Work is now under way to set up the Trust’s latest project – a community garden at the library in Bognor Regis. This project is unique for Aldingbourne, and it links back to the horticultural beginnings of our charity.
The development of the community garden will be funded by grants already secured, including from Southern Water and National Lottery Awards for All, as well as by other donations.
Matthew Guillaume has recently started with us as the coordinator for the project. Matthew said “I’m passionate about gardening in an environmentally-friendly way, and about highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening and green spaces. These two themes are going to be central in how the project is managed, and how the garden itself is designed”.
We will be looking for volunteers from the local community, including people connected to Aldingbourne, to help create the garden. In the coming months, we will be sharing more information on how the project is progressing and how people can get involved.
Helen and the CAS Team are continuously amazed at the quality and skill in Matthew’s drawings. As a creative project, Helen asked Matthew if he would be interested in illustrating a colouring book based on the farm animals at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, Matthew was thrilled with the idea.
Working from photographs of some of the farm animals at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, Matthew has created some wonderful illustrations that really capture the characters of our animals. With help from Creative Media and the marketing team, we have been able to produce Matthew’s first colouring book, which will be available to purchase in our Aldingbourne Country Centre gift shop. Matthew thoroughly enjoyed working on the project, and is already working on ideas for his next book.
At the Aldingbourne Trust, we run our free award winning Work Aid service funded by West Sussex County Council. Work Aid aims to match adults with learning disabilities and / or autism with suitable work placements, to support employment opportunities, challenge long-standing stereotypes about disability, and refocus attention on the abilities of the individual.
The people we support work through a tailored programme to prepare them for the world of work including skills training, assistance with job applications and supported inductions with employers.
The Work Aid programme empowers individuals by raising their self-confidence, independence and self-esteem while challenging perceptions of disability in the workplace.
Learning Disability Week takes place in May each year. As part of this awareness week, we would like to tell you about Luke, who is one of the Trust’s Work Aid clients.
Luke was referred to the Work Aid for support, as he has autism and has also suffered from anxiety and depression. He was living alone, unemployed, and had little contact with his family.
We provided an employment consultant to support Luke, to get to know him and build his trust, to enable us to understand his needs and what would make him happy. As a result we found out about his great love of aircraft.
The Work Aid team successfully made contact with a company based at Gatwick Airport who are responsible for aircraft cleaning. By helping Luke throughout the application process, and supporting him during his interview, Luke was offered a job and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Luke now describes his autism as his ‘Super power’, as he was able to achieve his lifetime ambition when the ground crew servicing a Boeing 777 jet offered him the chance to get a close up view of the engine.
As a result of his employment, Luke has increased his social circle through becoming a well respected member of staff at work. He has also grown in confidence and now has more contact with his family.
Here at the Trust we are very fortunate to have over 201 volunteers throughout all our enterprises. From volunteers at Number 73 Aldwick Road, in our charity shop, as part of the Adopt a Station project and at the Aldingbourne Country Centre. Every single volunteer makes a real difference to the people we support.
So as part of Volunteer Week we have been taking the opportunity to thank all our volunteers here at the Trust.
Nigel volunteers in our Earthworks department on a Thursday each week, and has been doing so for just under a year now. He brings support, creativity and a smile each day he volunteers. Not only does Nigel volunteer in Earthworks, he also gives up his time to help transport the people we support from our supported living services to Chichester each week.
Colin has been volunteering with us since 2012, he volunteers in our Adopt a Station Project, which goes out to local railway stations making sure that the planters are watered, topped up and looking beautiful. Colin also organises Adopt a Station social events, such as bowling nights, to keep the team happy and connected.
Jean has been one of our core horticulture volunteers for almost three years now. She regularly helps to ensure the grounds of the Trust look tidy and welcoming. She also delivers weaving workshops in Earthworks.
Volunteering for the Trust is a truly rewarding experience as well as a fantastic way to learn new skills, meet new people and get involved in your local community. We have a variety of volunteering opportunities across all of our projects, so we are sure to have something to suit everyone. We couldn’t do it without you.
We also have regular support from many corporate volunteers from organisations including: Southern Water, Body Shop, Mercers, and The Kitchen Store. They have helped us by clearing our greenhouses, painting and decorating our new children’s tractor play area, and general maintenance tasks around the country centre, which has helped us save over 1352 hours per week.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or have an organisation that would like to “give a day to charity” please contact Tracy Milward at email@example.com.
Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for information on our event days, becoming a member, and more about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and / or autism to live independent lives.
