The Style Acre Tea Room is one of our social enterprises; it enables people with learning disabilities and autism to gain valuable work experience, skills and confidence.
After chatting with Tea Room Manager Tracy on a recent visit, one of our Tea Room customers – Jess Kellard – realised how hard the government guidance in relation to COVID-19 had made it for everyone involved in running the Tea Room – the small outside marquee has become a life line in wet weather for keeping things going and allowing customers to maintain social distancing.
Like many venues, the Tea Room is so reliant on outdoor space and good weather to help sustain income at the moment and as we enter into Autumn this will make operating the Tea Room challenging.
This also comes at a time when we do not have spare funds as a charity to invest in solutions to help keep business at the Tea Room going strong through the Autumn and Winter months.
Thank you to Jess for creating a Crowdfunder for the Tea Room. She wants to raise funds for an additional outdoor structure or structures, which offers additional outdoor space in weather and also achieves compliance standards onsite.
WELL DONE to all of our Style Acre artists. Their beautiful paintings helped raise a fantastic £390 for Style Acre! The art auction was set up to showcase the incredible artwork created by some of the people we support in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A big thank you and well done to Mark, Marianne, Dick, Andrew and Daryl for their lovely artwork.
The inspiration and force behind the art auction was Mark, who lives in one of our supported living households. His dream of becoming an artist and selling his paintings to help raise money for Style Acre is why we ran this auction.
Mark said “painting is relaxing and is keeping my mind away from this virus. My staff is my art teacher and she is explaining to me new techniques. I got the support from all my housemates and family which are very proud of me.”
Since the pandemic started, Mark has been limited in the amount of time he can get outside. Like all of us, he was inside a lot during the lockdown. And since then, he has very gradually been able to go out for walks and activities with his housemates and support team. He has just recently been able to see his family. It has been wonderful to see Mark’s artistic talent shining through and become a way for him to stay positive at this difficult time.
Mark’s mum Monica said: “We are so proud of Mark and his artwork and so grateful to Fili (staff member) for helping him discover his talent.”
Well done and thank you Mark! And a big thank you also to Mark’s support team (particularly Fil) who are helping him to achieve his dream.
The gardening team is made up of people we support who have completed horticultural training with our Gardening Coordinator. There are 7 regular members of the team who have completed this training, and some our now able to secure paid work through this role. Other members are continuing to develop their skills and confidence through a voluntary work placement with the team.
Green Acre is one of Style Acre’s social enterprises. The team visit houses and offer services such as lawn mowing, hedge cutting and pruning. People we support are able to gain vital work-based skills and experience in our social enterprises. To find out more, read about our Work Programme.
We did it! We have reached our £2500 target for our Big Give pledge pot. Thank you to all of our pledgers who helped us get there.
As part of our application, we need our key supporters to make promises of funding, called ‘Pledges’, which will be used as match funds to double online donations made to our charity during the campaign. Your commitment of funding might also help us to secure additional match funds via a Champion (sourced by the Big Give).
We are aiming to raise a total of £2,500 in pledges to take part in the Christmas Challenge. Would you consider making a pledge to help us reach our target? Pledges are a minimum of £100.
If you would be willing to make a pledge to us, you can do so by completing this online form by the deadline of 5pm, Friday 28th August:
What is the Christmas Challenge? The Christmas Challenge (the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign) helps UK-registered charities to raise funds for their projects by doubling donations when the campaign goes live on 1st December. You can find full details of the Christmas Challenge, and how your pledge will enable us to be part of the UK’s largest Matched Funding Challenge, on the Big Give. Research shows that 84% of donors are more likely to give in a match funding campaign and that donations are on average 2.5 times bigger so we’re very excited about the opportunity to take part.
How does it work? • The matching pots used to double donations for charities taking part in the Christmas Challenge are made up of a combination of funds. These are funds sourced by the charity (‘Pledges’) and funds sourced by the Big Give (‘Champions’) which are available if we are successfully selected by a Champion. • The timeline for fulfilling the pledge (i.e. transferring the funds to us) is 9th December 2020 – 15th January 2021. • Fulfilment of your pledge is conditional on us receiving the appropriate online donations during the campaign (1st December – 8th December). You will only be required to pay a pro-rata amount of your pledge if we don’t hit our online target – it’s our guarantee to you that we are committed to raising additional donations. • Please note that if you pledge to Style Acre you will not be able to make an online donation to us in December because your pledge will be used to match these donations.
They created a colourful calendar that revealed a new wild animal every day. People we support in the household learned new facts and communicated about their favourite animals. The rest of Style Acre sent in postcards and letters to brighten up the Go Wild board even further. There were chimps, giraffes and elephants galore! Well done to the Charles Road team and the people we support who live there on this fantastically colourful creation.
With the help of our Garden Coordinator, Sarah, we also did a little surprise (socially distanced!) thank you for the volunteer gardeners.
Olwen (Garden Coordinator for Sustainable Wantage), Jackie and all the Style Acre and Sustainable Wantage volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure the garden has been ready for reopening. They’ve dug out weeds, replanted beds, pruned and watered to give the garden a post-lockdown makeover. We also wanted to say an extra special thank you to Olwen and her husband Alan for keeping on top of watering during lockdown.
The dedication and kindness of this incredible group of volunteers is second to none. And it is lovely to see the garden being used by people we support now that restrictions have eased and we can have small numbers back. The therapeutic benefits of gardening are vital for many people we support.