December Roundup

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!

Happy New Year!


Maltings Christmas Fayre 2017

It’s that time of year again! This Wednesday and Thursday – 28th & 30th November 2017 – the annual Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair is on. Located in the Farnham Maltings, GU9 7QR, the Fayre is a perfect opportunity to get ready for Christmas.

With over 150 stalls specialising in handmade gifts, unique stocking fillers, crafts, vintage, food and drink, you’re practically guaranteed to pick up some unusual Christmas Presents.

Running from 1pm – 9pm on Wednesday and 10am – 8pm on Thursday, there’s plenty of time to come in a grab something fabulous.

You can support Change of Scene by visiting our stall and buying some of Christmas treats or a raffle ticket to win this lovely hamper!

We’ve Been Nominated!

The Change of Scene Animal Project has been nominated for the next round of the Co-op Local Community Fund!

Funds from this project will help us buy new shelters for our animals, including a rabbit hutch for Toffee and a new shelter for Boris, our Mangalitsa pig.

Co-op are giving Change of Scene and the other causes in the community an equal share of the money raised from sales of carrier bags.

In addition, every time members shop at the Co-op, 1% of what they spend on selected own-brand products and services goes to the Co-op Local Community Fund. Local Co-op members will be able to nominate Change of Scene online and give their 1% from the 12 November 2017.

It costs £1 to become a member. This buys you a share in Co-op and gives:

  • 5% back to spend next time when you buy Co-op products
  • a share in our profits if we do well
  • the right to vote on how we do business

The more you shop, the more Co-op share!

So come on! Join Change of Scene and the Co-op and together we can raise much needed funds for our animals.

High Sheriff Visits Change of Scene

On 1st November 2017, Change of Scene was visited by the High Sheriff of Surrey, Mr Robert Napier CBE.

Appointed by the Queen, the High Sheriff is a non-political appointment for a year supporting the Crown and the judiciary.

The 55 High Sheriffs across the country are particularly interested in encouraging crime reduction initiatives and in local charities working at grass roots level with vulnerable people.

Despite having no wellies in the November mud, the High Sheriff was delighted to be shown round the farm and to meet all our animals. He was particularly impressed by Boris, our Mangalitsa pig, who met him with his usual big smile!

Mr Napier understood the importance of trying to get excluded young people back into education and was very complimentary about what Change of Scene achieves.

We are very grateful to the High Sheriff for taking the time to visit and for showing such an interest in the work we do.

Visit the High Sheriff of Surrey’s website for more information about his role.

New Pigs Arrive!

October saw the arrival of a new addition to the Change of Scene Family.

Two micro-pigs called Oreo and Truffle were welcomed to the Farm, and took up residence in the field opposite our resident Mangalitsa, Boris.

The pigs, who were looking for a new home, were driven down from Wimbledon. Despite the long journey, they coped admirably.


Oreo and Truffle were very happy to be in their new field and set to work eating straight away.

Please link to our video post on Facebook to see Truffle and Oreo in their new home.

Fun Fortnight

As a thank you for all their hard work during the year, we give our attendees the opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun activities during the last two weeks of August.

This year, our attendees enjoyed seven different trips, including a Barbecue and Cinema day, which involved sweetcorn, burgers and Despicable Me 3. All of these were thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended, particularly the food which they managed to cook for themselves, under the watchful eye of one of our volunteers.

Along with a visit to Pierrepoint Farm and an expedition on a narrow boat, we also visited the Winchester Science Museum and Planetarium where attendees engaged with a wide range of hands-on exhibits and were introduced to a group of giant insects who were visiting for the summer.

Our final trip was a jaunt to West Witterings beach where attendees braved the British summer for a bracing dip in the sea. They also played swingball on the beach and enjoyed a picnic lunch. Though it wasn’t the warmest day we could have hoped for, at least it stayed dry and a good time was had by all.

Fun Fortnight is a great experience for our attendees and Change of Scene is very fortunate to be able to offer such a range of activities. It would be impossible without the very generous support of The Barbara Ward Children’s Foundation for which we are sincerely grateful.

Goodbye and Thank You

In May 2017, Chris Storey stepped down from his year as Mayor of Waverley. During his tenure, we were lucky enough to be one of his chosen Charities and throughout the year the Mayor, ably assisted by his wife, Judith, held a series of fundraising events.

These included a barn darn with a fish and chip supper, which was greatly enjoyed by all. With music provided by the Hogs Back Band, dancers learned to ‘do si do’ and had a marvellous time.

We also enjoyed a pub quiz night and, most recently, James Keen rode the Farnham 75. This demanding bike ride involves a massive 5,400 feet of climbing including Butser Hill, one of the highest points in Hampshire.

James managed to fundraise a magnificent £1653, which he was generous enough to donate to the Mayor’s Charities. Our thanks to James and to all the people who agreed to sponsor him.

We feel truly privileged to have been part of Chris Storey’s successful year in office and our heartfelt thanks go to him, Judith, and everyone who supported his Charities in 2016/2017.

Thanks to Squire’s Garden Centre

In summer 2016, Change of Scene was lucky enough to be chosen as charity of the year by Squire’s Garden Centre at Badshot Lea.
At Christmas, Squire’s offered attendees and their families tickets to see a preview of their excellent “Santa’s Got Talent” Christmas Circus. This was an amazing show featuring daring balancing acts, juggling, clowns and even knife-throwing! At the end, all the children got to meet Santa and received a gift of some juggling balls. Since the circus, many of the children have been practising hard and some of them have even learnt how to juggle! The children (and adults!) all had a wonderful time.

In addition, all the money from Squire’s ‘wishing well’ collection was donated to Change of Scene. Some of this money was put to excellent use when one of our guinea pigs fell ill. We were able to fund antibiotics for him and I am delighted to say he has made a full recovery and is back to his old self. Needless to say, the life of all the animals at the Charity is of paramount importance to our attendees and it was truly fantastic to have the finances to save him.

Squire’s have also held two open days, which were great fun and enjoyed by all.
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the staff and customers at the Centre and would like to extend an enormous thanks to everyone involved.

Squire’s Kitchen Exhibition 2017

The weekend of 11th and 12th March 2017 saw the 31st annual Squire’s Kitchen Exhibition.

Held in Farnham Maltings, the exhibition attracted people from across the country and was a celebration of all things sugar. With demonstrations on everything from creating chocolate flowers to watercolour cake painting, there was plenty to interest and inspire. The several competitions, including a show-stopping wedding cake category, proved just how much talent there is out there! Photos can be found on the Squire’s Kitchen facebook page.

For the exhibition, some of our former attendees learnt how to make sugar animals and entered the children’s cake competition. One of them even came third! Well done to all of the sugar crafters – your creations were amazing!

In addition, Squire’s Kitchen chose to raise money for Change of Scene. The fee for entering the ‘Farmyard Birthday Cake for Children’ was donated directly to the Charity.

Despite stiff competition, our very own Kim Field received Highly Commended for her entry, which was a great result for her first attempt. The cake tasted delicious too!

We were also delighted to be invited along to the Exhibition. All weekend, staff and volunteers from Change of Scene managed a stall where we raffled Paul Hollywood’s book ‘The Weekend Baker’, and a ‘choose a square’ competition which attracted a lot of attention. The prize for this was a hamper donated by Squire’s Kitchen, full of all sorts of decorating goodies. The book was won by Lynda Sheahan and the hamper by Sarah Francis. Many thanks to all who entered.

We would also like to extend our thanks to all at Squire’s Kitchen for a superbly planned and thoroughly enjoyable weekend. We have been amazed by the generosity of all and are deeply grateful for being chosen.