Category Archives: Charities

EXETER RACE DAY TO HELP DEVON AIR AMBULANCE

Local businesses and racing enthusiasts are being invited to support Devon Air Ambulance by enjoying a premier race day experience.

On Sunday 25 November, The Jockey Club is hosting a Race Day fundraiser, the Clydesdale Devon Day Race, in support of Devon Air Ambulance.

Devon businesses and racing enthusiasts alike are assembling for the prestigious event to enjoy a premier hospitality experience, which includes enjoying the race from the vantage point of the private hospitality box opposite the finish line, prosecco upon arrival, the official race card, courier betting service, and tipster talk, and a two-course sit-down meal comprising delicious, locally sourced ingredients.

“We’re delighted to bring together individuals and teams from some of Devon’s leading businesses for what promises to be a very enjoyable day,” says Caroline Creer, Fundraising and Communications Director at Devon Air Ambulance.

“Our corporate supporters are significant contributors to the charity, and last year’s Devon Day event alone raised an incredible £4,154 to help keep our Air Ambulances flying.”

Although businesses keen to give their staff, clients and partners a great day out are keen to snap up tickets, individual racing enthusiasts are also looking forward to a uniquely rewarding racing experience and are reserving their tickets too.

The event at Exeter Racecourse is one of the highlights on both the corporate and racing calendar, and features the Clydesdale breed; a draft horse derived from the farm horses of the Scottish county. In previous years the race day consisted of up to seven races, of which the celebrated Clydesdale race is the first.

Businesses and individuals interested in booking tickets can secure tables of 10 for £1,000, or individual tickets for £100 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by emailing fundraising@daat.org, or by speaking to Caroline or Tracy on 01392 466666.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN RESCUED OR HAD A NEAR-MISS IN OR BY THE SEA?

As part of a new project aimed at reducing coastal drowning across Devon and Cornwall, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is inviting members of the public who have been rescued from the sea, or anyone who has had a ‘near miss’, to come forward and share their experiences.

Through the Design Out Drowning project, research will be undertaken and new solutions sought to reduce the number of people who drown around the coast.

A key element of the research process will involve exploring and analysing stories from people who have been rescued – or those who have almost come to harm – from the sea around Devon and Cornwall.

Cornwall-based company Made Open Communications Ltd is supporting the project and will be carrying out research to identify any potential new opportunities for products and services that could be introduced to help reduce drowning. This research will include talking to people who have been rescued from the sea, or those who have had a ‘near miss’ or witnessed other people coming to harm around the coastline of Devon and Cornwall.

Will Roberts, RNLI Senior Innovation Manager, said: “The RNLI is committed to reducing coastal drowning. From our prevention and education work, to the vital role of our beach lifeguards and our 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service, we work hard to ensure people stay as safe as possible around the coast.

“Through the Design Out Drowning project, we’re keen to see if there are any new sustainable initiatives, products or services that could be implemented around Devon and Cornwall that could prevent people from coming to harm in the future.

“Our research team is really keen to hear from anyone who has been rescued from the sea or almost come to harm along the coast of Devon and Cornwall. Their insights might help us to identify interventions that could be put in place to reduce the chances of someone else coming to harm.”

To share an experience, members of the public can contact the research team on 01872 862547, or complete a short online survey at designoutdrowning.org/survey.

ASTON MARTIN BRISTOL TO SPONSOR ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO CHALLENGE

This October, intrepid fundraisers from across Devon and beyond will duck, dive and scramble under, over and across eight challenging and very muddy obstacles making up the Royal Marines’ own endurance training course. You can choose to do a 5k Cheerfulness Challenge, or the 10k Courage Challenge, as part of The Royal Marines Commando Challenge.

Having supported the event in the past, Aston Martin Bristol is throwing its weight behind the event this year as headline sponsor, bringing an element of sophistication to an event that’s associated with grit and resilience, which are also qualities that are firmly attached to a brand that’s synonymous with fictional British agent, James Bond.

