The main objective of the day was to get centre users, volunteers, staff and partners to all reconnect, while Sara Burns and Kim Grant where able to talk at length about their new energy redress and employment projects and Linsey Stocks was able to talk about the return of various social groups for deaf and blind people at the Redbrae Road centre over the coming weeks.
Despite the BBQ not being a fundraising event, a raffle and tombola saw £579 raised on the day and the cash will now go to supporting centre users.
Jacquie Winning, Forth Valley Sensory Centre CEO, said: “They say fortune favours the brave and the BBQ event to welcome centre users, staff and partners back and provide a thank you to volunteers for all their hard work over lockdown went even better than we could have hoped.
“To see people meeting up, enjoying the time outdoors, relaxing and having fun was a wonderful thing. For many people it was their first venture out to a busy event for almost 18 months.
"I imagine there would have been a degree of trepidation, however, I picked up a very positive, atmosphere and a degree of excitement. I’m optimistic people now will feel encouraged and confident to start coming back to the centre over the next few weeks.
"Feedback for the new welcome area, tech hub and wall mural was also extremely positive. It says a lot that even the rain held off until the event was over.
“By all measures the day was an out and out success. Thank you to all those who came along and made it possible. We really hope that our ‘fit for the future’ Sensory Centre will be able to host many more in the coming months.”
The event was supported by Larbert’s Malcolm Allan Family Butchers, who donated burgers for the barbecue, Asda branches in Falkirk and Grangemouth, who provided rolls and tombola prizes and Morrisons in Falkirk, who provided rolls, cakes and diluting juice.
Famous biscuit maker Tunnock’s was even on hand to provide a selection of their famous treats including Caramel Logs and Teacakes, while AG Barr donated some Irn Bru to wash everything down with.
Stephen Kerr MSP, one of the guests on the day, spent time speaking to centre users about their concerns and thoughts and finding out about the centre’s climate change and employability projects.
Mr Kerr said: "I’m hugely impressed by the work done by Sara Burns and her team to make this event possible. It really highlights the commitment to helping those with disabilities that runs deep throughout the Forth Valley.
"The money raised will be put to excellent use by the Centre and I encourage people to support their work whenever possible.”
Throughout the day representatives from centre partners Sign Language Interactions provided BSL support throughout the event.
Visit the website for more information on Forth Valley Sensory Centre.