Fairy Tale Ending

Back in March, Jo Demain Designs kindly donated five handmade pictures.  Already framed, they were brought over to head office to have them dispersed among our services.

We are happy to announce that so far three have been found homes, two of which are already up and on display.  Our Hydropool gratefully received two beautifully made pictures of Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle Twinkly Little Star, hanging them in the waiting room.  The other image, an elegant pictorial portrayal of Hickory Dickory Dock, has been given to Hamelin House to be displayed.

A huge thank you to Jo Demain Designs for donating these spectacular pictures!  They will be enjoyed by all who visit our services.

You can check out Jo Demain Designs’ work by heading over to her Facebook page.

Published: 11/04/2018



Students Reach for the Sky

On Saturday 26th May, 22 students from Essex Police College will be reaching new heights for Hamelin House by climbing the highest mountain in Wales.

These students are travelling to Wales to take a 9 mile hike up to the very peak of Snowdon.  And they will be doing it in fancy dress!  We have no idea what they will be dressed up as yet, but we cannot wait to find out.  We just hope that they do not choose anything that will be too uncomfortable for the hike.

Raising money for Hamelin House, our respite service for children with disabilities, this wonderful group will be hiking up 3,560ft.  On their GoFundMe page, they had this to say about the challenge: “This is going to test each and everyone, but we all have the determination to complete the climb and raise as much money as we can for this wonderful and rewarding charity.”

Although it might be difficult, we are sure that they will be able to reach their goal.  As part of their training to become the new faces of the Essex Police, they are aware of how important fitness is and are doing all that they can to ensure that they are fit enough for the climb.

If, however, they do feel like having a rest, they will be doing so in a beautiful location.  This craggy mountain was formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity and is the highest mountain in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands.  With numerous paths to the top, there is ample opportunity to see the vast nature reserve and to look out for the rare flora and fauna that made Snowdonia its home.  There is also a railway service, which could always be used on the way back!

We wish you all the best of luck with the climb and hope that Snowdon does not live up to its name in the bright and sunny month of May!  Its name comes from the Old English snaw dun, meaning it is often buried in a deep coat of snow.

To show your support, you can head over to their sponsor page here and leave a comment and/or sponsor them!

You can keep up to date with how they are doing by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Published: 06/04/2018




BP Mayflower Charity Fun Day

On Saturday 24th March, we joined BP Mayflower in store for their Charity Fun Day.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, BP Mayflower staff were already working in store.  But on this day, there was a difference.  Instead of the usual uniform, staff donned some spectacular costumes for the day.  One was extremely obvious, being dressed up as a pink tiger in a comfy onesie.  Two were a little harder to spot, especially when they were behind the tills, but they were being carried all day by a teddy bear.  We hope they did not hurt their little backs!

The staff had kindly set up a stall for us in the shop, where Hamelin Trust staff and volunteers were standing throughout the day.  They were answering customer questions, handing out leaflets, and helping BP with their raffle and cupcake sales.

BP Mayflower put some special prizes out for their raffle this year, including five £20 Platinum Debit Valeting vouchers to be won by some lucky players!  A huge thank you to BP staff for donating such wonderful prizes!  We hope that whoever won them enjoys the service.

One dedicated staff member and Hamelin Trust support made and decorated 72 delicious cupcakes to be sold at the event.  They smelt absolutely delicious and looked almost too good to eat!  Only almost, because we know they were very popular with the customers and were gone in a blink of an eye!

A massive thank you to BP Mayflower for organising the event and all customers who made a donation, bought a raffle ticket, or snacked on a yummy cupcake!  You raised a fantastic £346.47!

We would also like to thank the Hamelin Trust staff and volunteers who attending, generously giving up their time to help raise awareness and funds for children and adults with disabilities and their carers.

Everyone who took part in the even have helped to make a huge difference to the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families in your local community.

To keep up to date with events, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Published: 27/03/2018




Clubs Continuing

We can confirm that Challenge Club and Sunday Chill will be continuing until July!

Since October, we have been running clubs for children and young people with disabilities and they are now returning for the summer term.  So come along to make new friends!

Challenge Club

Aimed at children and young people with disabilities, aged 12 to 25, Challenge Club runs on Mondays during term time.  Starting at 3.30pm and finishing at 7.30pm, there is plenty of time for attendees to have some fun!

Challenge Club is a great opportunity for children and young people to make new friends, learn new skills, and gain new hobbies!  Attendees can gain confidence in a variety of aptitudes, from sewing and woodworking to baking and painting.

In the past, attendees have made and decorated their own fairy doors, gone bowling, and treated everyone to some delicious brownies!

It is all fun and games at Challenge Club!  The group will be able to choose what they would like to do for the evening and we also plan for future evenings!  A number of attendees wanted to try their hands at DJing, so we arranged for a disco!

Local school pickups available.

We have a number of dates available with sessions only costing £5!  To see what dates there are, please go to our Facebook event page for Challenge Club.

Sunday Chill

This is a small, Sunday club for children and young people, aged 10 to 18, with sensory and complex needs.  Starting at 11.45am and finishing at 4.45pm, attendees can do multiple things to relax and enjoy themselves in a safe, supported environment.

Sunday Chill is designed to support children and young people with sensory and complex needs who would benefit and enjoy a quiet, relaxing atmosphere.

Over the months, attendees have been enjoying the sensory room and admiring the stars from our new galaxy projector, an out of this world donation from Lisa Leahy!  From arts and crafts sessions to exploring music tastes to strolling in local parks, there are loads of activities for attendees to enjoy while making new friends.

We have several dates available with sessions only costing £5!  To see which dates are available, please head over to our Facebook event page for our Sunday Chill club.

Please contact us to register an interest!

To book a date for either of the above clubs or for more information, please contact Frances Callaghan at or call 01277 651266.

These clubs will take place at either Hamelin House or the Exchange.  Both locations are fully wheelchair accessible and are within walking distance of Billericay railway station and bus stops.

Keep up to date with what goes on at both these clubs by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Published: 27/03/2018




Prepare for the Future Now!

We have teamed up with THB Solicitors to provide you with FREE legal information about wills, lasting powers of attorney, and more!

