Category Archives: Charities

UNDER-16 RUGBY SQUAD ROW FOR WALES

Members of the King’s Under-16 rugby squad completed an epic rowing challenge recently in aid of Cancer Research UK. Staff and pupils travelled a total of 274km, the entire length of Wales, on a rowing machine in just 11.5 hours.

The idea was introduced to the group by the Under-16 coach Dafydd Jones as a means of accomplishing something off the pitch to dovetail with their impressive achievements through their rugby. The boys, along with fellow Under-16 coach Tristan Stone, immediately embraced the idea, suggesting a number of charities both locally and within the UK, before Cancer Research UK was selected ‘out of the hat’.

Following an early start, the boys showed grit and determination as they undertook the lengthy workout. As a result of their hard work, the team have already raised in excess of £1,400 for the charity, with donations still pouring in.

Commenting on the event, Dafydd said: “I am immensely proud of their efforts and the way in which they continually drove each other on throughout the event – their teamwork and commitment to the cause was inspiring.”

Well done to the following pupils who were involved: Joe Wark, Ryan Phillips, Joss Chippendale, Connor Morrall, Tommy Richardson-Jones, William Hall, Tom Newman, Ethan Jordaan, Jamie Glaisher, Jack Masters, Alex Dalton, Charlie Spurr, Billy Turner, Harry Blakey, Oliver Mathew, Sonny Baker, Mr Tristan Stone, Mr Dafydd Jones.

LOOKING FOR: HUMAN GUIDE DOGS!

This is a story which Guide Dogs have asked us to publish in tandem with the article which you will find on page 112 of the new issue of Exmoor Magazine, which is out now.

You may well have heard of Guide Dogs, we’re a national charity working to ensure that blind and partially sighted people do not lose their independence. There are around two million people in the UK living with sight loss, and all experience a different level of vision and mobility. We offer a range of mobility services to help people keep their independence, and have an amazing number of dedicated staff, volunteers and, of course, dogs who support the Guide Dogs mission.

One of the services that Guide Dogs runs is called ‘My Guide’. It is a service whereby a trained, sighted (human) guide, is partnered with someone with sight loss. Many people with sight loss need support in gaining confidence to get out and about, and to achieve personal goals. My Guides accompany service users to facilitate tasks such as running errands, practising everyday routes, using public transport, or going to the gym to build confidence in these areas (playing fetch optional!).

Bethany Akielan, My Guide Ambassador, says, “When someone loses their sight, they can also lose confidence; or in the worst cases become socially isolated. Introducing a My Guide into someone’s life makes a real difference. In volunteering a couple of hours a week, it can make the seemingly insurmountable, possible for a service user.”

Guide Dogs provides full training for all volunteers in how to safely sighted guide and a general introduction to sight loss. We have several people waiting to be matched to My Guide partnerships in Exmoor and the surrounding areas. Being a volunteer is a great opportunity to learn new skills, socialise, and broaden your knowledge of supporting someone with a visual impairment.

Suzanne, a service user in Exeter, says, “Jan, my My Guide volunteer, has been invaluable in making my relocation from Sussex to Exeter a positive experience. Moving meant I had to make a mental map of my new surroundings and Jan has been key in supporting my independence in my new home town.”

If you’d be interested in finding out more about My Guide and other volunteering opportunities with Guide Dogs, head to our website: www.guidedogs.org.uk/ and click on ‘How Can I Help’ or call the South West Team on 0345 143 0204.

SOMERSET GARDENERS GROW SUPPORT FOR ST MARGARET’S HOSPICE

St Margaret’s Hospice was delighted to host a celebration event at Brympton House, near Yeovil, to thank the Somerset gardeners who kindly opened their gardens, allotments and farms this summer to raise vital funds totalling £16,600 for the hospice.

The use of the venue and gardens was kindly donated by the owners, and was enjoyed by this year’s participating gardeners along with the open garden volunteers who had supported them on their open days.

Each garden owner and volunteer received a thank you certificate, presented by Marisa Lovell-Fox, Head of Fundraising at St Margaret’s Hospice, who said: “We are humbled by the generosity of the garden owners in the Somerset and Sherborne community, who have so kindly allowed people to share their beautiful gardens, and enjoy tea and cake, while raising essential funds needed to keep our services free and accessible to local people. We have been overwhelmed by the donations received this season, which show an increase of £7,000 from the previous year.”