Throughout the year, the Trust takes the people we support out and about on day trips around the local area. Most of these days are organised by the Aldingbourne Country Centre and funded by the Friends of Aldingbourne Trust, which is an independent charity committed to supporting the work of the Trust. Everything they do is dedicated to facilitating the Trust’s activities and promoting independence and inclusion for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
With the help of the Friends of Aldingbourne Trust, the Aldingbourne Country Centre have had a busy spring calendar of events, including:
In April they had two trips to High Beeches at Handcross. Their Gardens consist of 27 acres of woodland and water, so there were a lot of rare, exotic and award-winning plants to learn about. They enjoyed a lovely lunch in the tearooms, and everyone was quite tired at the end of the day from all the walking, but it was a great day out.
On 29th April they enjoyed a trip to a football tournament. The Aldingbourne Country Centre is affiliated to the Sussex County Football Association, and we have our own official registered team ‘Aldingbourne Country Centre FC’. Everyone had a great day out, and they all received a certificate for taking part.
On Friday 24th May the farm group enjoyed a wonderful day out to the New Forest Wildlife Park. They saw lots of exotic animals, including deer, wolves, otters, owls, wild boars, ferrets and a lynx. They had a guided tour from the lovely guides Laura and Vicky, and were told all about the habitats and behaviour of the different animals in the park. It was fun and interesting and everyone had a great time.
Also in May, the Aldingbourne Country Centre organised to take two groups swimming at the Arundel Lido. Before they enjoyed a swim, they helped out by doing a little bit of gardening to tidy up the flower beds. Everyone worked really hard at getting things tidied up before enjoying a well deserved dip in the pool, followed by refreshments in their café.
Visit www.aldingbournetrust.org/friends for information on how you can support our charity by becoming a member of the Friends of Aldingbourne Trust.
On Saturday 18th May, Make opened their doors to celebrate their Spring Fling. The team and the people we support made us proud, as they started the day with a performance of ‘This is me’. This was greeted with cheers from the local community who had come along to support us on our special event day.
Throughout the day there was live music and performances by Puffin Boy, Hannah Clarke, Amba Tremain and The Mary Rose and Royal George Street Dancers. Along with games, face painting and crafts, they were also joined by local providers including Boogie mites, Southdowns and Havant College and The Learning Place.
At 3pm they hosted a bake off competition, where the judging took place by Stephen Morgan MP, Amba Tremain and Julie Lawn. They enjoyed trying all the wonderful cakes, before announcing a winner. The cakes were then packaged up to be donated to the charity for the homeless HUSH, and Southsea Fire Station. Stephen then proceeded to present our hard working team with their well earned City and Guilds certificates.
The whole day was wrapped up with a fantastic raffle, very happy faces and a feeling of community. One lady told us “I’ve never seen so many happy faces. We visit Make all the time, and it was lovely to be part of this day. I’ve laughed, cried happy tears and laughed!”
Keith, Father of Sophie one of the people we support at the Aldingbourne Trust said - " The run went very well, It was a pleasure to raise money for such a good cause and it made all the training worthwhile."
Keith achieved his personal best 3:39:14 which is absolutely fantastic!
Thank you Keith for supporting the Aldingbourne Trust and raising an amazing £1000. This will truly make a huge difference!
Recently the farm group from the Aldingbourne Country Centre enjoyed a wonderful day out at the New Forest Wildlife Park. They saw lots of exotic animals, including deer, wolves, otters, owls, wild boars, ferrets and a lynx.
They had a guided tour from the lovely guides Laura and Vicky and were told all about the habits and behaviour of the different animals in the park. It was fun and interesting and everyone had a great time!
We have had a fabulous week of fun at the Aldingbourne Country Centre over the May half term holiday. With thousands of visitors attending over the five event days, families enjoyed many activities, including jumping around on the bouncy castles, and taking part in a great big water fight on splash about day in our Woodland Walk. “We visited today for the first time with my Mum and three children aged 11, 5 and 4. We had the most amazing day, so relaxed and lots to do” said Sammie from Worthing.
On Thursday 30th May, families enjoyed birds of prey displays throughout the day with First Class Falconry. Children also enjoyed the opportunity to take part, by lying on the ground as Elmo the Owl flew across them. Children were also able to ask questions, and even hold some of the birds.
Then on Friday 31st it was Reptile day with ‘Toms Talking Reptiles’. “We had a brilliant day today at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, I thought Toms Talking Reptiles were great, and so patient with the children” commented Sally from Brighton. Children learnt all about the reptiles, and those that were brave enough, even held some of the snakes.
Visitors also enjoyed visiting our open farm, sand and water play area, and our new ride on tractors which were open in time for the half term fun. With so much to do, families enjoyed another great day out at the Aldingbourne Country Centre.
If you like the idea of supporting a local charity by having fun, the Aldingbourne Country Centre is well worth a visit. Open everyday from 10am until 4.30pm. With a woodland walk, open farm, mini golf, ride on tractors, sand and water play area, wooden train and castle play area, and delicious locally sourced and home-cooked food in our own onsite café which features an indoor slide.