When the Aldingbourne Trust was founded over 40 years ago, the centre focused solely on horticulture. Today it has over 14 social enterprises, however horticulture is still at the heart of the Aldingbourne Country Centre, as it provides hands on learning and development opportunities for the people we support with learning disabilities and/or autism.
James Simpson has been attending the Country Centre for over 10 years now, and he has developed a vast knowledge of horticulture that he is often giving advice to others and helps to identify plants around the centre. He has grown many plants and trees from seeds, including the Alder which was recently planted by the Duke of Gloucester to commemorate his visit to the Aldingbourne Country Centre earlier in the summer.
James loves to maintain the orchard at the Country Centre where there are many varieties of apples and pears growing. “My favourite apple is a cross between and apple and a pear, but tastes sweet like a pineapple” said James. He has recently started to grow a new apple tree, using a seed from an apple a colleague had for his lunch.
The horticulture enterprise is supported by volunteers who work closely, and often one-to-one with the people the Trust supports. Clare Seaby has been volunteering at the country centre since last November, Clare says “This is my happy place, I love to come and volunteer here as I enjoy the interaction with the clients, it is extremely rewarding and I really enjoy being here.” Clare enjoys volunteering here so much, she was telling her neighbour Kath about the Trust, and now Kath volunteers at the centre alongside Clare.
Kath Sartin has been volunteering for three months now, she said “Clare’s face would light up when she was telling me what she had been doing that day with the people she was supporting. So I decided I would volunteer too, I look forward to coming each week.”
The Trust is always looking for new volunteers to support their horticulture and other enterprises. Every volunteer makes a real difference to the people they support. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the Trust please contact Tracy Milward on 01243 544607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why not pop along to find out more, as you can visit the horticulture department and café at the Aldingbourne Country Centre without purchasing an entrance ticket to the whole site. We are located just off the A27 between Tangmere and Fontwell. You can also visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for more information about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
The Aldingbourne Trust is inviting the local community to take part in a worldwide initiative to learn how to save a life.
The Restart a Heart campaign (RSAH) is an annual initiative led by the Resuscitation Council (UK) in partnership with The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, and Yorkshire Ambulance service which aims to improve the low numbers of people surviving out of hospital cardiac arrests. In 2018 over 238,000 people were trained in CPR by regional Ambulance Services and private providers as part of the campaign.
On and around Wednesday 16th October 2019, an alliance of organisations all over the world will be coming together to increase public awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people trained in life saving CPR by organising and facilitating training events. This is the sixth annual Restart a Heart campaign and the second annual World Restart a Heart (WRSAH) campaign.
As part of this worldwide initiative, Aldingbourne Trust have teamed up with Avanti Training Solutions www.avantitraining.co.uk, to hold free CPR training for the local community at the Aldingbourne Country Centre on Friday 18th October from 11.30am. You are invited to come along on the day to find out more, and learn the basic CPR skills needed to help make a difference when it matters.
John Bowles, Avanti Training Solutions said “As a first aid training provider, I'm very much aware of the science and changes to CPR guidelines and how these have increased survival rates in recent years, yet we in the UK still lag behind other countries. My mission is to raise public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest out of hospital. You have less than one in ten chance of surviving SCA in the UK.”
“It is important to teach members of the public how to help restart the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest (their heart has stopped beating). Giving them the knowledge and confidence to recognise and then start providing them with life saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR and use a public AED device.”
Michelle Mckinley Bell, Enterprise & Development Manager at Aldingbourne Trust said “We are so pleased to be hosting this event, to be able to give the local community the opportunity to learn these essential skills which could help save someone’s life.”
Aldingbourne Trust is a local charity that supports people with learning disabilities and/or autism to have the same opportunities as everyone else to live independent lives. Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for information on our venue hire facilities, and more about our award winning charity.
We have had a fabulous summer of fun at the Aldingbourne Country Centre over the school holidays. With our first full summer events programme since the opening of our new Quarry Building, we had record breaking number of visitors reaching nearly 10,000 over the 6 weeks.
Our events included our ever popular bounce about and splash about days, along with visiting entertainers from KAPOW Wrestling, and out annual Mini Boom kids music festival. Sally Morash from Hampshire said “Best day out we’ve had for ages! This wonderful trust is full of brilliant activities for young children, we loved the Crazy Golf, Maze & the Bouncy Castle event!”