Come along to one of two sessions on Thursday 26th April to get the guidance you need to prepare for your future and ensure that your wishes are kept, whatever may happen.  Do not leave it too late, as it can cause all sorts of problems for your loved ones!

Professional solicitors will lead these informal talks and answer any questions in a Q&A session at the end.  You will be able to ask questions about your concerns without any obligation.

At these sessions, you will learn more about:

  • Wills – how do you provide for your loved ones?
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) – why is appointing an attorney important and how do you do it?
  • Deputyship (MCA) – who can become a deputy and when?
  • Lifetime Trusts – how can they be used?

There are two talks available on the day, at 4pm and 6pm.  They will last about an hour and you receive a free information pack.

There are only 30 places available, so book now to get a seat!

Be sure to let your friends know they are free to attend.

To book online, please head over to our Eventbrite pages:

Alternatively, you can e-mail or call Jaki on 01277 653889 (option 5).

Published: 22/03/2018




Great Baddow Charity Races

There is still time for you to enter the Great Baddow Charity Races!

Established for over 30 years, the Rotary Clubs of Chelmsford Mildmay and Rivermead have organised races where individuals and running groups can raise funds for a charity of their choice.  There are two races you can choose from: the 10 Mile Road Race and the 2 Mile Fun Run.

The 10 Mile Road Race gives you the chance to see the beautiful urban Great Baddow and Galleywood, and also the wonderful rural West Hanningfield.  There are some slopes throughout with the one at mile 8 being particularly obvious.  However, there will be a number of water stations along the course to help you along the way.

If that is a little long for you, there is always the 2 Mile Fun Run.  This shorter run stays within Great Baddow, where you will be going along tree lined streets.

Both races will commence at the Great Baddow Recreation Ground, with the longer run beginning at 11am.  The Fun Run starts 10 minutes later, as both runs begin at the same gantry.

For more information or to book a place, head over to the Great Baddow Charity Races website.

Published: 21/03/2018




Billericay Pilgrims Townswomen’s Guild

We had a terrific treat this morning when a member of the Billericay Pilgrims Townswomen’s Guild arrived bright and early at Hamelin House.

Ms Norman was there to make a donation from all the wonderful ladies who make up the Guild.  Their donation came in the form of two beautiful, hand-knitted lap quilts that will be used by the children with disabilities who use this service.  These brightly coloured blankets will be perfect those who use wheelchairs when out on day trips or by anyone at the House who wants to curl up and feel cozy.

We would like to thank everyone at the Billericay Pilgrims Townswomen’s Guild for their donation.  We do not even dare to think about how many hours it must have taken you, and whoever else was involved, to knit all those squares and then sew them together.With left over wool from projects of their own and not enough for something complete, the Townswomen’s Guild knit patches that become handsome lap quilts.  Not only is it cutting down on waste, but it also means the children with disabilities at Hamelin House have something new that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional!

Thank you for all your hard work and these beautiful blankets!

Published: 20/03/2018




From Fashion Show to Dressmaker Competition

In December last year, Sew Much Fun held their annual Fashion Show where service users had the chance to show off their projects.  They had researched a particular time period, between the 1940s and 1970s, designing and then creating wonderful outfits for us all to see.

And now, even more people could have the chance of seeing the work of two designers!

Like everyone at Sew Much Fun, Charlotte and Nathan worked hard on their projects.  They have created two spectacular dresses that have been submitted into the Dressmaker of the Year Awards!  Both have been submitted into the Vintage and Upcycling categories for making period outfits out of recycled materials.

Charlotte’s beautiful ensemble was made out of curtains graciously donated to the project by supporters.  These defunct drapery were cut and shaped into a 1950s full skirted dress with a fitted jacket.  Being a fast and skilled sewer, filled with dedication for her creation, it only took Charlotte two months to put together!

When asked what she thought about the project, Charlotte replied: “It was good.”  It certainly is!

Nathan put together an elegant evening dress.  Based off the Belgium haute couture style in the 1950s, there is no way anyone would realise it has been made out of curtains and a silky duvet cover.

Standing next to his dress, Nathan said: “It’s the best dress I made in my life.”  Stitched by hand and dedication, Nathan was pleased his dress was completed in time to be modeled in the Fashion Show last year.

Both Charlotte and Nathan were working with partial patterns and had to work out how their dresses should look from their research.  With their own patterns and fabric, their efforts might name them Dressmaker of the Year  in their categories and win them some amazing prizes.

We all wish you the best of luck!

To keep up to date with this story, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

To find out more about the Dressmaker of the Year competition, please head over to Sew Magazine.

Published: 09/03/2018



BP Mayflower Charity Fun Day

On Saturday 3rd March, BP Mayflower in Radford Way, Billericay, are holding a Charity Fun Day in store.

Pop in on the 3rd for the chance to see BP staff dressed up … in fancy dress!  The manager and staff have prepared a delicious bake sale – we can almost smell those cupcakes already! – and a raffle for customers to take part in.  Come along for the chance to win some great prizes!


Our History with BP Mayflower

BP Mayflower has been supporting individuals with disabilities and their carers through the years by putting on some fun days in the past and by having collection tins at their tills.

In April last year, BP staff held a Charity Fun Day to raise funds for disabled individuals in your local area.  With some great costumes on, they went about their daily jobs and sold raffle tickets, where customers had the chance of winning a signed collage of Arsenal.

BP Mayflower raised a fantastic £345.03 at this event last year!

We would like to say a massive thank you to BP Mayflower for all the hard work you have done in the past to raise awareness of and funds for Hamelin Trust!  You have made a huge difference to the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their carers in your local area!

Published: 17/02/2018



Rayleigh Lions Are Roar-some!

Over the years the Rayleigh Lions have continued to support Hamelin Trust.  In the past they have donated gardening tools for our Roots & Shoots project and money to purchase new equipment for our hydrotherapy pool.

This January, Ms Irene Pracy and Lion President Andy Barker arrived at Sutton Bridge Farm with a collection of hand-held gardening tools in tow.  With the new pruning shears and adjustable spanners, service users will be able to practise their gardening and maintenance skills, increasing their chance of finding paid employment.  They will be able to keep control of the wild outdoors, cutting back bushes and trees, and fix items around the farm.

