Poignant performance from St George’s School

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Community concert raises £3,000 for DEC Ukraine Appeal

A community concert, organised by local preparatory school St George’s School Windsor Castle and hosted by Windsor Parish Church, raised over £3,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal.

Beginning with a champagne and canapé reception, more than 100 parents and members of the local community took their sets for the event on April 28th and enjoyed a stirring rendition of Fauré’s Requiem.

Led by the school’s director of music, James Wilkinson, the 40-minute piece of work was performed by the St George’s School Chamber Choir, accompanied by an ensemble of professional musicians. Four of the senior choristers of St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, all Year 8 students at the school, joined the stage for the spine-tingling Pie Jesu.

“It was an exceptional and highly poignant performance, perfect for the occasion,” commented William Goldsmith, head of St George’s School Windsor Castle. “As a school with the values of kindness, honesty and courage, we felt rightly compelled to use some of the breadth of talent that exists across the school to support the plight of the people of Ukraine in a positive and meaningful way.”

The money raised, through advance ticket sales and donations on the night, will be given to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to help provide food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection for families fleeing conflict in the country.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the generous donations from those who attended, the musicians and performers for donating their time and the support from the school’s parent body and wider community to enable the event to go ahead,” added Goldsmith.

Windsor Parish Church, Brill Media, Run Print Run and Luxe Flowers were among those to support the event.

Further information about St George’s School Windsor Castle can be found at www.stgwindsor.org, or by attending the school’s upcoming open event on Saturday 21 May. Interested families are invited to register for the event via the website or by calling 01753 865553

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Showing support for Ukraine

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Reading Biscuit Factory independent cinema is one of several across the country previewing Olga in aid of the DEC

Reading Biscuit Factory is joining the show of support for Ukraine with a series of preview charity screenings of Olga. 

Fifteen-year-old Ukrainian gymnast Olga, exiled in Switzerland, is trying to fit in with her new team in her new home. But as she prepares for the European Championship, the Ukrainian people stage a revolution. 

Olga is left a powerless, distant bystander as her mother, an investigative journalist, faces danger as she challenges a brutal regime. 

Can Olga reconcile her personal goals with the history unfolding in her homeland? 

A donation will be made from each ticket sold to support Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee. 

Olga is showing on Sunday 20th March, 4pm; Tuesday 22nd March, 12.30pm & Thursday 24th March, 9pm. 

Book tickets at https://readingbiscuitfactory.co.uk/whats-on/olga 

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Music brings people together

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Haslemere Methodist Church is the venue for a series of stunning lunchtime and evening concerts 

Haslemere Methodist Church is bringing a varied programme of instrumental classical music to the community through it’s ‘music brings people together’ series of concerts. 

The project, spearheaded by flautist Susan Milan, embraces not only a concert series, but also an educational programme to inspire young musicians in local schools through workshops and a woodwind competition planned for May this year. Susan is a professor of the Royal College of Music and Trinitylaban Conservatory of Music and Founder and Director of the British Isles Music Festival

The new year brings three evening concerts given by members of the London Chamber Music Group, the resident ensemble of Haslemere Methodist Church, and three lunchtime charity concerts given by young musicians from UK conservatories of music.  

The concerts are held in the beautiful Sanctuary of the church with its friendly atmosphere and lovely acoustics.  

The next lunchtime charity concert of the year is on Thursday, 10th March at noon and this will be given by The Bauhaus Trio, young musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Featuring Samy Okuma-Chin on violin, Josh Mountford on cello and pianist Nye Hughes-Watts, the trio will perform works by Mozart and Mendelssohn. 

Samy Okuma-Chin (violin), Nye Hughes-Watts (piano) and Josh Mountford (cello)

Admission is free with donations welcomed for charities chosen by Haslemere Methodist Church.  Enjoy cappuccino and cake in the coffee room before the concert. 

Thursday, 17th March is the date for the next evening concert with an instrumental quintet of Susan Milan (flute), Nicholas Ward (violin), Matthew Jones (viola), Sebastian Comberti (cello) and Gabriella Dall’Olio (harp). They will perform an evening of classical and romantic chamber music by Beethoven, Ravel, Ropartz and Jongen. 

