Newcastle Thunder players Charlie Wabo (left) and Jason Tali pictured with Byker youngsters Jazmin (3), Brionie (10) and Logan (5) Stephens
Newcastle Thunder players Charlie Wabo (left) and Jason Tali pictured with Byker youngsters Jazmin (3), Brionie (10) and Logan (5) Stephens

Residents living on the Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne were treated to an afternoon of fun activities yesterday (Wednesday, July 22) thanks to local housing provider, Byker Community Trust.

The annual family fun day is always a popular event on the organisations calendar and this year was no exception with another strong turnout of over 1,000 residents.

The free event, which was held on Lower Harbottle Field off Harbottle Road on the estate, was aimed at residents of all ages and included activities such as music and dance, sports games, a bouncy castle, mega slide, soft play and arts and crafts.

This year’s event was based around a rugby theme and Papua New Guinea international rugby league players, Charlie Wabo and Jason Tali of Newcastle Thunder joined in the fun by organising touch rugby, kicking tennis and other skills games.

This is the third year that the BCT, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the Byker Estate, has organised the popular event.  It brings the whole community together and gives staff from the BCT and their partners, the opportunity to meet and engage with tenants to find out their opinions about how they can improve the standard of services they deliver and what it’s like to live on the Byker Estate.

Attending the event with her three children was Byker resident Vicki Braithwaite of Lilburn Close.  She said:

“We have attended all of the events and it’s great for the kids – there is something for all ages to enjoy.  The event brings the whole community together and it is well worth celebrating what the Byker Community Trust has achieved on the estate.”

Meanwhile, Sam Stephens from St. Peter’s Road attended the event with her family and felt this year’s event was even better than in previous years.  She said:

“It was very well attended and there was lots of activities for the kids.  It’s good that something like this is organised on the estate.”

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of the BCT, said:

“The annual family fun day is always a popular event and we are really pleased with how well this year’s event went.

It is always very well attended by our tenants and the local community and it gives us an opportunity to engage to find out their views on the services we deliver but more importantly, how we can improve our services to tenants.

The Byker Estate is going through a radical period of change with refurbishment of the iconic Grade II* listed Byker Wall and works to replace the district heating system.

I would like to thank all our partners for joining us and making this event so special and also to Newcastle Thunder for sending some of their players along to organise some sporting activities for the children, it is greatly appreciated.”

Keith Christie, Managing Director of Newcastle Thunder, said:

“I would like to thank the BCT for inviting us to attend this event, which serves several purposes for the club.

The benefits of being here to help educate youngsters about sport but also to be part of the community.  You can see by looking around that everyone is enjoying the day and it is humbling to be part of it.

For me personally, I grew up in Wallsend and I have family who still live in the Byker Wall so it is great to be able to help out and put something back into the community.”