We would like to thank the Rayleigh Lions, not just for their most recent donation, but for all their kind donations and continued support.  All your donations to Roots & Shoots have had a huge impact on the lives of the adults with disabilities!

Thank you!

Published: 25/01/2018




Clubs for Children and Young Adults with Disabilities Returns

In October 2017, we started some new clubs for children and young people with disabilities and we are happy to announce that they have returned for the new year!

After running successfully in the final months of last year, it has been decided that our clubs will continue.  These clubs officially started on Monday 8th January with our Challenge Club, where young people who attend have the chance to learn some fun, new skills!

Our returning clubs are:

Family Play Sessions

We are running two different clubs for two age groups that will take place on Tuesdays during term time: 1pm to 3pm for 0-5 years and 3.30pm to 5.30pm for 6-11 years.

This club is a great opportunity for children with disabilities to make new friends while playing in an accessible house and garden, which has a wheelchair accessible outdoor play area that includes a swing and roundabout.

Specifically designed for parents/carers to stay and play with their children, there are plenty of activities for the whole family to get involved in: have fun in the soft play area; relax in the sensory room; finger paint; play outside; and more!

When we say “whole family”, we mean it!  Siblings of children with disabilities are also welcome to come along to play and make friends.

Refreshments are provided.

We have a number of dates still available with sessions only costing £3.50!*

Sunday Chill

A small day club aimed at children and young people, aged 10-18, with sensory and complex needs.  It runs from 11.45am to 4.45pm two Sundays a month.

This is a small day club aimed at supporting children with sensory and complex needs who would enjoy a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.  Sunday Chill gives children and young people with disabilities the chance to make some more friends and have fun in a safe and supported environment.

There are loads of activities to choose, including: a hand massage; foot spa; listening to music; taking part in art activities; going in the sensory room room; and much more!

We still have sessions available at only £5!



Challenge Club

Starting at 3.30pm and ending at 7.30pm, this Monday term time club is for young people with disabilities, aged 12-25.

Challenge Club gives young adults with disabilities the chance to make new friends and get new hobbies!  Gaining confidence in activities such as sewing, woodwork, and much more, attendees will gain new skills as well as friends.

It is all fun and games at Challenge Club!  Attendees will be able to choose, as a group, what activity they would like to do, which could include bowling, photography, and more!

Local school pick ups available.

We have a number of dates available with sessions only costing £5!

Contact us to register an interest!

To book a date for any of the above clubs or for more information, please contact Frances Callaghan at or call 01277 651266.

Clubs will take place at either Hamelin House or the Exchange.  Both locations are fully wheelchair accessible and are within walking distance of Billericay rail station and bus stops.

*Per three person family with an addition cost of £1 for each additional family member (for adults and children).

Published: 18/01/2018




Ladybirds Song Group: Never an A-choired Taste

Just before Christmas, the Ladybirds Song Group were very busy, often supporting Hamelin Trust.

On December 14th, the Ladybirds Song Group brightened up the Exchange with their beautiful voices, entertaining Day Opportunities service users.  Everyone had a wonderful time, singing along with the tunes and a few even getting up to dance.

One week later, they were back singing for us, but this time at the Meadows Shopping Centre.

Hamelin Trust was invited back to fundraise in the popular mall in Chelmsford.  During the planning of the event, the woman in charge of marketing at the centre asked for the Ladybirds Song Group by name, remembering how well the public received them last year.

Thankfully, the Ladybirds Song Group agreed and spent the evening of December 21st entertaining the late night shoppers, raising a fantastic £224.84!

We would like to say a huge thank you to the Ladybirds Song Group for all that you have done over the years!

We would also like to thank the Meadows Shopping Centre for inviting us back and everyone who made a donation during the festive season!

Published: 02/01/2018



Helen Prince, Skydiving Queen

Back in October, Helen Prince took to the skies to dive from 12,000ft.

While high above the world, looking down at the ant-sized people (if any we visible at all), Helen was cheered on from below by family and friends.  They had watched her get whisked away from solid ground and were waiting for her to join them again.

With more bravery than most, Helen took a leap and then was falling back to the ground.  An expert skydiver kept them on track until they were being held safely in place by gravity again.

Helen did not just do a fantastic jump, but she did amazing in collecting sponsorship.  We would like to take the time to thank Helen and everyone who sponsored her.  Thank you!

You raised a wonderful £725 for children with disabilities!

In December, we were finally able to thank Helen ourselves with a small certificate presentation at Hamelin House.  Presented by Frances Callaghan, the manager of this service, Helen had the chance to meet some of the children with disabilities she helped with her skydive.

Published: 02/01/2018



A Huge Thank You to BP!

Various BP garages across Essex have been supporting children and adults with disabilities and their carers for years.  From collection tins at tills to fundraising events, BP have gone far and beyond to make a big difference to the lives of the people we support.

And now they have gone one step further!

Hamelin Trust has been chosen to receive a donation from the money raised from selling plastic carrier bags in store, receiving a wonderful £5,541.99!  A massive thank you to BP and their employees for deciding to change the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their carers!

This year, BP has donated £18,541.99 to help give individuals with disabilities and their carers more confidence and independence!

We’d also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has popped some change in one of our tins and to all the BP stores who have one at their till!  You are making a big difference to the individuals we support!

Published: 13/12/2017



We’re back at the Meadows!

Hamelin Trust has been invited back to the Meadows Shopping Centre in Chelmsford, where we will be joined by the wonderful Ladybirds Song Group!

On Thursday 21st December, you will have the chance to hear the Ladybirds Song Group perform on the behalf of Hamelin Trust.  We will be in the Meadows, by Boots and The Works, between 5pm and 8pm.

So whether you are out picking up the last few bits before Christmas or starting your list, stop off in the Meadows Shopping Centre to warm frozen fingers and bring life back to your feet!  The Ladybirds Song Group will be there to put you into the Christmas spirit with some songs you dance to!

While listening to the music, singing along, or dancing, Hamelin Trust staff and volunteers will be around.  If there is something you have always wanted to know about what we do, please ask!  We will be there answering questions, handing out literature, and gratefully welcoming any donations made in this festive season!

