pack away, Family Fun Day ends

The Family Fun Day is targeted towards families who have been affected by TSC – Mum, Dad, the kids and wider family are all very welcome! This way, families affected by TSC can meet each other in an understanding environment.

Not everyone who comes along has to directly have TSC – i.e. a sibling of a child living with TSC would be most welcome. However, please note that there may be a limit to the number of subsidised tickets each family can receive, to ensure that as many different families can experience the Family Fun Day as possible (an update will be shared soon, as part of ticketing information).

More specific information about the Family Fun Day at Blue Reef Aquarium will be provided closer to the event date, though all Family Fun Days follow a similar style:

The Family Fun Day can be as busy or as laid-back as your family prefers – the focus is very much on what is best for you and your family’s needs.

TSA team-members will be onsite at the venue all day, setting up a ‘HQ’ (often in a café or picnic area) where we will be based for the duration of the event. Families are welcome to come and go from this HQ as they please, using it as a base to meet and get to know other families. TSA team-members will also head to pre-agreed venue highlights at set times during the day, such as a particularly fun (and suitable) area, where you are very welcome to join us!

Although we recommend you enjoying the venue with other families who have also come to the Family Fun Day, it isn’t a requirement and you are welcome to enjoy the day with your own family in any way as you wish.

There will be no carers or assistants provided by the TSA for attendees at the Family Fun Day. Those who require a carer or assistant are kindly asked to organise their own arrangements to ensure their personal safety, mobility and/or comfort.

We encourage families who come to Family Fun Days to enjoy the day together, either by going around the selected venue together or by spending time at the pre-agreed TSA HQ for the day (often a café or picnic area). However, we know that this will not be possible for all families, which is why individual families are very much free to enjoy the day in the way that best suits them.

The focus on the Family Fun Day is for it to be an easy-going, fun and memorable day for you and your family.

We understand that some group or public activities might be overwhelming or stressful for some families and individuals, which is why we encourage everyone at the Family Fun Day to go at their own pace and to enjoy the day in a way that is best suited to them.

We want all families to have the opportunity to come to a Family Fun Day, regardless of their financial situation. If financial issues could stop you or your family from coming to a Family Fun Day, please consider applying to the TSA’s support fund grant.

The TSA’s support fund grant is not limited to a specific area and is there for those in need of financial assistance for a range of areas, including to help with getting to TSA events. You can read more about our support fund grant and how to apply here.

Make a one off or regular  donation

£10 Means that we can send a support pack to a family who has just received a life-changing TSC diagnosis, ensuring that they do not go through this time alone.

£25 Can help us develop materials that are included in our support services, flagship events or campaigns.

£50 Can provide laboratory equipment for a day’s research into the causes, symptoms, management or treatment of TSC.

To provide help for today and a cure for tomorrow