London to Brighton with JL Youth!

A Young Participant 01 February 2017

Some of Jacksons Lane's young participants from our JL Circus programme went on a star-studded adventure as part of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (more info here). Here's how the fun day went, in the words of one of our participants:

Getting ready for a Big Day Out, with our Youth Coordinator Vicki

Getting ready for a Big Day Out, with our Youth Coordinator Vicki

"I felt very lucky to have been chosen by JL Circus, to go on the Children in Need London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. I had never been to Brighton before so it was going to be an adventure.

The night before, we stayed at the Lancaster Gate Hotel near Hyde Park. It was very posh and the room was lovely. We met Kate and Donna on the Saturday night and they told us all to get plenty of sleep as we had an early start on Sunday morning.

I went out with my Mum for a lovely meal after the briefing and we got back in time to make sure we got a good night’s sleep. We woke up at 5am on Sunday morning, we were still a bit tired but when we met the other travelers in the lobby everyone was really excited!

Donna and Kate gave us all flashing Pudsey ears to wear and we got a packed breakfast to take with us in case we got hungry (we didn’t have the chance as there was so much food!). At 6am a couple of vintage buses arrived to take us to the Starting Point in Hyde Park, they were beautiful. We drove through sleepy London and walked down through Hyde Park to The Serpentine Grill. It was still dark but the sun was rising and all around us were vintage cars and happy people, it was amazing. At the Grill, we were given wonderful bacon sandwiches and hot tea, it was very welcome. We watched the sun rise over the Serpentine and then it was time to board our bus for the day.

With Alex Jones, from The One Show

With Alex Jones, from The One Show, acting as bus driver for the day!

As we found our seats, I saw that there were Children in Need bags on all of our seats, how wonderful! They had given us a Plush Pudsey, popcorn, chocolates and key rings. We then met our driver for the day, Alex Jones from the One Show, she was really friendly and chatty and looked lovely in her 1940’s clothes.

Then it was time to set off, there was lots of smoke noise from the old cars and a real sense of excitement. We drove through the park and then out into London, people were already lining the streets, smiling and waving at us.

My arm got tired from all of the waving but people looked so happy to see us and the pretty bus.


Everyone was excited to meet Chris Evans

Everyone was excited to meet Chris Evans

It was a long journey down to our first stop at Crawley. We pulled over at a Car Showroom that had been transformed into a Harrods tearoom for the day. My mum was the first person off the coach and there was a team of Harrods butlers waiting for her. It was hysterical, they hoovered her coat, shined her shoes and pretended to give her a haircut! We had Danish pastries and tea, so gorgeous. Then we met Chris Evans who was really nice and so tall!

We got back on the coach and headed to Brighton, all along the route, people waved and cheered, it was like being a celebrity for the day. I’ve never seen so many smiles! When we got to Brighton people were cheering us and we thanked Alex for being such a good driver.

We were then treated to fish and chips and ice cream at the Harvester where we all had a laugh and talked about the journey. There were helium balloons all over the restaurant so we gathered some together, attached them to a Pudsey Bear and sent him off to France, I hope he got there ok.

Plus, after the meal we got a visit to the Sea Life Centre, it’s brilliant, loads of interesting fish and facts.

It was getting late by then and it was time to get on our coach and head back to London, we were all very tired but really happy.

Me and my mum had a brilliant day and we’re really grateful that we got a chance to go on a once in a lifetime trip. Thank you Jacksons Lane and thank you Children in Need!"

Sign up for updates