Published: 14/12/2017



Christmas Comes to Rayleigh

On what felt like the coldest day of the year, Hamelin Trust got into the festive spirit at the Rayleigh Christmas Lights Switch On.

Every year, on the last Thursday of November, Rayleigh brightens town with its fabulous display of lights.  Local charities and businesses line the high street to raise funds and awareness.

With biting winter winds numbing exposed skin, we set up our games and sellable items.  We had crowds of locals interested in what we do, buying items, and taking part in our games.

We would like to thank everyone who came along, especially three wonderful volunteers from ENS Recruitment Ltd: Carmen, Kirsty, and Victoria.

You raised a fantastic £131.21!

Didn’t get all you were looking for at the Rayleigh Christmas Lights Switch On?  Come along to our Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 2nd December for the chance to snag some great deals on last minute Christmas decorations and presents.

Keep up to date with our upcoming events by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Published: 01/12/2017



Join #TeamHamelin!

Do you have some extra time on your hands?  Do you want to help out a local charity whilst learning new skills?  Or do you just want to do something good in your community?

Yes?  Then we have the perfect opportunity!

We are looking for volunteers to help out in our charity shop in Shenfield.  Across the street from the local railway station and with a nearby bus stop, this volunteering opportunity is on a bustling shopping strip in the heart of Shenfield.

You will be given training to use our tills, and will have the opportunity to volunteer alongside and help support adults with learning disabilities.  By volunteering with us, you will be gaining valuable experience for your CV, new skills, and meeting new people – all in your local area!

If this is the opportunity for you, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator on 01277 653889 or e-mail

Or get straight down to the application process!  Head over to our volunteering page to download an application form.

If you are interested in volunteering in one of our charity shops, but are not local to Shenfield, please consider volunteering at one of our other stores.  We have shops in both Laindon and Billericay that have volunteer opportunities.

Published: 29/11/2017



A Royal Visit from a Scottish Bank

On Thursday 16th November, volunteers from the Royal Bank of Scotland braved the cold to work at Sutton Bridge Farm for the day.

With winter well on its way, Sutton Bridge Farm had a few jobs that needed finishing before the weather takes a turn for the worse.  Enter RBS volunteers!  They separated themselves into two teams to tackle the biggest challenges before December finally arrives.

The smallest group was given paint and brushes, and started painting the boundary fence.  Tired and green from a hot summer and mild autumn, it was in a sorry state and in need of a little TLC before a snowfall could damage it.

Paintbrushes in hand, these three volunteers worked their way across the fence until they ran into weeds and thick branches poking through from the neighbouring land.  Not that that got in their way for long.  Arming themselves with secateurs and shears, they cut their way back to the fence to ensure it is all weather proofed.

The larger team was continuing the hard work of other recent corporate volunteer groups, tidying up the large flower bed running along the right of the driveway.

With only weeds growing under the mass of trees, we want to neaten the farm entrance for our guests by clearing away all the unwanted mulch.  With this done, these diligent workers started laying down polythene to make sure no weeds can ever grow back.  As the wind picked up, it almost made off with some of the black sheets, but these team refused to give in to the weather.

By the end of the day, the polythene was down and covered in a thank coat of wood chippings.  The whole area looks so much brighter and more welcoming!We would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers, who took time out of their busy schedules to visit the farm and make it winter proof!  We would also like to thank RBS for choosing to support Hamelin Trusts and for all their work in organising the day.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with RBS news, follow them on Twitter.

We keep our supporters informed of how our volunteers are doing throughout the day.  If you are interested in following the improvements corporate volunteers make to our services for children and adults with disabilities, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Published: 20/11/2017



We’re Getting Ready for Christmas …

Published: 15/11/2017




Token of Appreciation

Hamelin Trust was honoured to have a token box in Waitrose Billericay this September, where customers could choose between us and two other local charities to support.

When you have finished your shop and are leaving, dropping the little green token into a slot, do you ever think about the benefit you are giving to a local charity?  With every token dropped in, you are helping to raise funds for a local cause and we were astounded by the amount of people who chose to put a token in the Hamelin Trust box.

As a result of your generosity, you raised £495 for children with disabilities in your local area!

We would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who put their token into the Hamelin Trust pot and, of course, to Waitrose for choosing to support us!


How Waitrose helps charities in you local community

At the end of your shop in you local Waitrose store, there is a little Perspex box separated into three.  You will be be given at token that you can drop into one of these slots and help a charity in your local community.

Every month there are three new local charities to choose from and with each new month, each Waitrose branch is given £1,000 to split between these charities.  The more tokens a charity gets, the bigger donation they receive.  This means Waitrose leaves the choice right down to you, the customer.

For more information about the good causes Waitrose helps, please head over to their website.




New Group of Ford Volunteers at Sutton Bridge Farm

On Wednesday 1st November, a new group of volunteers from Ford came along to work at Sutton Bridge Farm for the day.

By 10am all the volunteers had received a tour of the five acre land that our horticultural project, Roots & Shoots, sits on and were working away.  They had separated themselves into four teams to tackle various tasks around the farm.

The biggest team set about erecting a fence around the pond.  Although the weather is getting colder day by day, these volunteers really worked up a sweat.  The had to put in the posts, perfectly measuring out the gap before digging them in.  Loud bangs reverberated around the farm, emanating from the pond where they were hammering the posts into the mud.  With jumpers abandoned on chairs and hanging off trees, this group made themselves at home as they worked through the day.  By far the loudest of the groups, this team were all smiles and laughter.

Working not far from them was another team, sanding down the wooden jetty, ready for another coat of paint before snow and the colder weather has a chance to threaten it.  Before and after sanding, this hard working team swept down the floors and dusted away any remnants of spider webs.  After this, they painted the entire jetty, two almost painting themselves into a corner.

When it came to the painting, this group realised they were too big to work this small location, so two gentlemen went in search of something else to do.  They started with painting the fence by the Gowlands entrance with some of the left over paint, before heading over to help another team.