Nicholas Ward (violin), Matthew Jones (viola), Susan Milan (flute), Sebastian Comberti (cello) and Gabriella Dall’Olio (harp)

Director of the London Chamber Music Group, Susan Milan said they are enjoying being the resident ensemble of the church, adding: “It is a joy to perform in the lovely Sanctuary, with its spacious seating and lovely acoustic.” 

The group is also keen to support young musicians from schools in the area, particularly wind players and a woodwind competition is being planned for ages 12-18 after Easter along with workshops for primary and secondary schools. 

Susan said: “These will be given by young professionals who performed in the British Isles Music Festival and from UK Conservatoires. State and Independent schools have no financial support from the local council for music. I would welcome donations from music lovers in the area, who, like me, wish to encourage and support the next generation of musicians and music lovers.” 

If you can help email:  

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets: £18, age 12-17: £9, under 12: free.

Enquiries telephone: 01428 652202 / 07876 198498

Email: Online: www.wegottickets.com

From: Chamberlain Music, Wey Hill, Haslemere and at the door.

Refreshments available in the interval. Doors open at 7.30pm

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The Year of the Tiger

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Top image photo credit: Vladimir Cech

Save Wild Tigers charity celebrate The Year of the Tiger with a gala and exhibition at Danesfield House in Marlow on Monday, 31st January

On Chinese New Year’s Eve (January 31st), Danesfield House Hotel and Save Wild Tigers will host a stunning black-tie gala to kick off The Chinese Year of the Tiger in aid of the conservation organisation.

Various Save Wild Tigers ambassadors will join the evening, including actress Jaime Winstone and All Saints singer Mel Blatt. This dazzling soiree will open the Save Wild Tigers 2022 Year of the Tiger campaign ending in Asia at the end of the year.

Picture below by Toshiji Fukuda

The hotel will also display some stunning wild tiger photography and tiger art, all to be auctioned during the evening.

Save Wild Tigers (SWT) is a global initiative that uses creativity to raise awareness of the plight of the wild tiger and based locally in Marlow. With as few as 3,900 tigers left in the wild, the clock is ticking, if action isn’t taken wild tigers could be extinct within a decade indeed, by the next year of the tiger in 2034. Working with high profile individuals from ambassadors to royalty to popular celebrities SWT develop inspiring campaigns that make a real impact.

Save Wild Tigers is a global marketing focussed charity initiative set up by Simon Clinton in 2011. Wild Tigers are being huntedfor their skins, bones and parts by the illegal poaching trade. The illegal trade in endangered species is worth around £12 billion every year. Additionally, the tigers’ natural habitat is being decimated by greedy developers, which increases the risk of human/animal conflict points. “Our mission is to raise awareness levels, targeting the public and all related stakeholders, whilst providing urgent and ongoing financial support for tiger conservation in a bid to combat and reverse the increasing threat of extinction that wild tigers face.” Simon Clinton, Founder, Save Wild Tigers. Save Wild Tigers also work in conjunction with leading global conservation charities such as the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), WCS in Malaysia and The Satpuda landscape tiger conservation programme (in conjunction with Born Free) in India. Working together our goal is to end the illegal trade in tiger parts and protect wild tigers in their natural habitat.With as few as 3,900 tigers left in the wild, time is runningout to save this majestic species from extinction. We want to inspire the public to join us and act to save, surely one of the planets’ most beautiful and captivating species for future generations.

Brimming with history, Danesfield House was once home to the Intelligence Section of the RAF, 1941-1947. It remained in the hands of the RAF until 1977. It first opened its doors as a hotel in 1991. As you approach the tree-lined drive that winds beneath the striking clock tower, the whitewashed exterior of Danesfield House sits overlooking the River Thames, among 65 acres of landscaped gardens.

Tickets are prices at £180 each. To find out more or to reserve tickets for the exclusive event visit savewildtigers.org

Picture below by Roger Hooper

Founder of Save Wild Tigers, Simon Clinton says: “If no action is taken the world’s most iconic and loved species could be extinct within a generation. Despite being a global initiative, our Save Wild Tigers’ head office is based in Marlow. Partnering once again with such a stunning venue, so close to our base is fantastic.”

Danesfield House Hotel general manager added: “We are delighted to be playing our part as co-host this important event for a critical global cause.”