Susan Bickle, the scheme coordinator, added: “We had an amazing response to our Open Gardens season this year, with a variety of different visits available, from small courtyard gardens to large woodland and lakes, with allotments and farms in between. Unlike some of the national open gardens schemes, all of the donations raised from the St Margaret’s Hospice Open Gardens season are used to support local patients and families in Somerset and the Sherborne area of Dorset.

We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to take part in the 2019 season either to open their garden, allotment, orchard or farm, or to offer help as a garden volunteer. There are many ways to support the scheme, even if you are unable to open a garden, such as having a plant sale, serving refreshments at your local flower show, or having a scarecrow trail in your village. We are also seeking local businesses who would like to advertise in our 2019 Open Gardens brochure or donate a prize to the Open Gardens raffle.”

St Margaret’s Hospice is all about making each day count for their patients, families and carers – if you would like to be part of making this happen through the Open Gardens scheme, please contact Susan Bickle, Open Gardens and Fundraising Volunteer Coordinator, for more information on 01935 709182 or 07736 886145 or by email on susan.bickle@st-margarets-hospice.org.uk.

THREE RECENT NEWS RELEASES FROM ILFRACOMBE RNLI

Ilfracombe RNLI has been having a busy time of it recently. Here are three stories which they have released in the last week or so…

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat assists exhausted single-handed sailor

Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 3.35pm on Thursday 23 August to go to the assistance of an exhausted single-handed sailor.

The lone yachtsman was struggling to make headway towards a safe harbour in the three-metre waves and near gale-force wind. As he was suffering the effects of fatigue, he asked for assistance when the deteriorating weather halted his progress in the area of Copperas Buoy near Combe Martin.

The ALB Stormrider, on relief at Ilfracombe, immediately launched and reached the scene within ten minutes. Crew member Andy Day was placed aboard the vessel to connect a tow line. The yacht was then towed back to the safety of Ilfracombe harbour.

Andrew Bengey, volunteer RNLI coxswain at Ilfracombe, said: “This was an unfortunate position for the casualty to find themselves in. The weather had been deteriorating throughout the day and he had simply become exhausted attempting to fight through it.

“The casualty was carrying a means of calling for help which meant he could contact the Coastguard as soon as he required assistance. The RNLI always advises that you carry a VHF radio and preferably a waterproof one. We also ask that you check the weather and tide conditions before you set off and get regular updates if you’re planning to be out for any length of time.”

PHOTO: The single-handed sailor being towed to safety (courtesy RNLI).

Busy night for Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats

Just the next evening, on 24 August, the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and inshore lifeboat (ILB) were launched to two separate incidents.

The ALB Stormrider was launched at 10.15pm on Friday evening to a 41ft-motor cruiser which had become overwhelmed by the five-metre seas and very strong wind in the area of Foreland Point near Lynmouth.

The three people on board were exhausted and suffering the effects of seasickness, so volunteer crew member Matt Glubb was placed aboard the vessel to attach a tow line. The vessel was then towed the some 16 miles back to Ilfracombe harbour and secured to a mooring in the outer harbour.

Half an hour after the ALB was launched, the ILB Deborah Brown II was launched to a yacht that had run aground in the outer harbour. Due to the dropping tide, the yacht was beginning to list heavily so a tow line was attached to the vessel to attempt to pull it free from its position.

However, the yacht was too far aground to be towed clear so the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew stayed with the single-handed yachtsman over low water to ensure his safety and that his yacht refloated without damage. As soon as there was enough water, the yacht was then towed clear of the beach and safely anchored.

Chris Wallis, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Ilfracombe, said: “This was a busy night for our volunteer crew at Ilfracombe and they faced some very adverse conditions. The RNLI always advises that you check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off on any venture and always carry a means of calling for help.”

Meet the final #RNLITopDog Louie!

Louie, a collie cross, is reminding dog owners what to do if their dog does get into difficulty at the coast.

The RNLI, with Louie’s help, is asking dog owners to remember never to paddle after their dog if it swims out too far. Instead, move to a place the dog can reach safely and call them – most can and will get to safety on their own. If not, however, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Simon Hannaford, RNLI community safety officer, said: “Often when a dog does get into difficulty, the owners want to help them but, in doing so, put themselves into more danger. We ask that you never enter the water after your furry friend but instead call for help.”

In June, two visitors to Whistand Bay in Cornwall did just that after their dog Barney became cut off by the tide chasing seagulls. Barney’s owners immediately contacted the lifeguards on duty for assistance instead of attempting to reach him themselves.

Due to the weather conditions, the only way to reach Barney was by boat so RNLI lifeguards Charlie Gillett and Joe Saunders immediately launched the inshore rescue boat (IRB) to bring Barney back to safety ashore.