Continuing the work of Lockton volunteers from the previous month, this group was weeding the large flower bed by the driveway.  Clearing away a mass of weeds and leaves, they left the ground perfectly clear, weeds pulled out from the root, before laying out the polythene sheets.  With all the hard work they put into that patch, it was a shame that it had to be covered.  However, the polythene sheets they laid will stop the weeds from returning.  To finish off the day, they covered it all with a thick layer of bark chippings, taking the time to make sure that it was as even as they could make it.

In Gowlands garden, a duo worked quietly and efficiently throughout the day.  They pruned the trees, sometimes cutting off entire branches, and cleared the beds to make the garden the tranquil place it was designed to be.  With all the paths cleared, residents at Gowlands who require a wheelchair can once again comfortably use garden table in mild weather.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers from Ford for all your hard work!  You have done some amazing jobs and it looks fantastic!

We keep our supporters informed of how our volunteers doing throughout the corporate volunteering day.  If you are interested in following the improvements corporate volunteers make on our services for children and adults with disabilities, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Published: 02/11/2017



Dates Available for Clubs

At the beginning of October, we started four new social clubs designed for children and young people with disabilities.  These clubs are to help attendees gain new skills, experiences, and friends in an accessible and relaxing environment.


Family Drop In Play Sessions

We are running two different sessions for two age groups and will take place Monday during term times: 1pm to 3pm for 0-5 years and 3.30pm to 5.30pm for 6-11 years.

There are plenty of activities for the children to take part in, including finger painting and soft play.  In the garden there is a wheelchair accessible play area, which includes a swing and roundabout.  Attendees will also have the chance to relax in our sensory room and play with construction toys.

We have some dates available with sessions costing only £3.50!*

*Per three person family with an additional charge of £1.00 for each additional family member (for adults and children).


CanTeen Club

We have designed this club for children and young people with disabilities aged 12-18 to make new friends and explore new activities.  This club runs from 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

The group will be given a set of choices and will be able to pick whatever activity they would like to do.  They will be able to choose from a wide variety of leisure pastimes, such as bowling, cooking, karaoke, and outdoor games.

We have a number of dates available with sessions only costing £5!


Sunday Chill

A small day club aimed at children and young people, aged 10-18, with sensory and complex needs.  Running from 11.45am to 4.45pm, attendees will have the chance to make new friends in a relaxing environment.

While at Hamelin House, where this club will take place, children and young people will be able to choose what they would like to do, from relaxing in our sensory room to hand massages to art activities.

We have a number of dates available with sessions costing only £5!


Challenge Club

Designed for young adults aged 18-25, this club gives the group a chance to make new friends while enjoying new challenges!

Starting at 3.30pm and finishing at 8.30pm, attendees will have plenty of time to learn new skills, such as photography, computer design, sewing, cooking, and woodwork.

We have a few dates available with sessions only costing £5!



To book a date or to request a booking form, please contact Frances Callaghan at or 01277 651266.

Both locations are fully wheelchair accessible and are within walking distance of Billericay rail station and bus stops.

Published: 28/10/2017



Volunteers from Lockton Will Not Be Forgotten

On Thursday 12th October, volunteers from Lockton Real Estate & Construction visited Sutton Bridge Farm for the first time ever.

It seems that Lockton workers are dedicated and hardworking, as they were eager to get down to work at Sutton Bridge Farm with the first volunteer arriving at 8.45am.  Half an hour later, all the volunteers for the day had signed in and were working on various tasks around the farm.

With winter well on its way, one of the key jobs of the day was replacing the roofs of two sheds leading to the pond.  Due to bad weather and high winds, one tree buckled under the pressure, destroying the roof of one shed.  It left the structure and the 100 year old equipment, used as part of a display, completely open to the elements.  By the end of the day, however, both sheds had received a new wooden roof and been waterproofed.

There were other teams working away at chores that kept them busy.  One was to dig up and weed the large flower bed on the right of the long drive up to the services.  The volunteers toiled away at the soil all morning and for some of the afternoon to prepare the land for its bark blanket.

When they had finished removing the weeds and seemingly endless mulch of leaves, they unrolled a couple of polythene sheets to stop any weeds from returning.

And then it was onto covering it with bark.

The volunteers split themselves into two groups: on to take the bark from one end of the farm to the other, and the second team to spread it.  They were helped out by Roots & Shoots staff and workers, who helped to load and drive the flat-bed truck.

By the end of the day, having worked until 4.20pm, the flower bed was cleared and coated in a layer of bark.  Not only does it look so much neater than it did before, but it is well prepared for when Roots & Shoots can plant some bushes to add a splash of colour.  However it is not the season for planting, but they will not have to worry about weeds strangling the young bushes this spring.

There were a few other odd jobs that needed to be completed throughout the day, including trimming the hedges so individuals in wheelchairs can see the display sheds.  There was also grass cutting, weeding the fence leading to the pond, and sanding the jetty, ready for another protective coat before winter finally arrives.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the Lockton volunteers for all the work they did and for thinking of Hamelin Trust.  You have done a wonderful job and have made the area look fantastic!  You are making a big difference to the lives of the adults with disabilities who use the services at Sutton Bridge Farm.

If you are interested in keeping up to date the the charity work of Lockton, you can always check out their Corporate Social Responsibility website, or follow them on Twitter.

We keep our supporters informed of how our volunteers are doing throughout the corporate volunteering day.  If you are interested in following the improvements corporate volunteers make on our services for children and adults with disabilities, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Published: 13/10/2017




NEW Clubs in Billericay

From October we are expanding our services further by starting four new clubs for children and young people with disabilities, and their families.  You must live in Essex to participate in one of these clubs and is heavily subsidised.

Clubs will take place at Hamelin House (7 Stock Road, Billericay, CM12 0AD) and the Exchange (19 Radford Crescent, Billericay, CM12 0DU).

Hamelin House is a short break service for children and young people with disabilities based in Stock Road, Billericay.  Not only do we offer overnight care, but also morning, evening, and day care.  The house is fully adapted to meet the needs of children and young people, including a wheelchair accessible outdoor play area, soft play area, and sensory room.

The Exchange provides daytime and evening activities for adults over the age of 16, where participants can take part in a large number of activities, from leisure to education.

For more information, contact Frances Callaghan at or call 01277 651266.

Published: 12/10/2017




Ford Returns to Hamelin Trust!

On Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th September, employees from Ford once again offered their services to Hamelin Trust, having given assistance at many projects over the past four years.  Smiling volunteers were all too happy to help out, this time at two services.

There was plenty to do when the first group showed up bright and early at Hamelin House on Tuesday.  With new clubs for children and young adults with disabilities starting at the house this October, Ford volunteers were giving it a little spruce up.

The day started with the most challenging task: ripping up the old carpet.  Ford had donated money towards replacing the tired, grey carpet with a more suitable option of a laminate-style flooring.  After years of use, it took the mite of all the volunteers to finally get it up.

With that out of the way, the volunteers split themselves into teams.  One group stayed inside with the others working under the autumn sun.

The biggest task of the day was sanding and painting the entrance hall and sensory room.  As a result of their labours, the walls of both rooms are no longer white.  In the entrance, the walls are now green-yellow – a warm and welcoming colour to for guests to Hamelin House to get comfortable in.  The sensory room is now much darker, which will reduce the amount of light reflected, making the illuminations appear even more magical.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, other Ford volunteers were working outside.  The autumn sun quickly burned away the biting cold, giving the volunteers an ideal working temperature.  Once outside, volunteers were pushing back flowerbeds that had crept their way onto the concrete.  When they had finished, the flowerbeds were back in their right place with wooden sleepers to stop another invasion of mud during a heavy rainstorm.

The other task completed that day was the erecting of a picket fence in the sensory garden.  It was worked on by a more than capable gentleman who took up the challenge and even managed to keep the fence level despite it being on a slope for wheelchair access.

The next day saw another group arrive at the house, but also at Roots & Shoots, where the team worked on digging up a patch behind our Gingerbread House, ready for turf.  They worked hard and were undeterred when they came up against a bulk of cement we had not known was there.

Once Ford volunteers had finished this task, they set about clearing out the weeds leading from the Hydrotherapy Pool down to the entrance of the farm.  Although there was far too much weeding to finish in just one day, the volunteers did make an excellent start and the driveway already looks neater!

Back at Hamelin House, there was a gardening team pulling ivy from the fences, weeding, and cutting back bushes.  They even took it upon themselves to battle Mother Nature and rake up the leaves.  With the garden completed, they went straight up to weed the sensory garden and walkways!

There was another team in the car park, continuing the tidying from the day before.  This group of two pulled up the weeds in the driveway and went to help out with other projects when they had finished, such as painting.  By the end of the day, we had many people painting – doors, gates, handrails, and benches – because they were such hard and diligent workers.  If they finished something, they immediately wanted to start something else.

The task that took up all day was laying the flooring, paid for by Ford.  Volunteers got straight to it, measuring and cutting the underlay and then moved onto the tiles.  With doors blocked by painters and volunteers working of the floor, it was difficult for Hamelin Trust staff to keep up with the progress, but progress they did!  They have done a fantastic job.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who helped at both services over the two days, and also to Ford as a whole for the continual support over the years.  You all have made a huge difference to the children and adults with disabilities we support!

Published: 28/09/2017


A Perfect End to the Summer

On August 19th, Roots & Shoots represented Hamelin Trust at the 125th anniversary of the Southend Carnival, which attracts approximately 20,000 people to the seafront to witness the procession of colourful floats and brightly dressed walkers.

It was the second year Hamelin Trust has been to the carnival and this year the float was a Teddy Bears’ Picnic.  Designed by the adults with disabilities who use our Rochford based horticultural project Roots & Shoots, our float really impressed the carnival judges, earning us a Merit!


We would like to thank all the walkers for holding what turned out to be very heavy collection tins and buckets.  Thank you Ricky Cock, Nicky Evans, Janet Smith, and Roots & Shoots project members Ben O’Reilly and Kieran Hyre.

A big thank you to everyone who donated and for showing your support at the carnival.

You raised a wonderful £138.22!

Published: 25/08/2017




Intu Lakeside Visit Sutton Bridge Farm

On Friday 18th August, 17 workers from the intu Lakeside offices teamed up to battle weeds, trees, and the weather at Sutton Bridge Farm.

The volunteers separated into four groups: digging, cutting, and two painting teams.

The diggers were shown the enclosures by the chicken coops that had become so overgrown it was difficult to even open the gate!  But the group struggled in, equipment in hand, and got straight to work ripping up the weeks and errant grass.  All that was left behind was two fruit bushes and the freshly turned soil, awaiting the next occupants.  Their dedication to making the enclosure neat and tidy extended to unraveling the ivy from the chain fence.

In the hours they toiled away at the soil, this intu Lakeside team managed to clear and entire enclosure and half of another.

The cutting team spent their time hacking back the willow trees that had invaded the lawns in front of Gowlands, and blocking the view to the pond and its newly installed fountains.  Brambles fought back against the onslaught, but in the end the volunteers were victorious, taking away wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of thorns and arm fulls of branches.

One painting team got straight to work revitalising the archway leading to the woodland area, while the other gave the potting shed a face lift.  After giving the shed an extra coat of protection from the coming harsh winter, the joined with the other groups.

“A great day supporting the Hamelin Trust,” said volunteer Susan Louwerse.  “We painted fencing and on an archway and found it so rewarding that we were contributing to making the communal areas more attractive.  It is a fantastic charity to support and the intu team will definitely be back.”

Check out how well intu Lakeside did in the hours of work they did at Sutton Bridge Farm:

We would like to thank all the volunteers who took part at this corporate volunteering day and intu Lakeside for sparing some valuable workers.  We now know how valuable they are, as they worked for hours without complaint and always with smiles on their faces.

Thank you!

Here’s what a few of the volunteers had to say about the day:

“An inspirational place to spend time, it brings you back to the real work.  But most of all, Ricky – the unsung hero whose DNA runs through the site.” – Patsy

“What a fantastic facility has been created here.  I’ve been so humbled by the kindness of the team and it’s been a privilege to have the opportunity to do a little bit to help.” – Alan

“A great few hours well spent!  I certainly feel a great deal of pride and satisfaction lending a hand at such a great charity for an even better cause … I feel elated to be a part of such a wonderful day.” – Aisha

“A very enjoyable day for an excellent cause, it was great to be with work colleagues in a completely different atmosphere.  We really got stuck in an dalso had a lot of fun.  Would love to come back and make this an annual event or more if possible.” – Dave

Published: 21/08/2017




Good Things Come To Those Who Bait

After the Environmental Agency came along to clean up the woodland area around the pond at Sutton Bridge Farm, we installed a fountain to keep the water fresh.  All this was in preparation for the expansion of our services and providing disabled fishing for guests at Gowlands and visitors to the farm.

