Our magical trip to Hillier’s Light Up Trail

Adults and children in pushchairs and wheelchairs stood under archway of Christmas lights, smiling

Children, young adults, staff and families from Naomi House & Jacksplace recently took a very magical trip out of the hospices to the enchanting Light Up Trail at Hillier Gardens!

Light Up Trails donated 100 tickets to Naomi House & Jacksplace for the opening night of its Light Up Christmas trail at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey. So, our care team took children and young adults staying at the hospices on a very festive trip out via the hospice bus. Some of our families also took up the kind offer and visited the gardens too.

Woman in black coat with Christmas hat on bending down and talking to boy smiling in wheelchair with coat, hat and glasses on in front of Christmas lights
Close up of little boy

Claire Potterton, Play & Activities Team Leader who organised the trip, said:

The opportunity for a trip out is always exciting for those staying with us and also for staff. It adds an extra special element to our day and this trip was fully embraced by all. Not only did it feel wonderful to take the children and young adults out, but it was also an uplifting festive boost for everyone.

Two women in black coats with festive hats on running across a lit up bridge laughing with hands in air
Lady pushing pushchair walking over lit up bridge smiling and waving

The generous offering of 100 free tickets also meant that we could offer these out to our families. All families were given the opportunity to enter into a draw to be selected for the evening. These kinds of events are so important for the families in our care, not only because of the cost of these events but also due to the knowledge that this will be organised for them, without having to check the finer details. We ensured with the event organisers that the event was suitable and fully accessible.

Girl sitting wrapped in blankets looking up in front of colourful Christmas lights in shape of butterflies in garden at nighttime

We would like to thank everyone at Light Up Trails for the wonderful opportunity that this event has given to the children, young adults, families and staff at Naomi House & Jacksplace. It was brilliantly organised and such a spectacular evening for everyone to enjoy. We are incredibly grateful to have attended the opening night and that we all had the chance to be fully immersed in the magic provided by the Christmas lights.

— Claire Potterton

The trail included lasers, multi-sensory light shows on the water, a ‘mirrored world’, a Winter Wonderland, illuminated reindeers, snowdrops, icicles and hundreds of colourful Christmas lights.

Garden of lit up flowers with archway of Christmas lights at nighttime
Colourful butterfly lights and light lasers in garden at nighttime

Charlotte Coulouras, Play & Activities Team Member, attended the trip. Here’s what she thought of the evening:

Boy with big smile on his face in wheelchair with festive blanket wrapped round him

The light trail at Hillier Gardens was amazing. What a way to start off Christmas! The lights and music brightened everyone’s faces – the smiles were unforgettable.

— Charlotte Coulouras

It means so much to the young people and children to attend events like this; it makes them feel included and valued.

Boy in red checked coat, black gloves and black woolly hat smiling outdoors at nighttime with people walking past in background
Young woman in lots of layers with blankets on in wheelchair outside at nighttime in front of festive lights with lady behind looking down at her and smiling

A massive thank you to Light Up Trails for donating these tickets and putting on such a magical display for all of us at Naomi House & Jacksplace. Each and every one of us who attended had so much fun.

Group of people smiling in front of lit up trees and archways outside at nighttime

A couple of our families also shared their magical experiences:

The children had a wonderful time. The lights were great for their sensory needs, especially for our little one who is visually impaired. The footpath was very wheelchair accessible – I had no trouble pushing our little one around, and there was plenty of disabled parking. There was also plenty of good photo opportunities, making it a lovely event for making memories. We’d like to say a big thank you to Light Up Trails for the offer of tickets to a very inclusive event.

— Naomi House family
Family smiling together in present of Christmas lights

We had an absolutely wonderful time at Hillier Gardens tonight. The light up trail was fantastic and even Luke stayed awake for it and was looking around at everything. I think he really enjoyed it.

— Luke’s family

To find out more about the magical Light Up Trails, visit their website here.

To find out more about Sir Harold Hillier Gardens visit their website here.

Man and boy in wheelchair behind lit up frame in garden at nighttime
Little boy with grey hat on wrapped in fleece blankets in pushchair on pavement with Christmas lights in background
Man and boy in coats scarves and hats in front of pink illuminated tree and garden of lit up flowers at nighttime
Lady and young man stood in coats and hats outside at nighttime with arms around each other behind photo frame of lights

Read more about our families

"Connor had a great life and I'm really proud of that - it’s what I could do for him. I couldn't cure him, I couldn't make him better, but I could make him happy and Naomi House & Jacksplace were there for us when we needed them." - Louisa, Connor's mum

Read Connor's Story
Young man in wheelchair smiling and holding present in Santa hat in front of Father Christmas