Visitors also enjoyed visiting our open farm, sand and water play area, ride on tractors and new soft play area which was open in time for the summer. Sophie Holden from Arundel said “Had a fab day today, my children played on the tractors, crazy golf and the sand and water area kept their attention for ages.” With so much to do, families enjoyed another great day out at the Aldingbourne Country Centre.
Heather Finch from Worthing said “My 5 year old loves going to the Country Centre, we've now got him a season ticket and he's been 5 times in the summer holidays already! It’s always a lovely chilled day out, never too busy!”
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.
Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for more information about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and / or autism to live independent lives.
Two Sussex families; the Edwards’ and the Carson’s, recently took on the challenge to walk Snowdon to support a local charity, The Aldingbourne Trust, which supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
“Our children are very active, and love the idea of a challenge. They decided they wanted to climb a mountain, so we suggested Snowdon as an achievable first challenge as they have been training with local West Sussex walks since before January” says Stuart Edwards.
The two families decided that if they were going to do the challenge they could also support a local charity, and discovered that the Aldingbourne Country Centre was equidistant between the two family homes. “Once they visited the centre they were really buzzed up to raise their money to help support the people they met” said Stuart.
Setting up a fundraising page on the Aldingbourne Trust’s website, they were able to raise over £300 in the first week, and recently presented the Trust with a cheque for over £1,100 in total from their fundraising walk.
“They were so delighted to reach the top and the weather was perfect for walking. The clouds cleared just enough to get some great views. Their orange balloons really stuck out in the cloudy sections, the path steepened as they neared the top and the footing got worse, they said it reminded them of a cheesecake base.” Said Stuart.
The Aldingbourne Trust were truly grateful for the support from the two families, the community spirit means a lot to the people we support at the Trust.
Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for more information about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
In partnership with the Aldingbourne Trust, Bognor Regis Library is creating a community garden space for everyone to enjoy. Lisa Palmer the community garden project coordinator at the Aldingbourne Trust says “The garden has been a long time in the planning but we have finally started to make real progress over the last month. It has been quite a journey so far from being an underused and neglected space to it being transformed into a hive of activity.”
The aim of the project is to create an inclusive environment for people of all abilities to enjoy and relax in. The garden will also host activities by the library for children such as rhyme time and for people living with dementia.
Our first set of volunteers were staff from Southern Water who actively support the Aldingbourne Trust. Southern Water have also helped by giving a donation to towards the funding of the project, and were given the honour of ground breaking the project back in June.
Artists from the Trust’s Creative Arts Studio based at Aldwick Road, have also been hard at work creating a beautiful mural with a garden literary theme. They have created a giant bookcase and included characters from Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland. Lisa said “It is absolutely amazing and attracting many lovely comments from visitors at the library.” Peter Spencer, one of the people we support has helped with the project by creating an artists impression of the finished garden.
The Wood Recycling team at the Aldingbourne Country Centre are making some lovely seating areas for the garden to allow people at the library to be able to sit and enjoy the new community space. This area will also be used to host some of the Library’s activities. We are also making some wheelchair accessible raised beds so that people with physical disabilities can come and garden too. The Horticultural team have also been amazing at digging, and painting the fences and benches.
The Earthworks team, who are also based at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, are in the process of making a stunning peacock mosaic for our ‘Secret Sensory Garden.’ Lisa says “This will look absolutely fabulous and be the crown in the jewel of our sensory garden. Here we will have lots of different plants that have different textures, smells and shapes.”
We have also welcomed some of the people we support from York Road, one of the Trust’s residential services, who have been working hard on the graffiti logo which has been very exciting and they have all enjoyed taking part in the project.
From September we will be hosting supervised gardening sessions to help maintain the garden, on the first and second to last Saturday of each month. If you would like to take part please contact email@example.com or call
07793 244127 for more information.
These sessions will enable the Aldingbourne Trust to offer another activity for people with learning disabilities and / or autism, thereby tackling social isolation (especially prevalent at the weekends). Lisa says “I really hope that people with disabilities and the local community can come together through a love of gardening in an inclusive environment.”