Now we are looking for carp and goldfish to fill our pond so we can stop dangling our hooks in the water and catch something!

If your pond is brimming with fish, please consider donating some to us, so adults with disabilities have the chance to pursue a new interest and hobby that would otherwise be closed to them.

We are also looking for black or green plastic garden furniture for our wheelchair accessible woodland walk, which will take visitors around the pond.  This furniture will provide a well earned rest for walkers to admire the natural beauty around them.

For more information or to make a donation, please contact Ricky on 07833 241205.

Published: 17/08/2017




Autumn Skydive

Published: 18/08/2017


The Weather Rained on Our Parade

On Wednesday 2nd August, Hamelin Trust was answering questions put to us by the public at the Southend Community Event.

Priory Park, Prittlewell, is usually popular in the summer: it boasts a large children’s play area, a pond, a walled garden, and on Wednesday 2nd August the Southend Community Event.  There were a wide variety of businesses and charities with stalls set up to answer questions, live music, and rides to entertain the masses.

The day started off overcast, but dry with locals teeming between stalls and marquees.  We were rushed off our feet in the morning, giving out details about our services, in particular our most local service to Southend: Sutton Bridge Farm.

However, as the day drew on, the great British weather decided to bring an end to the festivities.  Although most stalls remained open during the torrential rain, the visitors were not as inclined to stay, instead heading home early.  Despite this, we still managed to connect with many people and groups in the local community.

If you could not make it to the event and would like to ask us about one of our services, please call 01277 653889.

Published: 03/08/2017



Summer at Sutton Bridge Farm

With the summer sun high in the sky, Sutton Bridge Farm opened its doors to the public on Saturday 22nd July.

Our open day was to give the local community and potential service users the chance to take a tour of our facilities, which include:

  • Gowlands – our short break respite service for adults with disabilities
  • The Hydrotherapy Pool – were service user and the public cab take to the specially heated water and feel the benefits on aching joints
  • Roots & Shoots – our horticultural project that gives adults with disabilities the chance to gain work experience and learn social skills.

While on tour or just wandering the grounds, guests had the chance to have any questions about the services and the future plans of the site answered by staff members.  We have some big plans for Sutton Bridge Farm, including having wheelchair accessible fishing at our pond and the construction of a café.

With stalls of flowers, and fresh fruit and vegetables on sale, guests could take home and get a flavour of the hard work all the adults who work at Roots & Shoots.

Thank you everyone who came and showed your support.

You raised a fantastic £90.98!

If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to buy some of our fresh fruit and vegetables, we have some good news for you!  Roots & Shoots has a stall at Rochford Farmers Market every first Saturday of the month (excluding January).  We hope to see you there!

Published: 03/08/2017



Summertime in Billericay

Hot summer sun, food, live music, and stalls all around: there was plenty to see and do at this year’s Summerfest.

The Rotary of Billericay Mayflower returned to Queen Elizabeth II Field with an amazing Summerfest that was the place to be this July.  On Sunday 9th July, Hamelin Trust joined various other local charities and businesses with a stall, shaded by a line of trees, and a number of fundraising games.

We had hundreds of people stopping to try their luck at the Wheel of Fortune and Lucky Dip, or just to ask us what we do.  We were even able to help a man out when he asked for information on how to donate furniture.

A big thank you to all our volunteers who took the time to set up and stay with the stall, answering all your questions.  We could not continue, or attend these events if it was not for your dedication to make a difference to the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their carers.

We would also like to thank all those who stopped by our stall and made donations, whether it was furniture or to participate in one of our games.

You raised a fantastic £142.24!

Published: 01/08/2017


Turning Up the Heat

On July 2nd, eight team members from World of Spice Ltd. took time away from the office and spices that heat up Radford Crescent to take part in the Chelmsford 5K Inflatable Run.

Usually a venue where people dress up to watch horse racing, Chelmsford City Racecourse opened the track for the 5K Inflatable Run for a different race with less formal attire.

Running on behalf of Hamelin Trust were: Adriana, Alan, Chloe, Dan, Mark, Roger, Sam, and Sonia.  Dressed in luminescent tutus, they were a technicoloured blur around the track, climbing over inflated obstacle before dropping safely back down, and continuing on their way.  All runners had great fun during the race, and are happy that all the money they raised will be going towards providing vital services to children and adults with disabilities, and unpaid adult carers.

World of Spice raised a total of £660!

We would like to thank World of Spice, their runners, and everybody who sponsored them for your generous donation.

Published: 01/08/2017



A Big Thank You for the Big Summer Raffle

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to all those who supported Hamelin Trust this month by purchasing tickets for our Big Summer Raffle!  All the money you have raised will have a direct impact on the children and adults with disabilities who use our services.

You managed to raise a whopping £791.50!

Thanks to your generous donations and buying raffle tickets, the children in our services will now be able to interact together by using a new 10.1″ convertible tablet.  They will have the opportunity to learn and play together.

With handheld instruments and interacting by using a new music system, adults with disabilities will be taking part in different music sessions to help communication.

These activities increase social interaction and enable children and adults with disabilities to develop and learn new skills, which are vital to encourage independence.

Your support makes all the difference.

Thank you, from everyone at Hamelin Trust!