“We are extremely proud to be supporting such a special local event, raising money for two very worthy charities,” says Head of Business, Aaron Allnutt. “The service provided within the county by the Devon Air Ambulance and its teams is invaluable alongside the amazing work The Royal Marines Charity carries out for Royal Marines, their families, veterans and cadets. As the local Aston Martin dealer in the South West we are proud to be able to contribute and help with much-needed support. We hope to help raise several thousands of pounds through our sponsorship of the Commando Challenge.”

With the obstacles manned by the Royal Marines, the challenge is one of the most high-profile events on the calendars of both The Royal Marines Charity and Devon Air Ambulance.

The course offers entrants an authentic Royal Marines experience, as they take on the very same endurance course that Royal Marine recruits tackle on the way to wearing the coveted Green Beret. Entrants will work hard to overcome obstacles, many of whom are part of teams keen to support both charities.

“We are delighted to have such a well-respected sponsor on board for this event again, this time as a headline sponsor,” says Caroline Creer, on behalf of the Royal Marines Commando Challenge. “Aston Martin Bristol speaks to people of cool-headed courage and capability; certainly, qualities that are required for the successful completion of one of two very challenging courses!”

Aston Martin Bristol will be at the event on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October with a selection of cars, but it’s fair to assume that muddy Commando Challenge entrants won’t be encouraged to try out the plush seats!

“Both The Royal Marines Charity and Devon Air Ambulance are looking forward to working with Aston Martin Bristol,” says Caroline. “The weekend promises to welcome in the region of 1,000 entrants across the finish line, so it’s a big fundraiser for us, which makes an important contribution towards the essential work both charities undertake.”

CALVERT TRUST EXMOOR DELIGHTED TO BE AWARDED GOLD

Calvert Trust Exmoor has achieved the AHOEC Gold Standard for the quality of its outdoor education, and continues to be the only centre in the South West to carry this endorsement.

The AHOEC (Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres) exists to champion high safety and quality standards in the provision of outdoor learning, and does not award its Gold Standard assurance lightly, with just 49 centres across the UK currently brandishing the accolade.

The Gold Standard is the AHOEC’s quality scheme, which recognises exceptional performance in the provision of outdoor education delivery and learning outcomes whilst also taking in to account other operational aspects, including the quality and safety of facilities, staff and customer care. Focusing on nine areas altogether, the standard provides a framework against which the top activity providers are thoroughly assessed.

On receiving the news, Sophie, Activities Manager at Calvert Trust Exmoor, said: “I am delighted to have retained the Gold Standard award, as we continue to strive to provide the best experience possible for our guests.”

Calvert Trust Exmoor strives for excellence in everything it does, and is proud to hold a growing number of awards and accreditations for the services it provides. The centre offers the only 5-star rated activity accommodation in England, and is also accredited to the AALA and CLOtC.

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of Exmoor National Park, a short distance from the North Devon coast, and with everything together on one fully accessible site, the Trust welcomes guests of all ages and levels of ability, enabling people with physical, learning, behavioural and sensory disabilities to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities, together with their families & friends. Highly experienced instructors are qualified by national governing bodies such as  British Canoeing, the RYA and the BHS and are specially trained to work with disabled individuals.

Residential breaks are built around a structured programme of activities led by qualified instructors, all tailored to the specific needs of visitors. Activities include cycling, climbing, abseiling, horse riding, archery, low ropes, and crate stacking. Calvert Trust Exmoor also has exclusive access to Wistlandpound Reservoir for sailing, kayaking and canoeing. With a range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer, and standard and adaptive equipment provided to suit individual needs, the Trust’s aim is to provide each and every guest with the best possible experience so that they leave keen to return and eager to recommend it to others.

To ensure Calvert Trust Exmoor continues to meet the demands of its Gold Standard, the AHOEC carries out inspections every two years.

CAPTURING DEVON’S COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE

Schoolchildren from two rural primary schools, which together form the Exmoor Link Federation, have excelled in a county-wide painting competition held by the Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Bishops Nympton Primary School near South Molton, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, was named Best Overall School in CPRE Devon’s ‘My Outdoors’ competition, winning £200 towards outdoor learning. Partner school East Anstey Primary was highly commended in the same category and won £50 towards outdoor learning.