Picture below by Kim Sullivan

Picture below by Anup Shah

For full details on the #InYourLifetime Gala email  or visit savewildtigers.org. Or email Gez Beatty on  or visit danesfieldhouse.co.uk/concierge/whats-on

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Music brings people together

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Haslemere Methodist Church is the venue for a series of stunning lunchtime and evening concerts

Haslemere Methodist Church is bringing a varied programme of instrumental classical music to the community through its ‘music brings people together’ series of concerts.

The project, spearheaded by flautist Susan Milan, embraces not only a concert series, but also an educational programme to inspire young musicians in local schools through workshops and a woodwind competition planned for May this year. Susan is a professor of the Royal College of Music and Trinitylaban Conservatory of Music and Founder and Director of the British Isles Music Festival.

The new year brings three evening concerts given by members of the London Chamber Music Group, the resident ensemble of Haslemere Methodist Church, and three lunchtime charity concerts given by young musicians from UK conservatories of music.

The concerts are held in the beautiful Sanctuary of the church with its friendly atmosphere and lovely acoustics.

The first charity concert of the year is on Thursday, 20th January at noon and this will be given by a young piano trio from the Royal College of Music consisting of flute (Ziqin Chen), oboe (Junhao Fu) and piano (Yihan Jin).

Ziqin Chen, flute
Junhao Fu, oboe
Yihan Jin, piano

Admission is free with donations welcomed for charities chosen by Haslemere Methodist Church. Enjoy cappuccino and cake in the coffee room before the concert.

The next lunchtime charity concert will be on Thursday, 10th February at noon featuring The Chiltern Winds, a wind quintet from the Royal Academy of Music.

The first Thursday evening concert on February 24th is a cello and piano recital featuring Christopher Jepson, co-principal cello of the Basel Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland and UK pianist Daniel King-Smith.

Christopher Jepson, cello
Daniel King-Smith, piano

The woodwind competition and workshops are planned for March in collaboration with local state schools, with the competition winners’ concert in May.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets: £18, age 12-17: £9, under 12: free.

Enquiries telephone: 01428 652202 / 07876 198498

Email: Online: www.wegottickets.com

From: Chamberlain Music, Wey Hill, Haslemere and at the door.

Refreshments available in the interval. Doors open at 7.30pm

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Join Twyford Together Charity run

Karen Neville

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Photo: Barnes Fitness’ sports photographer, Chris Drew.

The Twyford Together Charity 5k and Fun Run is one of the village’s best-loved, annual events. It’s a chance to get active for a good cause, run with family and neighbours and perhaps be crowned ‘Fastest Street’… the ultimate accolade!

Put your trainers on this Sunday (10th) at The Piggott School and get running in one of four races, split according to school year groups (pre-school toddle (100m), reception and years 1 & 2 (1km), years 3 & 4 (1km), years 5 & 6 (2km) as well as a chip-timed, multi-terrain, 5K for those aged 11+ (see course map below).

You still have a few days to enter as online entry closes at midday on Saturday, 9th October. Register in advance by filling out the form on Barnes Fitness’ website. Early-bird entry helps us to avoid congestion at registration and to start each race on time. On the day entry is subject to race limits and costs an additional £2.50 for the 5K and £2 for all other races (cash only).

In 2019, the fastest street competition was introduced to the Twyford Together Charity 5K and Fun Run. Chip timing allows organisers to collect race times for individual streets in the 5K race. The street with the fastest cumulative time for three runners wins! So, get training with your neighbours if you want to beat the 2019 winners, Springfield Park! New for 2021 is the option of receiving a medal or ‘dedicating a tree‘. On the entry form, we’ll ask you if you want to plant a tree or receive a medal. After the fun run, you’ll be sent a certificate with a photo, the species and GPS location of your tree. You can even go and visit your tree if you want to! Prizes will go to fastest male and female in the 5K win one month membership to Castle Royle, the next 10 runners over the line earn seven day membership, the ‘Fastest Street’ in the 5K receives a voucher for a Wine Tour & Tasting at Stanlake Park (for three), top three fastest streets get vouchers towards a celebratory meal at either La Fontana, Buratta’s or Haweli (winner gets first pick!) and fastest boy and girl aged 11-15 and 16-18 in the 5K take home Up and Running, Reading vouchers. Plus, there are Decathlon vouchers for the fastest boy and girl in the school year group races as well as ‘Have a Go Heroes‘ (in the 5K, 2K, 1K and toddler dash). It’s the taking part that counts!