Published: 14/07/2017


A big thank you to all who have donated to our Big Summer Raffle

Below are details of some of our donors:

Sara’s Crafty Cards
Carpet Cleaning @carpetcleaning.5201 Lee on 07768 109613 
Glowing Aesthetics
Colourful Bites
Kate West
Katy McLaughlin
Barratt and Coe
Delta Force Paintballing
Marsh Farm
Mercury Theatre
Make Space Storage
Pea Pod Café
Michaela Health and Beauty
Adventure Island Southend
Peace of Mind UK
360 Play
Manuel’s Portuguese Restaurant
Wickford Trampoline Centre
Flourishing Flowers
Studio 360
Billericay Town FC
Retreat Hairdressing
Billericay Home Care
The Lion Inn
The Burstead Golf Club
Totes Isotoner
Ford Garage
Queens Park Tyres
Bumps Away
Kip McGrath
Mulberry House
The Blue Crown
Blake House
Epping/Ongar Railway

Published: 14/07/2017



Immervox Returns

Immervox, a Basildon based company providing business telecommunication solutions, returned to Sutton Bridge Farm for another volunteering day on 30th June.  This time they focused on the Ginger Bread House that was put up last winter.  The cabin had taken the brunt of the winter was looking a little shabby, the red paint already peeling and fading.  The volunteers from Immervox gave the house a fresh coat of paint in Hamelin Trust green, brightening the whole area.

The Ginger Bread House is used by adults with disabilities who use Gowlands as a short break respite home and would like to thank the volunteers for their efforts.

Published: 03/07/2017




Spreading the Word at

On Sunday 25th June we were in Sainsbury’s Local, Billericay, handing out promotional leaflets that show what Hamelin Trust does and how donors and volunteers are making a difference to the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their carers.

Our stall was manned by Gwenne, a trustee, and Mark, our newest volunteer in the Fundraising department.  They both did well in answering questions put to them by the public and Mark did superbly, spending most of his time at the entrance so everybody could see us.

Thank you to all of you who donated to us during this event.  You raised a total of £109, which will go towards helping children and adults with disabilities and their carers to gain in confidence and independence.

Did you miss us?  If there is anything you would like to know about what we do, email or call 01277 653889.

Or if you would prefer, wait until Hamelin Trust is at Sainsbury’s Local again.  We will back in the usual place and time on Friday 21st July.

Published: 21/07/2017



A Soaring Success!

After last year’s successful skydive, Hamelin Trust returned to Headcorn Airfield, Kent, with a bunch of budding divers to raise money for children and adults with disabilities and their carers.

Sun lotion was essential on Saturday 17th June, when the skydivers assembled on the grass at Headcorn Airfield.  With temperatures of up to 27°C that weekend, the small wait between jumps gave our skydivers time to sunbathe, waiting for their turn to cool off by hurtling back towards the ground.

All those involved had a great day, especially, it would seem, Jake Webb.  Before the jump he was excited and, once safely back on terra firma, he expressed his desire to go again.  Declan Lynn must have been anxious before his jump, being afraid of heights, but throughout the event he had a smile on his face.

All skydivers reached new heights in supporting children and adults with disabilities and carers.  We would like to thank you all for braving the height and terrifying return to Earth.

Well done Declan Lynn, David Prince, Jo Turner, Joseph Turner, Jake Webb, and especially Megan Star, who uses our Outreach Support service for making it through the challenge and supporting the local community.

Published: 26/06/2017




Support Our Skydivers!

It is that time of the year again!

Some plucky supporters of Hamelin Trust will be hurtling through the air and towards the grassy ground.  Coming down from 12,000ft at that speed is not how most of us would like to spend our Saturday afternoon, but seven Hamelin Trust supporters have decided it is for them.

The skydive this year will be extra special as two people close to Hamelin Trust will be taking part.


Jo Turner, a brave staff member from Hamelin House, has decided to take the leap to raise money for children and adults with disabilities and their carers.

Megan Star, who uses our Outreach Support service, will also be taking part in the jump.  She is very adventurous and does not let her disability get in the way of fulfilling her dreams.  Having never done something like this before, it is a huge deal for her and Hamelin Trust.

Come along to cheer all our jumpers on by coming along from 8.30am on 17th June at:

Headcorn Airfield



TN27 9HX

You can also show your support by going online and sponsoring our skydivers.  You can do this by clicking on their names below:

Declan Lynn

Helen Prince

Megan Star

Jo Turner

Jake Webb

Published: 01/06/2017



Barleylands Fun Walk

The Barleylands Fun Walk is to raise money for charities and good causes while providing fun for the whole family.  Last year the Walk raised £110,000 for nearly 100 charitable projects.

There are two walks to chose from and one is suitable for families, toddlers, and the disabled (but wheelchairs and buggies may have difficulties due to uneven farmland).

Download your Sponsorship Form here.

Where: Barleylands Farm, Barleylands Road, Billericay, CM11 2UD

When: Sunday 21st May, 1pm (but arrive a little early for a BBQ lunch!)

If you would like more information about the event, please email:

Published: 13/04/2017




Sutton Bridge Farm Open Day

You are invited to our open day!

Come along and see our Roots and Shoots project, Hydrotherapy Pool, and Gowlands short break service!  See the hard work that our service users have been doing, have a tour around the site, and you will have the opportunity to have any questions about what these services do by our team.  You can also purchase project grown plants and vegetables.

Where: Sutton Bridge Farm, Sutton Road, Rochford, SS4 1XS

When: Wednesday 31st May, 10am-3pm (call in any time!)

Published: 13/04/2017




May 2016 – Charity Skydive

On Sunday 8th May, 2016 – Five brave volunteers and staff Skydived at Headcorn Airfield to raise funds for Hamelin Trust.

It is not too late to support them by donating on their Just Giving pages:

Steve Fisher SkydivingStephen Keilly Skydiving May 2016


March 2013 – Zeelandia Cupcake Decorating Morning
Supports Hamelin Trust

Zeelandia, a local bakery ingredients company approached Hamelin Trust to ask if they could carry out a cupcake decorating activity.  They wanted to help teach practical skills to the adults with  learning disabilities.

This was welcomed with open arms and the Cupcake Decorating was carried out at Hamelin Trust™s  central office on Thursday 28th  March, 2013.

Caroline Ratcliffe, Marketing Executive and Adam Davies, Bakery Technician at Zeelandia carried out the activity. Supplying all the sponges, icings and decorations Caroline and Adam gave demonstrations and assisted the adults with their creations.  The adults benefited from the activity and enjoyed eating their creations for lunch.

Hamelin Trust are looking forward to working with Zeelandia again later in the year to carry out a similar fun activity.  A big thank you to all the staff at Zeelandia who made this activity happen.