The competition is a fun way to encourage outdoor learning and help young children engage with and enjoy the countryside.

Penny Mills, Director of CPRE Devon, said, “We received entries from right across the county from girls and boys who had captured their favourite Devon landscape on paper. Pencils, paints and sticking paste were all put to use to create art works which showed the children’s appreciation of Devon’s rich variety of natural landscapes.

“The judges had a hard task choosing between the entries. We would like to thank everyone who supported CPRE Devon by entering and say congratulations to all the winners!”

The individual prizes were won by Amelie Willis Smith (Key Stage 1) from Holbeton Primary School for her delightful collage The Beach, and Ava Perkins (Key Stage 2) from Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary School in Exeter for her painting entitled Dartmoor.

Each child who entered won a badge featuring CPRE Devon’s new Countryside Ambassador Barney the Bull, becoming part of Barney’s team helping to promote the Devon countryside to primary school children in KS1 and KS2.

For more information on the competition and the winners, visit www.cpredevon.org.uk

PHOTOS: Highly commended entries from Bishops Nympton (top) and East Anstey (here).

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITY

West Buckland School’s Charities Committee, run by Sixth Form students, have raised £8,318.81 for their nominated local charity ‘Everything Ellie’ – the highest amount ever achieved.

The school ran a Fashion Show, put together a special-edition calendar,  sold beautiful glass ‘Ellie’ beads and even busked in South Molton to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Ellie sadly lost her battle with leukaemia in 2015 and the charity, ‘Everything Ellie’, offers an amazing beach hut at Saunton Sands, North Devon, providing a simple day at the seaside and short breaks away. It is a welcome respite from hospital rooms for young people or parents and guardians with young families undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mum, said: “The charity trustees are so very proud of the students and staff at West Buckland School. The grand total is a testament to how they have got behind the charity’s aims and were touched by Ellie’s story. This amount will make an ever-lasting difference to families having the most difficult time and I hope that the students continue to keep in touch to see the joy of their efforts.”

Staff and students are so pleased to have been able to support ‘Everything Ellie’ this year and will follow the progress of the charity going forward.

HUNDREDS SIGN UP FOR COMMANDO CHALLENGE

Friends, families and colleagues from across the South West are signing up in their hundreds to support the notoriously difficult – and famously muddy – Royal Marines Commando Challenge this October.

To date, 2018 has seen the highest numbers yet of intrepid fundraisers prepared to put themselves through either the 5k ‘Cheerfulness’ or the 10k ‘Endurance’ training circuits in aid of Devon Air Ambulance and The Royal Marines Charity.

The course is the first of a series of tests Royal Marines undertake, and will take fundraisers through moorland and the woodland of Woodbury Common near Lympstone, Devon, which involve tunnels, pipes, wading pools and an underwater culvert.

“This is an event that’s literally and figuratively full of peaks and troughs,” says Caroline Creer, spokesperson for the Royal Marines Commando Challenge. “The course is described by many as physically and emotionally gritty and gruelling, yet the thrill of supporting each other through it and being cheered across the finish line, knowing that you’ve challenged yourself and raised essential funds for charity, is absolutely worth it.”

Individuals or groups can still enter either or both courses for just £5 per person, per challenge, with the option of raising sponsorship for the charities on top. Many teams constitute businesses that see the event as a great team building exercise; certainly colleagues find themselves bonding in the face of such grizzly obstacles as the fully-immersive Sheep Dip and the Crocodile Pit.

There’s still time and space for more participants to sign up and take part in the challenge. Just visit www.commandochallenge.co.uk/signup to sign up for the event on weekend of 13th and / or 14th October, 2018, or keep an eye on the Royal Marines Commando Challenge Facebook page for the latest news and information.

LEADER THANKS AWARD-WINNING VOLUNTEERS

Press release issued by West Somerset Council

Leader of West Somerset Council, Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, is adding his congratulations to two local voluntary groups which have won the highest recognition.

