Organisers of the Cessnock Includes You: Come and Try Day were thrilled with the turnout and levels of participation at the event.
The event – held as part of International Day of People With Disability celebrations – drew a crowd of about 150 people to PCYC Cessnock on Thursday.
A collaborative effort of several local service providers, the day offered the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to come and try a range of activities – which included ukulele classes, singing, Zumba, soccer, cooking, arts and craft, horse therapy and much more.
The event was officially opened by Jordyn Threlfo from Jordy Can Do Errands For You (overall winner of the 2017 Cessnock Customer Service Awards) and Cessnock’s deputy mayor Anthony Burke.
Cr Burke said it was great to see the community come together for the event.
“Connecting as a community is really important, and events like today help us build stronger connections,” Cr Burke said.
One of the highlights was Hunter adventurer Tom ‘Challenge Tom’ Dow’s climb to the top of the PCYC’s 18-metre high rock climbing wall.
Mr Dow, who has the severe neurological disorder Leigh Syndrome, climbed the wall twice in an hour as a challenge to raise money for Vinnies NSW.
Many people who hadn’t tried rock climbing before tackled the wall on the day.
Other highlights included performances by the Mai-Wel band, and a singalong with the Undeniably Noisy Project.
Organising committee Cherie Pauling said planning for next year’s event will begin mid-2018.
Anyone interested in joining the committee or providing sponsorship for next year’s event is encouraged to contact Cherie at Ability Links on 4905 0752.