A meeting on Monday 21st January 2019 to introduce Friends of Change of Scene (FoCoS) was judged to be a resounding success!
Held at the Lower Bourne Social club, the room was packed
with people all interested to know more about this exciting new venture. Proceedings
were started by Voluntary Chief Officer, Sue Weaver, who spoke about the
Charity and its aims.
CoS is fortunate enough to count the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover, amongst its supporters and he followed up Sue’s speech by talking about why he felt the Charity was hugely worthwhile. Various staff members and volunteers spoke the six vital facets of the FoCoS group:
Membership and Sponsors
Publicity and Marketing
Attendees were then given the opportunity to sign up for roles in which they were interested and we are delighted to say that the majority of people who attended did.
The ultimate aim is for FoCoS to be an independent group dedicated to raising much needed funds for Change of Scene.
This summer, the Otter Wey Trail ran for two months in Farnham. An initiative of Jo Aylwin and Farnham in Bloom, charities, schools and businesses were asked to decorate the 1m tall otters which were then displayed round the town. In all, 44 otters were decorated and displayed
The Change of Scene was beautifully designed and decorated by Kim Field, with a little help from the attendees, and housed in the Farnham Frame Centre, courtesy of Caroline and Steve Dyche. A special thank you from all at Cos goes out to them.
On 9th July 2018, an auction of all the otters was held and we are delighted to say that the purchaser of the Change of Scene otter was its sponsor, Cello Health. It will be displayed in the reception of their Farnham offices. Tarquin the Otter brought much positive publicity for Change of Scene not only during its time on the Otter Wey, but going forward on display in its new location at Cello Health.
The Otter Wey was designed to raise funds for the nominated charities of the 2017-18 Mayor of Farnham, Mike Hodge.
Last Sunday, 15th July 2018, saw the 10th Anniversary of Change of Scene!
To mark this auspicious occasion, a celebratory barbecue was held at the farm with plenty of burgers, sausages and salad. We enjoyed tomatoes from the vegetable patch and our volunteer baker, Jane, made some delicious biscuits.
Farnham Hedgehogs provided games which included putting and a magnificent ‘find the key’ game which proved very popular with guests. There was also a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ with the winning guess, that of N Morgan, only 7 away!
Music came courtesy of guitarist Robbie Lee, who stepped in at the last moment when our original musicians were unexpectedly unable to attend. Many thanks to him for a superb play list!
The weather couldn’t have been better and it was a lovely chance for attendees and their families, staff, volunteers and supporters to get together and celebrate 10 years of the Charity.
The pinnacle of the event was a rousing rendition of happy birthday and the cutting of a birthday cake which was enjoyed by all.
Since being set up in 2008 by Voluntary Chief Officer, Sue Weaver, Change of Scene has helped over 100 children to re-engage with sustainable education.
Disadvantaged children across Surrey and East Hampshire will be given the chance to fulfil their potential thanks to a grant from Surrey Freemasons.
The generous grant of £3779 to Change of Scene will help to fund children struggling in schools to reengage with education.
Due to a wide range of complex social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties more and more children are floundering in mainstream education and so become either temporarily or permanently excluded. With one-to-one care and nurture, working with animals and horticulture, our attendees become accustomed to success rather than failure. 79% manage to return to sustainable education.
The grant from Surrey Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales.
Sue Weaver, Voluntary Chief Officer at Change of Scene said:
“We are most grateful to Surrey Freemasons for their generous grant, which will help us to continue to offer our provision to children in need.”
Mark Winchester from Surrey Freemasons said:
“We are very pleased to be able to help Change of Scene who do such an outstanding job helping disadvantaged children. Currently full and with a waiting list, there is clearly an ongoing need for this provision. We are proud to support the project.”
After a pretty wet start to the month, the continuing beautiful weather means that all three of our alpacas have at last given birth. All three conformed to the theory that alpacas give birth on sunny days!
Three baby alpacas, known as crias, have been welcomed into the herd.
Taking her cue from Inky, on 6th May 2018, Dimili had a white female who weighed 7.5kg. We are currently holding a poll to decide on her name – currently in the lead are Blossom or Marshmallow. Despite being almost three weeks younger, the new arrival is almost the same size as Lucky, our black, male cria.
Finally, on 13th May, a month after Inky’s baby was born, our last pregnant alpaca, Fleur, had her baby. This one was another girl, the smallest of the lot, weighing only 6.4kg. So far, we haven’t decided on a name for our newest arrival and are planning to hold a poll on our Facebook page. If you visit, https://www.facebook.com/changeofscene you can make sure your vote counts!
All three mothers and babies are doing well, enjoying the sun and having a lovely time meeting the rest of the herd and gambolling around the fields.
On Friday 13th April 2018, we had a new addition to the Change of Scene family. Inky the alpaca gave birth to a new baby!
Nicknamed ‘Lucky’, the new baby, a boy, was quickly on his feet and happily exploring the field alongside the rest of our alpacas. He particularly loves playing with Akyls, our most elderly alpaca, and can often be seen trying to climb on her back! Occasionally, she gets a bit tired of his games and will use her neck to push him off.
As the weather warms up, it is fabulous to watch him gambolling around outside, gaining more confidence by the day. Less than a month old, and he seems to be going from strength to strength.
Hopefully, Lucky will have some playmates soon as two more of our alpacas, Dimili and Fleur, are currently pregnant (though Fleur’s is not confirmed).
So, we are expecting more crias, as baby alpacas are known, in the very near future; we just hope the weather stays good for them.
December passed in a blur of fun and activities. Here’s a roundup of everything that happened. Deep breath…
The Maltings Christmas Fayre, held at the end of November, was a great success. We sold bug hotels and bird boxes made by attendees as well as jams and chutneys made with our harvested produce. The honey from our beehives proved particularly popular. The hamper, donated by Rowledge Cattery, was won by Kim M of Aldershot. Many thanks to everyone who bought a ticket – we raised an incredible £275!
In early December, Squire’s Garden Centre invited Change of Scene to their Christmas Circus. Along with Squire’s Charity of the Year for 2017/18, The Aldershot and Farnborough Guide Dog Association, past and present attendees of Change of Scene had a fantastic time watching some hugely skilful performers including a juggler and a ‘human slinky’ as well as Boris, the dancing polar bear. We would like to extend our gratitude to all at Squire’s for inviting us to attend.
The Christmas Tree festival held at St Andrew’s Church in December was a great success. The children helped make the decorations and the whole thing looked beautiful.
Finally, our Christmas Lunch, held on 22nd December, was as fun and raucous as usual. Staff, volunteer and attendees all enjoyed a delicious meal at a local pub.
Phew! So now the Christmas season is well and truly over, we’re looking forward to a safe and prosperous 2018!