A POPULAR fun day held by a Colchester radio station saw hundreds of people turn out in Castle Park. 

The Hospital Radio Colchester Fun Day took place on Monday. 

The charity is run by volunteers and has been hosting events in Castle Park for 50 years, initially setting up an annual country fair, before developing the event into a family fun day in the late 90s.

Being an annual event for 25 years, volunteers at Hospital Radio make sure to ‘tweak’ the fun day each year, keeping it fresh and exciting.

This year saw dog displays, singing groups, cheerleading from Thurstable School, dance troops, a magician and more, as well as a fun fair offering a bouncy castle, tea cups ride, and bungee jumping.

There were also plenty of hot dog and burger vans, ice cream trucks and refreshment stands located all across Lower Castle Park, where the event took place.

Hospital Radio Colchester’s Station Manager, Andy Patrick, was thrilled to see visitors enjoying the bank holiday fun, despite the grey skies.

“I’d like to thank everybody for coming out,” Andy said.

“We appreciate the council for letting us use the park and, of course, all the volunteers who we couldn’t do this without.

“We try to make it a fun day out to bring the whole family together – kids, parents, grandparents – and not cost too much."

As well as plenty of activities, performances and food to enjoy, the event also sees stalls from local charities each year – raising awareness to their organisations, offering lucky dips and raffles, and gratefully receiving public donations.

This year’s fun day saw many different local charities, such as Forum Rotary Club of Colchester, Guide Dogs, The Haven Project, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and more.

Hospital Radio Colchester ensures these local charities can pitch up at the event free of charge.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance have attended the family fun day for the past 4 years.

“They’ve certainly got diminished numbers compared to last year, which is unfortunate but hopefully more people will start to turn up,” volunteer Joyce added.

Local community-based charity, The Haven Project, was also at Hospital Radio’s family fun day.

The Haven project supports those suffering from mental health related personality disorders and complex trauma, offering different services - such as crafting and painting, recovery groups, and friendship groups - aiming to create a safe, social and comfortable space for those who need it.

A handful of the charity’s volunteers and community members were pleased to attend the event and spread the word about The Haven Project.

Volunteer Mandy said: “For me – when I started to get involved with the project – it felt like a safe haven,

“It’s so nice to be around people who understand you, it’s nice as well because my partner knows I’m safe and supported by the group."

Many families, couples and dogs attended Hospital Radio’s family fun day in this May bank holiday Monday, and thoroughly enjoyed all it had to offer.

Colchester resident and fun day visitor, Pete said: “I think it’s a lovely event for a good cause and it’s a great effort from all the volunteers that are giving up their time – my kids are having a great time."

For more information on Hospital Radio Colchester, please visit hrcolchester.co.uk