Well done to Margaret Cameron (one of our trustees) and her band of helpers for a fantastic quiz night in Highwood Parish Hall on 22nd April raising £360.12 for our funds. Over 70 people attended, and met the challenge of a British based quiz. Rounds included sea areas around the British Isles, British flags, Music, TV, Local Knowledge, History, and bags of herbs and spices to recognise. A good evening was had by all. The winners were the team led by Louise Fuller, our Local Parish Clerk.
Having almost finished our amenity block refurbishment we wanted to show off to the very kind people who had supported our project. A date was fixed which focused the Trustees’ minds on completing the snag list! One of our wonderful volunteers, Viv, mother of rider Clare, spent many hours filling holes and painting so when a band of Trustees and volunteers turned up the day before the 13th March most of the real work had been done! However we managed to put up lots of pictures, including the new canvases bought with Jack Petchey money -well done Anne, they are lovely!
Our thanks to Darrell, our new DIY volunteer, for all his hard work and to Lynne who does a wonderful job of the cleaning every week but everything was especially sparkling this week!
On the day we welcomed Colin Campbell from Billericay Mayflower Rotary who gave us money for the project and to improve all the field gateways. Roz and Sachin came from M&G investments who gave us a large donation towards the project and money for improving our security after the tack theft. Councillors Dick Madden and Malcolm Maddocks came from Essex County Council, representing Essex Community Initiatives Fund from whom we also had very generous support for our refurbishment.
Our supporters were able to watch two lessons, seeing what Barrow Farm does best – giving huge pleasure to our riders! We had a wonderful informal lunch with funders having the opportunity to meet staff, riders, Trustees and volunteers. Thanks to all who provided food – it was quite a spread.
Everyone who came was impressed with our new facilities. What shall we do next?!
Photo shows Roz Jenkins from M&G with Trustees Emma Harris, Jo Moss-Rowe and Karen Lehner
Please consider sponsoring Jamie Newstead who is a Physical Development Teacher at Columbus School and College and will be running the London Marathon in aid of Barrow Farm in April. Columbus School and College caters for children and young adults with special educational needs. They have been coming to Barrow Farm since we started offering riding for the disabled 40 years ago (they were then Woodlands School). We are very grateful to Jamie for volunteering to run the London Marathon to raise essential funds that will help support our running costs. Jamie says about herself:
‘I’ve been a Physical Development teacher at Columbus School and College for 3 years now and have alway been passionate about sport. Football has always been my number one, playing for Colchester United Ladies for many years. As well as football, Ive also played Hockey and Cricket at county level for Essex. Over the past few years I started to struggle with injuries, so decided to take a step back from the the high intensity team sports and take up gentle jogging around the streets of Colchester. Quickly adapting, running seemed to suit my muscles and the injuries became less. 10K has quickly developed into my favourite distance to run, which I do 3 to 4 times a week. Last year I entered a number of 10K races in London, as well as the Colchester Half Marathon, and the Great South Run, in Portsmouth.
Running in the London Marathon has always been an aim for me and now the opportunity has arisen, I’m looking forward to every minute of it and the challenge ahead! ‘
For more information and to sponsor Jamie take a look at her Just Giving page.
On Saturday 10th December we held our annual Carol Service. The staff and volunteers did a fantastic job to dress all the riders, and the horses to match, to act out the nativity to carols. The riders all did an amazing job and made the Christmas story come alive. As is traditional Tawny played the donkey. We had two first timers Jaybee, who was one of the three kings with Nicco and Fergus, and Boycie, who was a shepherd. Both behaved impeccably. A big thank you to the Bishop of Chelmsford and Highwood Community Choir for supporting us. But we need to make a special mention of our two wonderful soloists, Saturday riders Charlotte and Rebecca. We also could not perform the Christmas story without the careful narration of William who has been riding with us for nearly 30 years.
We are trying to raise £40000 in our 40th year to ensure that we can keep providing the opportunity to take part in equestrian sport to over 100 riders a week, like Emma pictured here. Barrow Farm provides specialist equipment and coaches so that children and adults with specific difficulties have the opportunity to take part in a social and physical activity. Often these riders do not get the same opportunities to participate in sport that others do. Emma loves the independence of riding, she loves discussing her progress with her two fellow riders and friends Sophie and Becks and she also loves competing.
To help us keep providing these great opportunities to riders like Emma text PONY40 £4 to 70070 to donate £4 to Barrow Farm RDA.
A big thank you to Gill for planning and organising our entry for the Writtle Christmas Tree festival again this year. The tree was inspired by 40 years of riding high at Barrow Farm and was covered in photos from our 40 year history. There were lots of lovely comments from visitors to the festival and the tree can now be seen in the waiting room at Barrow Farm.
We are very proud to announce that Livvy (Junior Coach) and Taylor (Apprentice) have both received their RDA Group Coach awards. To complete this they have to undertake an initial assessment, then complete at least 20 hours of coaching, which is followed by a second assessment. Many of you will recognise the RDA Essex County Coach (as she is one of our coaches, Kath Hatwell) who presented Livvy and Taylor with their certificates and badges on Wednesday.
A big thank you to all who took part in the Blackwater Leisure Charity Triathlon – you helped raise £2502.08 for Barrow Farm. We were nominated by Jack, one of the junior members of Blackwater Triathlon Club, to be one of the beneficiaries of this annual event. Jack and his sister Charlotte are in the same class as Sam one of our Saturday riders and it was this friendship that led Jack to nominate Barrow Farm as one of this year’s charities.
On Saturday Jack and Charlotte came to present the cheque to Barrow Farm and they got the opportunity to see Sam ride and learn more about how Barrow Farm provides the opportunity for disabled children and adults to take part in equestrian sport. We are very grateful for Jack and the Blackwater Triathlon Club’s support. A lot of hard work goes into putting on the charity triathlon and we would like to say a big thank you to all those involved in organising, marshalling and sponsoring the event.
If you are interested in riding please do get in touch but we must inform you that we currently have no availability for riding on a Saturday as all the places are now full. Please do contact us if you have any questions and for more details about our Admissions Policy see our Information for Riders page.
Of course as we have so many riders on a Saturday we are always looking for help. We ride from 9-1pm in the morning with each session starting on the hour. In the afternoon we have rides at 2pm, 3pm, 3.45pm and 4.30pm finishing at 5.15pm. Some of our helpers just come for two sessions others stay all day so there are lots of options. For more information about helping with the rides see our Volunteering page.