In addition to the spectacle of the race, you can enjoy Tash who will be there with Martha the Van aka The Refill Hub so bring some containers to stock up at this wonderful mobile refill shop, My Journey Wokingham will have their awesome smoothie making bike, Polehampton PTA is running a second-hand book shop and Camp Mohawk is bringing a pop-up toy stall. They’ll also be face painting, pumpkin racing and Halloween craft as well as a selection of homemade cakes from Happy Hours and refreshments from The Rural Pie Co. Plus, you can try out your footie skills with Twyford Comets and get in shape with Castle Royle. There is limited parking on site. For those who cycle, there are free bike checks with My Journey Wokingham’s Dr. Bike. And while you’re having all this fun, know you are helping Twyford Charities Together. The group was formed in 2011 to give local charities, often lacking their own fundraising team, a helping hand.

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Local Sue Ryder Hospice launches appeal

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National healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading, has this month launched an appeal asking people to help them fill families’ final days together with love.

The charity is asking people of Berkshire to support their ‘Room Full of Love’ campaign, so Sue Ryder Nurses and expert care teams can continue to go above and beyond, helping to give families a better goodbye.

Families like David’s.

They made it possible for our family to be together

David’s family were supported by the Sue Ryder Hospice at Home team, who ensured he was able to spend his final days in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by photos and memories, with his wife and daughter by his side.

David’s daughter, Joanna, said: “When we found out we had been allocated care from the Sue Ryder Hospice at Home team, I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Where I live, the words “Sue Ryder” are synonymous with care, love, support and sanctuary. Knowing we would be supported by the team meant that Mum and I felt able to take the decision to care for Dad at home in the last weeks of his life.

Some of the care team brought humour – much needed at such a difficult time. Others connected with us on shared interests and experiences. In their first couple of visits, our carers took time to find out about Dad – where he used to work, what his interests were, and to look at old family photos. He wasn’t just a patient to them: he was a person.

It takes a very special person to carry out the work that the Hospice at Home team does, every day, for families like ours across the country. They made it possible for us to be together as a family in one of the most difficult times of our lives, and I will always, always be grateful and thankful for their love and care for us.”

Going above and beyond

“We often talk about the photos that people have around them and I really think patients like there to be a bit of normality”, shares Sue Ryder Nurse Melissa, who was one of the Sue Ryder care team who helped care for David and his family.

“I remember when we suggested it was time for David to have a hospital bed, the family all got together and rearranged the front room and it became a beautiful bedroom for him.

On the day David died we called their vicar for them and he came and I hope that gave them some comfort. David kept his Bible beside his bed, so we knew his faith was important to him.

When the family stepped out so we could perform the last offices we picked a rose from a bush in the garden and laid it on his pillow and placed his Bible under his hand. It’s a way for us to say that we have been privileged to look after your family.”

A room full of love

The past year has been difficult for everyone, with many families experiencing loss. Sue Ryder wants to take away some of the tough things that come with losing a loved one, helping to fill rooms with music, much-loved pets, or the people who mean the most, to help families have a better goodbye.

By supporting the appeal you can help Sue Ryder take the pain, stress, and uncertainty away through their medical expertise, emotional intelligence and practical support, leaving families like David’s free to focus on what’s really important – love.

To help Sue Ryder Nurses fill a room with love,  click here

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Support vaccination with V-star badge

Liz Nicholls

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Lisa Hulyer and Sarah Lewis were so moved by the plight of our NHS heroes and angry about anti-vax scaremongering, that they decided to do something about it…

Over winter they launched their Vaccine Star (V-Star) badge for sale at £3 with all profits going to NHS charities, St John Ambulance and local causes, while sending a positive message to the world.

“We are two British mums who, like everyone else, have been significantly and profoundly affected by this dreadful virus,” explained Lisa and Sarah.
“Like most of you, we’ve been homeschooling our children, whilst struggling to maintain any vestige of normality as best we can.

