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).
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 01277 651266.
Both locations are fully wheelchair accessible and are within walking distance of Billericay rail station and bus stops.
Volunteers from Lockton Will Not Be Forgotten
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 roof. It left the structure and the 100 year old equipment, used a 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 shores 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or call 01277 651266.
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 work 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 painter 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!
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!
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.
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
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 read for walkers to admire the natural beauty around them.
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Ricky on 07833 241205.
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.
Summer at Sutton Bridge Farm
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!
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!
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.
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!
A big thank you to all who have donated to our Big Summer Raffle
Below are details of some of our donors:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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:
You can also show your support by going online and sponsoring our skydivers. You can do this by clicking on their names below:
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).
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: email@example.com
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!)
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:
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.