A ‘Very Special’ party

FIVE-year-old NoahBarlow loves being a mini fireman, just like his dad.
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FUN: Noah Barlow came dressed in his fire chief T-shirt and helmet ready to test out his skills with Wendouree firemen. Picture: Kate Healy

He was thrilled for the chance to hang out with fire fighters at the Wendouree station for Very Special Kids’ annual family Christmas party on Sunday.

Noah has his own ‘turn-out’ at home and said the best part of being a fireman was the helmet. Firemen let him have his turn at using the fire hose all by himself.

There were carols, face painting, fire trucks, fairy floss, Ulysses Club motorcycle rides and a jumping castle. Of course, there was a very special early visit from Santa, delivering donated gifts to all children.

Very Special Kids supports children with life-threatening conditions and their families, in their journey. Christmas is their biggest event for the year.

Ballarat dad Mark Robson, whose daughter Skye has a rare genetic disorder, the charity has helped his family focus on their collective goals for happiness, love and quality of life to the fullest.

“This is just an important outing for Skye’s brother too. Skye has a lot of our attention and this helps in keeping that balance within the family,” Mr Robson said. “Everyone here’s in a similar boat.Families here are all facing very similar things in terms of potential consequences and day-to-day life.”

Six-year-old Skye is a lively, fun character. Mr Robson said his family was fairly new to Very Special Kids. Once introduced to what they could offer, Mr Robson said they made everything that little bit easier.

They even offered his family free passes to the Ballarat Show and the family had an amazing day.

Very Special Kids hosted 52 children –and almost 100 people including their families –at the Country Fire Authority station, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Ballarat,Trembath Automotive and Rise Christian Church. Families came to Ballarat from across the district from as far as Ararat and Tatyoon.

The charity’s central Victoria co-ordinator Marianne Collins said Very Special Kids hosted a range of eventsbut the Christmas party was most special because whole familiescould be involved.

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