On the 26th July, HRH The Duke of Gloucester was invited to visit the Aldingbourne Country Centre, to see first-hand how award winning charity Aldingbourne Trust supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live an independent life and learn skills within a variety of social enterprises to develop into paid or voluntary employment.
On arrival to the Country Centre, HRH The Duke of Gloucester was received by Mr John Shippam, Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex and a Trustee of the Aldingbourne Trust; Mrs Davina Irwin-Clark High Sheriff of West Sussex; Cllr. Janet Duncton, Chairman at West Sussex County Council and Miss Frances Russell, Chair of the Trustees of the Aldingbourne Trust.
Mr Peter Stanley, General Manager of the Aldingbourne Country Centre, welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester and presented a tour of the newly opened Quarry Building; highlighting the facilities and specially designed features of the new venue, HRH was shown how the new Quarry Building had been designed to promote sustainability and reduce its future environmental impact.
After meeting some of the Country Centre staff, HRH was then given an escorted tour of the outdoor facilities, including the sand and water play area, and the new indoor soft play area. Visiting the wood recycling enterprise and furniture restoration project, he was greeted by Brian Alden the Wood Recycling Enterprise Lead and took pleasure in meeting some of the people the Trust supports.
To commemorate his visit to the Country Centre, HRH The Duke of Gloucester planted an Alder tree near the Country Centre orchard. The tree was grown from a seedling by one of the people they support and has been planted to eventually grow and create a sheltered resting area for future visitors.
HRH The Duke of Gloucester completed his visit to the centre by meeting some of the Trustees, volunteers and people the Trust support over a light lunch in the Quarry conference room.
Peter Stanley said – “It was an honour to provide a guided tour of our facilities and introduce HRH The Duke of Gloucester to the people we support. He appeared very interested in our charity and took the time to engage in conversation with staff and the people we support.”
The Aldingbourne Trust is an award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives. The Trust are creating a charity cookbook to raise funds for the people that they support, and to help promote their health and wellbeing.
Through creating a cookbook we hope to raise the additional funds needed to run our workshops at our social enterprise, Number 73 Aldwick Road in Bognor Regis. Our workshops encourage the people we support to develop their culinary skills and discover healthy ways of cooking.
We are looking for help from the local community on this project. Would you like to share your favourite recipes? We would like to include recipes from: soups, salads, snacks, main meals and puddings, or anything you love to cook. You could also tell us your favourite family meal, and what makes it so special to you. The recipe book will provide quick and easy meals for us to share with the people we support, and it will also be available to purchase later in the year – just in time for your Christmas shopping.
As a thank you for your support on this project, we are running a competition, for your chance to win your own copy of the recipe book and a family entry ticket (for up to four people) to the Aldingbourne Country Centre. All you need to do is send your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide us with your first name and location to be printed with your recipe. We cannot guarantee all recipes will be included, but you can send as many recipes as you like to increase your chances of winning. All entries must be submitted by the 31st August 2019.
We would also like to hear your stories of the Aldingbourne Trust, and what it means to you. You may have a family connection to the Trust, or you might have visited our Aldingbourne Country Centre. We would love to share some memories in the cookbook, to help people understand more about the Aldingbourne Trust and what it means to our local community.
Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for information on becoming a Friend of the Aldingbourne Trust, and more about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
We are pleased to announce that we will be running Pre-School activities from September in our newly decorated soft play area. Our dedicated pre-school activities room will provide a range of sessions four days a week during the West Sussex school term time. Activities will include: Art and craft, messy play, music and movement, woodland explorers and story time activities.
These sessions will be around an hour long, running in both the morning and afternoon, and will be specially created for 0-5 years. They will be inspired by different themes, such as shapes, seasons, cultural festivals and favourite characters/books. Each session will aim to promote children’s physical, communication and social skills, and will be fun, educational, interactive and inclusive.
The focus of each session will be “together time” for parents/guardians and their child/children, with the opportunity to explore, learn and develop together. Children will take part in play experiences provided by a fully qualified childcare practitioner, who will be on hand to chat to parents and build children’s confidence, imagination and concentration skills.
More information on our new pre-school sessions is available on our website www.aldingbournetrust.org/pre-school-activities. Spaces are pre-book only, so please visit our website to secure your space today. Each pre-school session is priced at £6 per child, (£5.50 for members). If you wish to explore the rest of the Country Centre on your visit, you can purchase a wrist band to visit our onsite activities.
