Trevor Barr conducting a rehearsal January 2018
Located in Shrewley, Warwickshire, the National Training Centre for the RDA is there to train and inspire volunteers and coaches around the UK. The thousands of horses and ponies that work for the RDA provide life-changing therapy and offer opportunities for riders and carriage-drivers to achieve amazing things. Their network of 500 volunteer groups organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting, show-jumping and Hippotherapy to up to 28,000 people each year.
Lowlands Farm RDA provides disabled people of nearly all ages and disabilities with the opportunity to find new experiences, different connections and a sense of achievement through inspirational and progressive therapeutic riding sessions designed to deliver both physical and psychological benefits.
Riding takes concentration, balance, and a communication with the horse. It provides the opportunity for people with limited horizons to overcome fears, discover new skills, engage in different relationships and a build new self-confidence. Some children on the autistic spectrum find it easier to relate to the horse than to people. The gentle natural rhythm of a horse’s walk helps physically disabled riders relax into the saddle which in turn develops core strength.
Lowlands Farm RDA depends entirely on support from sponsors, donors and our volunteer team, together with a modest income from riding fees.
All those involved – Trustees, fundraisers, stable hands, office workers, maintenance workers – are unpaid volunteers. Only our coach is on a salary and that’s to ensure consistency of our standards. Every penny goes towards delivering the service safely and reliably.
More info can be found at: https://www.lowlandsfarmrda.org.uk/
The ‘new’ Master of the LLH Heidi, is ex-military herself and has been in post for a little over a year. She has worked tirelessly with professionals to assess the buildings that comprise of the LLH and has discovered that as with all old buildings, there is a mountain of restoration and renovation that is needed to maintain and improve the buildings.
With this assessment (nearly a million pounds needed) in place she has established a ‘Friends of the LLH’ (currently at 200 people) to help actively promote the LLH and to identify fund-raising activities. This is being run by a committee who work closely with her and who are keen to support and promote any fund-raising activities presented to them.
Sandra, the gardener, has recently raised £10,000 to refurbish the Victorian greenhouse, through charity stalls held in the gardens.
It can be seen therefore that there is the support and drive within the LLH to continue fundraising and as this is such an important landmark in Warwick, as a local organisation, they would be helped enormously by our support.
More info can be found at: http://www.lordleycester.com/events.html
The Helping Hands Community Project operates locally in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth. The strap line is ‘Local People helping local people in need’ . They sum themselves up as: “We are hands on and we give hand outs…….but we also offer a hand up, enabling people to escape their current circumstances through guidance, support and referrals to other agencies. We encourage our service users to engage in voluntary work, whether that be with us, or with other local supporting businesses, charities or services, in the hope they can gain self-esteem, new skills, a job reference and a Curriculum Vitae!”
Helping Hands receive requests for essential items for local people in need eg carpets, curtains and furniture not provided when accommodation is made available. They request items on their Facebook page and the community generously responds by donating furniture, baby equipment, clothing, furniture to turn empty houses into homes.
They have taken on running the Leamington Soup Kitchen, feeding homeless people and providing sleeping bags, quilts, clothing, footwear and toiletries plus advice and support. They are supported by local companies who provide the food.
They have a charity shop in Leamington called The Lighthouse that also acts as a training shop for those training for NVQs in retail and customer service. They also provide further support and training in the drop-in space in the Lighthouse.
A registered charity in March 2015 they are governed by a small number of local trustees, they receive additional support and guidance from their advisory group.
The charity is the new Mother and Baby unit at Warwick Hospital which is opening in the summer of this year and they are looking to raise £200,000.00 to equip the unit with extra equipment such as extra birthing pools, special chairs and furnishings etc. over and above what is provided by the NHS. The existing unit does fantastic work an all aspects of maternity care and the new unit will enable them to provide even better care with better facilities once it is opened.
A recent survey has shown that women feel it is important their partner is able to stay and feel comfortable following the birth, which is why the hospital will also be fitting all four birthing rooms with the same double beds.
They say the new unit will ensure that partners can feel at home, with access to a kitchen where they can prepare their own food and not have to rely on meal service times.
In terms of support for the choir to maximise fund raising for this event, John Abbotts’ daughter’s catering company, Top Nosh Food Ltd, is an official sponsor of this charity and through her business connections and her personal connection with the mother and baby groups in the area she has already received great support for her fundraising events for this charity. She, on behalf of the charity, will be more than happy to arrange and help to run the raffles at our concerts and advertise our events fully on her social media and business emails.
More info can be found at: www.swft.nhs.uk/fundraise-us/appeals