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Thousands enjoy free family fun day in the sunshine at Suffolk Rural

News overview

Around 4000 visitors attended the annual Big Day Out event at Suffolk Rural College in Otley.

Suffolk Rural Campus during Big Day Out

The free event has been running for 19 years.

It offers the local community a chance to take part in a variety of activities.

They included a host of hands-on sessions relating to all departments at the land-based campus in the countryside.

Child learning archery at Big Day Out

Floristry learners worked with the public and created mini bouquets whilst collecting money for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Visitors making mini bouquets at big day out

Construction learners celebrated Ipswich Town Football Club’s promotion to the Premier League and showcased their skills by building a brick wall showing the letters ITFC – and the restaurant Chefs’ Whites hosted cooking demos.

Construction learners at Big Day Out

Child building a soft brick wall at Big Day Out

External companies also came along and included charities and local companies like Suffolk Archives, Suffolk Beekeepers Association and Mr Barks Dog Bakery.

Food demonstrations at Big Day Out

Paws of Parham were involved in dog agility activities. Whilst Riding for the Disabled (RDA) raised cash for their organisation via a tombola and the Suffolk Vaulting Club wowed guests via equine demonstrations.

Paws of Parham dog agility course

Organiser of the event, Charlotte Rossiter, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who supported us this year. What a day – the weather was perfect and the atmosphere was brilliant.”

Principal and CEO of the Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural said: “The Big Day Out gets bigger and better every year. Ther are more stalls, more people and more activities. We anchor ourselves on behalf of the communities that we serve so

Principal and CEO Alan Pease with grandson

I’m really delighted with the incredible response they gave us.”

Even Ed Sheeran made an appearance thanks to a performance from music students Trey and Blaine who delighted the crowd with a cover version of Ed’s big hit called ‘Sing’.

Stage music at Big Day Out

A host of external companies also attended to sell their wares.

Matt Lambert from Yum Yum Tree Fudge has supported the Big Day Out for a number of years: Matt said: “We always support the college, our local community and up and coming young farmers so that is why we attend. It (the Big Day Out) is a proper family day out.”

Ros Smith and Matt Lambert from Yum Yum Tree Fudge

Siu Mei Bryam and Sebastian Holland from Wok and Roll were stallholders this year. Siu said: “This is our third year as it’s always a good turn out.

“All the people are friendly and it’s really well organised. The Big Day Out has a good family orientated atmosphere. We will be back next year.”

Displays in the equine outdoor arena

Visitors included Stephanie Lee-Barrett who came along with her son Dan. Stephanie, from Ipswich said: “We have been previous years and it’s been really good. There are lots of accessible activities and it’s a really happy and chilled family event.

All the children love it as they get to try out new things.”

child having his face painted

Gemma Jay from Woodbridge brought her son Kyler along and the Ipswich Town fan was pictured on a tractor. Gemma said: “We thought we’d come along and we enjoyed ourselves. In terms of Ipswich Town FC Gemma added: “We are excited for next season.”

Gemma Jay and son Kyler

Abi Nicholls brought her husband and two children along to the Spring Day Out at Suffolk Rural and they enjoyed it so much they came back for the Big Day Out. Abi said: “The kids loved the animals, it was beautiful weather and a great day out with friends.”

Lucy Logan took her daughter called Milly facepainting. Lucy said: “It’s hard to find things that are free – so this is incredible.”

Stacey Flores from Ipswich attended with her daughter Autumn. Stacey said: “We came along as we’ve been before and we loved it. It’s very family friendly and lots of fun.”

Stacey Flores and daughter

And Eziah Smith from Ipswich wants to build things when he gets older according to his mum Carmelia. Carmelia said: “It’s been really lovely and Eziah made a bird feeder. He is keen on construction and animals – so I think he might be a future student.”

Eziah Smith playing with diggers

Next up for Suffolk Rural and Suffolk New College will be their attendance at the 2024 Suffolk Show where they will be involved in numerous activities across Trinity Park.

Posted 13 May 2024