As we are unable to work as normal, we have created this badge to promote the Covid19 vaccination programme to encourage every person in this country to take up this vital vaccine and to wear your V-Star badge to show your support.

It’s a handy way of being ‘seen’ to support the programme – and the feedback from healthcare workers has been so positive. It’s important everyone, from all communities, comes together to have the vaccine, to enable us to return to normal.”

The high quality 3cm blue enamelled star set in gold metal with a butterfly clasp is a British-made product. The project is helping to promote pop-up staff shops in hospitals for free food and essentials. As well as relaxing staff break areas for NHS workers and welfare packs of snacks, drinks, lip balm and hand creams.

To buy yours, please visit v-star.co.uk and follow
@vstar.uk on Instagram


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#BlossomWatch

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Celebrate the UK’s first ever #BlossomWatch day in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire

The National Trust is urging people to use the longer, warmer days of spring and come together on social media to share their pictures as part of the charity’s first ever nationwide #BlossomWatch Day, Saturday, 24th April.

In Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire, some of the best places to enjoy blossom include Hughenden, Cliveden, Stowe, Greys Court and Basildon Park.

As restrictions ease and loved ones can finally start to meet outside, the conservation charity is urging people to use the easing of restrictions to share in one of nature’s most magnificent natural spectacles.

People are being asked to share pictures of blossom on social media on April 24th using the #BlossomWatch. And by tagging their location, an interactive digital map (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blossom-watch) will chart the progress of blossom across the country.

The Trust’s Garden’s and Parks Consultant for London and the South East, Emma McNamara, says: “Blossom season is advancing apace, but we’ve had some frost damage recently from the low overnight temperatures. Magnolia and camellia blossom have been affected by this, burning the flowers at Greys Court and Basildon Park, which means they drop quickly. This highlights the fleeting nature and beauty of blossom. However, fruit trees such as apple, pear and cherry will be blooming in late April and early May in the orchards at Hughenden and Cliveden, buzzing with insect life pollinating for fruits later in the year.”

Blossomwatch is also a chance to indulge in the Japanese art of hanami whcih literally means “viewing blossoms”. Long ago, around the 7th century, when the Japanese talked about “hana” they were referring mainly to plum blossoms. But years later, “hana” has come to mean cherry blossoms. And now Hanami means “going out to enjoy cherry blossoms.” It is one of the most featured images in Japanese art and literature.

Junko Shimizu, Founder of the Amenity 2000 Association, says: “Cherry blossoms are the sign of spring. They tell us cold winter is gone, to take off heavy coats. People are eager to get this sign. This year cherry blossoms are slower to bloom than usual.”

For further information, inspiration and to donate towards the charity’s tree planting ambitions visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blossom-watch

Time for wildlife

Liz Nicholls

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Help ensure the survival of beautiful African wild animals by supporting two amazing charities

The last 12 months have been challenging in so many different ways. But to mark World Wildlife Day we’d like to highlight ways you can help the urgent plight of animals in need of your support.

The AfriCat Foundation & Namibian Lion Trust team are working hard to protect the natural habitat has been built up over the last three decades.

But with travel restrictions hampering vital fundraising from safari bookings at Okonjima Lodge, both charities really have gone back into survival mode.The nature reserve is a self-sustaining eco system, unique in Namibia, which has provided so much valuable behavioural and scientific insight. This knowledge, about big cats, grazers, pangolins, hyaenas, rhinos and more, has contributed to considerable understanding of these threatened species.

It might be March but, as the world is only just opening up, why not take up the special offer to buy a beautiful 2021 calendar? These feature 13 amazing images from great photographers including Chris Packham, Rohan Van Wyk, Joe Hubmann, Robin Maeter, Naun Amable, Paul Martens & Wayne Hanssen, of lions, hyenas, pangolins, leopards, cheetahs and zebra.

Check out the AfriCat shop here. Every pound you spend on these gorgeous goodies will help ambitious wildlife projects, in particular building a school in one of the conservancies which borders the western boundary of Etosha National Park. Or take advantage of the Donate Now, Stay Later offer from Okonjima; email 

Please visit africat.co.uk for further info & sign up to the newsletter. Thank you!

 

For a very different charity – read about England World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst’s gin and whisky to support dementia charities here.