CHILDREN who have never been to the seaside were able to enjoy a day by the coast – without even leaving Worcestershire.

About 100 children took part in a range of fun activities at Top Barn Farm in Holt Heath, near Worcester, including donkey rides and a Punch and Judy show.

And to top it all off, six tonnes of sand were imported to create a makeshift beach, turning part of the farm into a mini-paradise.

Dozens of youngsters based in Worcester who are from families living in ‘areas of highest need’ such as Warndon and Tolladine were among those to benefit.

The idea came about after organisers tried to get funding for a trip to Weston-Super-Mare, but could not get enough cash in time.

“The day was about bringing the beach to the children,” said Sally Wyatt, play co-ordinator with the Worcester Community Trust.

“We were supposed to be visiting Weston-super-Mare but we couldn’t get funding for the coach.

“So rather than let the children down we thought we would actually bring the seaside to them.”

Sally said all the children taking part were living in deprivation and had been referred to the community trust by various agencies.

Many of them rarely, if ever visit a real-life beach, given the distance from Worcestershire. The visit was just part of a five-week play scheme organised by the trust which has included trips to Sixways, making pizza at Puccini’s in Friar Street and making boomerangs and didgeridoos to mark Australia Day.

“The parents have been over the moon with what we’ve put on,” said Sally. “We’ve had parents sending thank you cards to us.”

About 300 children have attended the sessions, which take place at the Horizon Community Centre for five to eight-year-olds, and Ronkswood Community Centre for nine to 12-year-olds.