Home-Start West Somerset and Watchet Phoenix Volunteer Team have been recognised and honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK, to recognise and celebrate outstanding work by groups of volunteers in their communities, for the benefit of others.

Cllr Trollope-Bellew said: “Volunteering has long and proud history in West Somerset. We are a largely remote and rural area where people look after each other – and are self-reliant.

“As a council we do recognise their efforts and have jointly, with our partner council in Taunton Deane, launched a lottery to help support volunteer and charity groups.

“I am delighted that two of the three Queen’s Awards in Somerset this year are going to West Somerset organisations. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank these groups – and the many others that do so much – for their tireless hard work.”

PHOTO: Home-Start West Somerset. Left to right: Siobhan Lennon-Patience (mum, service user and newly appointed trustee), Pam Shambrook (volunteer) and Clare Pound (Minehead Home-Start manager). This photo was used in our spring 2017 issue’s article about the charity.

SOMERSET WILDLIFE TRUST’S ‘WILDLIFE GARDENS’ BACK FOR A SECOND YEAR

Some of the county’s most beautiful and inspiring wildlife gardens are to open to the public to fundraise for Somerset Wildlife Trust, and inspire us to use our own gardens to help wildlife on our own doorstep. These include gardens close to Greater Exmoor and some a little further afield.

After its huge success last year, Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to be bringing  ‘Somerset’s Wildlife Gardens’ back for a second year – an initiative that will see eight of Somerset’s finest examples of gardens specifically designed to support our county’s best-loved wildlife open their doors for the public to enjoy.  The gardens, which are spread across the county, as well as being stunning in their own right, each showcase unique features that provide special homes for our best-loved species – from small mammals and pollinators, to birds and pond-dwellers.

With many of our much-loved species facing challenges to find the habitats they need to survive – hedgehogs, bats and sparrows to name a few – making our gardens wildlife-friendly is more important than ever to help many of our species survive. In the UK there are approximately 16 million gardens – a vast amount of habitat available to wildlife. Somerset Wildlife Trust hopes that people who visit these inspiring gardens will feel empowered by them to make their own gardens more wildlife-friendly.

From putting bird feeders up in your garden and leaving parts of your garden wild, to creating your own pond and putting up nesting boxes – there are lots of ways that we can all protect Somerset’s amazing and diverse wildlife by making our own gardens, local green spaces, school playgrounds, or office gardens a secure home for wildlife.

Emma Jones, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Community Fundraiser, explains: “Many of our much-loved and well known garden species are under threat, in part due to habitat loss. Hedgehogs, for example, have experienced a decline of 30% in the UK over the last ten years, and are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers worldwide. This brings home to us the fact that our garden wildlife needs our help. This is why it is so inspiring to see that so many people have dedicated time to create beautiful wildlife havens to support wildlife, and not only that but they are opening them up to the public to inspire other to do more for wildlife too.

“For those who are looking for some inspiration on how to make their gardens wildlife-friendly or fancy a wonderful awe-inspiring day out – don’t miss out on these gorgeous gardens. These events are also fundraisers for Somerset Wildlife Trust as all hosts of the gardens will kindly donate the proceeds to the Trust to support its work across the county.”

The entry fee is £4 per adult (free for children aged 16 and under). Tea and cake is available too, at a small extra cost. No booking is required but if you have any questions please email Emma Jones at events@somersetwildlife.org. For more information on the gardens, such as parking, accessibility and dogs please visit: www.somersetwildlife.org/wildlifegardens.html

Hillcrest Wildflower Meadow and Ponds (pictured)
Friday 13 April 11:00 – 16:00
There is a wildlife rich meadow and also a stunning garden that will be full of spring flowers… a perfect spot to revive after the long winter, something we all need! This is the first time Hillcrest has opened in the spring.
Where: Hillcrest, Curload, TA3 6JA

Bracondale Garden
Friday 18 May 11:00 – 16:00
Bracondale is a fabulous example of a garden that we can all try to create. There is a small meadow and pond attracting all kinds of wildlife. A calm space to sit and ponder.
Where: Bracondale, Staplehay, Taunton, TA3 7HB