Charlie, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, says: “Barney’s owners here acted exactly as we advise and, instead of going in after Barney, called us for assistance. This incident was a lucky escape for Barney as the tide was coming in very quickly.”

Louie’s fellow #RNLITopDog Buddy advises dog owners to always check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off to save getting caught out. The first #RNLITopDog Dash reminded dog owners to take the lead; when walking near cliff edges always keep your dog on a lead.

Simon continues: “This is the last campaign picture featuring our three #RNLITopDogs so please share their posts across your social media channels to spread these important messages throughout the south west. Please remember that, here at the RNLI, we think you’re a top dog so don’t risk your life.”

 

 

TEAM CALVERT MAKES WAVES AT SUPERHERO TRI

Three teams from Calvert Trust Exmoor participated in the Superhero Tri recently at Dorney Lake in Windsor, rubbing shoulders with the world of Paralympians and raising valuable funds for the North Devon charity that offers outdoor activity breaks for people with disabilities.

The second annual running of the event saw some 2,500 participants take to the water, wheels and heels to compete in this unique competition that focuses on disability. Each team of three must include at least one person with a disability.

Regular Wistlandpound guest Daisy Gregory, 14, who has Down syndrome, completed all parts of the Sprint section with her sidekicks as helpers. She was also chosen to be part of 2012 and 2016 Paralympics gold medalist Jonnie Peacock’s Superhero Team.

“I had an amazing time, made some lovely new friends and loved being in Jonnie Peacock’s celebrity team!” said an extremely happy Daisy following the event.

Jonnie Peacock is a huge advocate of the Superhero Tri: “What sets this event apart is the fact that it is all inclusive, absolutely everyone can take part. It’s not restrictive in any way and there are no real rules or regulations about it either.”

Calvert Trust Exmoor’s Events and Corporate Fundraiser, Daisy Hockin, expressed delight that David Fraser from Truro joined one of the teams: “David has cerebral palsy, and did a marvellous job completing the 10km cycle on a recumbent bike.”

David first visited the centre some 20 years ago on a work placement and recently got involved with the fundraising team.

“I felt thrilled to be part of the team,” David said. “As a guest, I have witnessed first hand the great work that goes on at Calvert Trust Exmoor, so I’m chuffed to be able to help out. Now I’m looking forward to getting involved in other events too, like the Spooky Cycle along the Tarka Trail in October.”

Calvert’s third team came from the Stables, led by supervisor Kerri Marangone, London-based Martin Green, and long-standing Stables volunteer JoJo Charman:

“This was my second time competing for Calvert Trust Exmoor at the Superhero Tri,” JoJo said. “This year’s event was certainly a step up from last year in terms of numbers, and we’re all looking forward to bringing even more Calvert teams to Windsor in 2019.”

After successfully completing the event (some more than once), participants were presented with their Superhero medals and plenty of opportunity for photos to celebrate their achievements.

On top of the £1,000 raised by ‘Team Calvert,’ celebrity team captain and paraplegic adventurer Shaun Gash later dropped by the Calvert Trust Exmoor marquee to present a cheque for £750 following his team’s climb of Ben Nevis in the summer.

You can watch the best of the @SuperheroTri 2018, the UK’s only disability triathlon, on Saturday 1st September on Channel 4 at 11.30am.

PHOTO: Calvert Trust Exmoor Superhero Tri Team Jonnie Peacock including Daisy Gregory supported by Mum Lynn and Dad Paul.

KINGS HALL FAMILY TACKLE THREE PEAKS FOR CANCER

A family from King’s Hall School recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Former King’s Hall pupils Harriet and Tom Kittow, along with their younger sister Anna, a current Year 4 pupil at the school, tackled the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, all in under 12 hours.

Diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012, thirteen-year-old Harriet wished to raise money for those suffering from the disease.

Joined by family and friends, the trio completed the challenge in 11 hours 17 minutes, raising a fantastic £1,700 for the deserving charity.

The family are particularly thankful to the King’s Hall community, who have shown their support over the past six years.

In 2013, a number of King’s Hall parents undertook the National Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for CLIC Sargent, a leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

Victoria Kittow, Harriet’s mother and Year 2 teacher at King’s Hall, said: “Harriet was diagnosed when she was in Year 2. She faced all of her treatment at King’s Hall and everyone was kind and supportive during those years.”

She added: “We are extremely proud of Harriet, Tom and Anna, and hope that their determination and spirit will influence others to get involved in similar life-changing challenges.”

 

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.