The Aldingbourne Country Centre is open everyday from 10am until 4.30pm. With a woodland walk and playground, open farm, ride-on tractors, maze, mini golf, soft play, sand and water play, wooden train and castle play area, and delicious locally sourced and home-cooked food in our own onsite café which features an indoor slide.
On Wednesday 17th July the long awaited library community garden began to take shape. A very willing group of volunteers from one of the project’s funders, Southern Water, volunteered their time to get the project under way. Other funders include National Lottery (Awards for All) and Fonthill Community Foundation.
The volunteer day is the first of many planned by the project lead Aldingbourne Trust who are spearheading the project. The project aims to provide the community with a safe space to relax and enjoy and also for people to garden for those without their own gardens. The library has been kind enough to grant the Trust a licence for use of the garden and it is hoped that more and more people will visit the library as a result
The volunteer day was the culmination of 2 years planning and signified a momentous day. The temporary Garden Coordinator Lisa Palmer said “It’s great to be finally making progress!” A team of eight staff from Southern Water completed lots of hard work despite the punishing temperature including digging beds, sanding picnic benches, lots of weeding and pruning and preparing the fence for painting.
The design has evolved from a community feedback exercise that was carried out in November 2018 and most of the suggestions such as raised beds and benches has been incorporated. It will be fully accessible with wheelchair accessible raised beds and the planting scheme will have a sensory element to it.
The project has thus far been received well by local businesses and the following local businesses have provided their welcome support including Covers, Chalcroft Nurseries, Outside Interests and B&Q Bognor.
We have further community volunteer days planned on 14th August and 17th August when planting will get under way – another significant milestone in the project’s timeline. It is hoped that the garden will be up and running by the end of August. Once the garden is up and running regular gardening sessions will be scheduled for members of the community to help maintain the garden. If you are interested in volunteering, at any stage of the project please email email@example.com
The Aldingbourne Trust set up a Transition Service in 2018, working in partnership with Chichester College, to enables young people with learning disabilities and/ or autism to learn locally and to live away from home. Learners at the transition service are supported to develop their independent living skills, and develop social networks and friendships. The service is available to anyone attending local college, and is linked to their time there.
One of our transition students Joseph Harrington is studying with Theatre Inc and Performing Arts at Chichester College. Recently Joseph took part in ‘Think Again’ a variety show full of singing, dancing, drama and musical theatre at the Chichester University showroom. The people we support alongside other company members amazed and wowed the audience with their outstanding talent. Joseph said “I had a great time performing in front of the audience, and it was lovely to receive a standing ovation at the end.”
Joseph has a talent with voices and is very interested in presenting and performing. One of his ambitions has always been to find a position as a weather presenter on the radio. One morning in January this year Joseph and his support worker took a stroll along the beach at Bognor Regis and popped into Radio Respect.
Radio Respect is an online Radio Station dedicated to mental health well being. It is run solely by volunteers, and all of their volunteers and presenters suffer with some kind of mental health issue. To help reduce the isolation surrounding mental health, Local G.P's refer their patients to them, to offer peer support and signposting. Radio Respect run shows that include phone ins, interviews and chat based around mental health and of course great music from a variety of genres.
Joseph explained to them what he would like to do, and was very happy to hear that the owner of the radio station was on the look out for a good weather presenter, so they gave Joseph an audition. Joseph did so well, everybody commented on how professional he sounded and how talented he is. Joseph said “Weather reporting is my dream job”, so Joseph arranged with the owner to go along one Saturday morning to pre-record his first session for weather presenting. He was so good at it that he was also asked to pre-record some news items.
Joseph is taking the role very seriously and makes sure he is staying up to date with all the latest weather reports and current affairs. He loves his new role as a weather and news presenter for Radio Respect and has been told that when he’s ready, he may well be given his own live show.
Liz Latter from Radio Respect said “Joseph is fantastic! He has only been coming in for a couple of weeks but in that time Joseph has picked up using the recording software really quickly. The first week he was so nervous and you could see it in his body language. But now he has really gained confidence, he speaks clearly and is very professional. He is a true gentleman! With a little bit more confidence building and practice with the equipment I don't see any reason why Joseph can't go live and have his own show”.