Hillcrest Wildflower meadows and gardens
Saturday 26 May 14:00 – 17:00
Hillcrest has stunning gardens and a beautiful meadow created and looked after by passionate wildlife gardeners. It is an essential wildlife haven that attracts and protects the local species that in turn gives so much joy to everyone that visits!
Where: Hillcrest, Curload, TA3 6JA

Henley Hill farm
Wednesday 6 June 11:00 – 16:00
Come along to the inspiring Henley Hill Farm to see wild flower and grass rich meadows and pastures with incredible views. The meadow has been studied by experts from Somerset Wildlife Trust who could not believe just how many species of flora and fauna they found. Beautiful!
Where: Henley Hill farm, Haybridge, (near Wells), BA5 1AL

Model Farm Gardens
Sunday 17 June 11:00 – 16:00
Model Farm shows how much nature can create a sanctuary within a decade. The gardeners have made Model Farm a beautiful garden bursting with wildlife, a joy to spend time in.
Where: Model farm, Perry Green, Wembdon, TA5 2BA

Millers Pond and Garden
Saturday 30 June 11:00 – 16:00
This is a jewel for wildlife. Last year, a top garden designer came to visit when the garden opened for Somerset Wildlife Trust and was absolutely full of praise! Why not combine your visit with a trip to Nunney Castle.
Where: The Miller’s House, Nunney, BA11 4NP

Badbury Flower Farm
Sunday 22 July 12:00 – 15:00
Visit this wonderful flower farm… the owner is a flower farmer! Using the beautiful blooms, bouquets and arrangements are created for all occasions. Come and see how they are made and get the chance to create your own posy to take home.
Where: Badbury Dairy House, Isle Abbotts, Taunton. TA3 6RS

Elworthy Cottage
Thursday 26 July 11:00 – 17:00
An inspiring, peaceful wildlife garden full of bumbleebees, butterflies and bird song. After your visit, treat yourself to a beautiful cottage garden plant from the nursery
Where: Elworthy Cottage Plants, Elworthy, TA4 3PX

CALVERT TRUST LEADING THE WAY ON ACCESSIBLE ADVENTURE

Exmoor is leading the way for other UK tourism hotspots by providing fully accessible adventure holidays for disabled people at Calvert Trust Exmoor.

The Minister for Disabled People, Health, and Work, Sarah Newton, and Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, both visited the Calvert Trust’s facilities last month to see first hand the work they’re doing so disabled people can enjoy adventurous activities that many others take for granted, such as horse riding, abseiling and canoeing.

Sarah Newton said: “The Calvert Trust is a real asset to Exmoor, helping to ensure disabled people can enjoy time away with their families and take part in a range of adventurous activities. It’s been great to see their work and how they’re enriching people’s lives.

“The spending power of disabled people and their families is almost £250 billion, so making tourism more accessible isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the construction of Calvert Trust Exmoor’s boat house, which was created on behalf of the Trust by the BBC television programme Challenge Anneka. As well as seeing the facilities built by Challenge Anneka, the Minister formally opened a new wet room, which will enable guests with the highest needs to access specialised showering and toileting equipment at the waterside.

MP for North Devon, Peter Heaton Jones, said: “I am incredibly proud to be an ambassador for this fantastic organisation; I always leave inspired, and I know the Minister will too. It’s fantastic that North Devon is home to this facility that we should be proud of at a national level; I will continue to support this truly inspirational place.”

CEO of Calvert Trust Exmoor, Heidi Watson, said:  “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to our centre and honoured that she opened our new wet room facility; I  enjoyed introducing her to some of our wonderful guests and fantastic staff and being able to show her that at Calvert Trust Exmoor it’s What You CAN Do That Counts!”

PHOTO: Left to right: Heidi Watson (CEO, Calvert Trust Exmoor), Floyde (the horse), Sarah Newton (Minister for Disabled People), Peter Heaton Jones (MP for North Devon).