For many, taking part in last week’s Bubble Rush in support of St Elizabeth Hospice was a way to have fun with friends and family and help raise a bit of money for a local worthy cause. However, for one family, taking part in the event meant much more to them than that.
Emma Cobb had signed her and her children up to the event, along with their grandma, in 2016 as a fun day out for the family while her husband was working away. Tanzi, the eldest at seven, was looking forward to it as was youngest daughter Alice who was three at the time, however, Emma was concerned about how Logan, five, would react.
Emma explains: “Logan has been diagnosed with autism and he can react unpredictably in new situations. I saw the event and thought it could be a great day out for us all but I was concerned about how he would feel in this new experience.”
They all signed up and took part at the event in Christchurch Park and Emma remembers how she felt as the first bubble station approached: “I remember approaching the bubbles and then he just vanished under them all. My heart was in my mouth wondering how he was.
“Everything with Logan is very sensory so when it comes to the bubbles it’s all about how they feel. He loves playing with the bubbles in the bath and he covers himself in them. They’re not threatening to him at all.
“I didn’t need to worry. The vision of the bubbles as they covered him and the tactile feel of them were great for him. He stayed close to me, as he always does, and it was great that this was something we could do together.
“We had so much fun and it was a nice bit of outdoor exercise for us all. We had wondered whether 5km would be too much for the children but we all kept going from station to station and could do so at our own pace. There wasn’t any pressure to move through quickly. We didn’t find the stations busy either which was great for us all and meant Logan could take his time playing in the bubbles as we moved around the course. The children were all buzzing for ages afterwards.”
When asked what his favourite part of event was last year and what he’s looking forward to this year, Logan, now six, said: “The bubbles were fun apart from when I was covered in them and they went up my nose!” The coloured bubbles at the bubble stations can grow to over two meters tall which means adults, as well as small children, are completely covered as they walk or run through them.
After the success of last year and the enjoyment it brought to the whole family, this year they signed up again, this time including dad who missed out the last time around.
“Logan jumped out of bed this morning and put on his Bubble Rush t-shirt; it’s is all part of the ritual. He just couldn’t wait to get to the park and for it all to begin again” Emma said. “It’s lovely to be able to find an event that he can take part in and enjoy with the whole family and not be intimidated by the experience.”
This year, the course route covered 2.5km around Christchurch Park but each participant got to go round twice meaning they received ‘double bubble’. At the end of the first lap, grandma Mo, affectionately known as GrandMo, came through the finish line with Alice, now aged four, after once round the circuit had proven enough for Alice’s small legs. The rest of the family continued around the course once more before they claimed their medals at the finish line.
At the end of Bubble Rush 2017, the Cobb family had experienced another family day out that they all had enjoyed and left the park looking forward to washing all the coloured bubbles out of their hair.