Happy Birthday to CoS!

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.

Here’s to the next ten years!

Disadvantaged Children helped by Surrey Freemasons

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.”

And Cria Makes Three

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. 

Lucky for Some

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.

 

Change of Scene Charity Dinner

Thursday 21st June 2018 sees an exciting event in our yearly calendar – a Charity dinner in support of Change of Scene!

This year, Change of Scene has been running for a magnificent decade and to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are hosting a Charity dinner.

Why not come down to Northbrook Park Country Estate where a sumptuous three-course meal, a live band, Charity auction and raffle await?

With special guests, footballers Matt Le Tissier and Francis Benali, there will be plenty to enjoy – and all the money raised will be going to an excellent cause.

Tickets are available at £95 per head; tables of ten at a discounted rate.

To book your tickets, email Shellie: shellie@zestsupportsolutions.co.uk

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.