We have made huge progress in the last six months. We launched our new logo and #challengeyourself strapline in October. We have also continued to build relationships with our partner charities and are supporting a number of fantastic projects which fit with our ambition to “change young people’s lives through engagement with sport and outdoor activities”. This has only been made possible because of your incredible support and interest. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far.
This summer we funded our first Allegra’s Ambition week in partnership with Country Holidays for City Kids (http://chicks.org.uk). CHICKS offer residential breaks for vulnerable children and young people aged 8-15 at their three rural centres in Devon, Cornwall and Derbyshire. Three of Allegra’s friends. Lucy Harley, Suzannah Eggleston and Alicia Dent volunteered on the break and the feedback from CHICKS and the girls was very positive.
“We have just been on the first CHICKS Allegra break and I think we definitely all agree it was a very successful, fun week that Allegra would have loved as much as we did.
Fifteen children attended, all from Hampshire and all young carers, so the week provided a holiday and a break that many of them don’t often get. We were at a coastal retreat in Cornwall, the perfect place for a countryside holiday being only a few minutes from the sea and a nice sandy beach. There was also a large field at the retreat, great for playing football and any other games, a play area inside a large barn with a couple of trampolines, two football goals and a basketball hoop, an arts and crafts area (perfect for rainy days) and a games room (equipped with pool tables, air hockey table, ping pong table and even a DJ deck).
It became clear that the children were having one of the best weeks of their lives. We did so many activities and were kept really busy that by the end of the week there were 15 very happy, but pretty exhausted children who all made some unforgettable memories. Possibly the most rewarding experiences of the week happened when the children did an activity they had never done before. Horse riding was one of those and it was wonderful to see their faces when they got on for the first time and trotted round for the first time.
At the end of the week it was very hard to say goodbye to all the children as they were all such characters and we became very fond of them very quickly. We have already started planning when we can do another CHICKs week and would definitely encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to ‘go for it’! It is really rewarding and so much fun.”
There is a full report from CHICKs on our website via this link: https://www.allegrasambition.org.uk/from-allegra/chicks/
We are sponsoring another week at CHICKs in 2018 & would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch as soon as possible. The only requirement is that you are 18 or over and it does qualify for Gold DofE. We have also committed to fund a pilot project for 16-18 year olds. It will enable a group of young people, who have been to CHICKs previously, to benefit from a week of adventurous activities, dedicated care and skills based experiences. CHICKs’ aim would be for these 16-18 year olds to gain transferable life skills, improve their employability and continue to benefit from the unique support offered by CHICKs. During the break, the Respite Break Leaders will work with the young people to create a draft ‘Personal Development Plan’, which they will continue to develop and provide them with the support they need to make progress; this may include help with CV writing, signposting to other services, or simply moral support and a sympathetic ear.
Youth Options (www.youthoptions.co.uk) is a Hampshire based charity that believes every child and young person should have the opportunity to realise their potential whatever their life circumstances. We supported them to train four youth workers and provided the equipment for them to deliver a creative Bushcraft skills programme for young people at their new Riverside project in Eastleigh, Hampshire. They ran a series of Bushcraft residentials over the summer for identified groups of disadvantaged young people who had the opportunity to build shelters, make fires and catch prepare and cook food. The young people’s feedback identified their highlight which included learning how to “cut up pigeons” “work in teams” “have more confidence in myself”. We have agreed to funding five more Bushcraft days in 2018.
Our partnership with Ebony Horse Club (www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk), continues to grow. We hosted our second Allegra’s Ambition day at Herriard Park with the brilliant support of the Hampshire Hunt and a host of amazing volunteers who did everything from loaning ponies, instructing and helping with the barbecue. It was very special to watch the friendships developing between all the young people who attended and the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved. Thank you so much. The date for this event in 2018 is Tuesday 24 July.
The Allegra’s Ambition Athletics Day will also run again on Saturday March 24th, 2018. This is located in Bournemouth and is targeted at pupils from local schools in Years 7 and 8 to give them a taste of athletics.
We could not be building this charity without everyone’s incredible support. We have been AMAZED at the many challenges people of all ages have taken on to raise money for us. A huge THANK YOU from us. Every single penny raised makes such a difference as every penny is directly invested to help young people. We carry no costs at all.
Allegra would have left St Swithun’s in June and the school decided to honour her memory with a #livelikeleggs week. Girls and parents were all asked to undertake something that was out of their comfort zone to “challenge yourself”. It culminated in a staff v students rounders match.
16 year old Rupert Curtis, with the support of his Dad, Charlie, trained to ride his bike 420km to Paris. He made it there in excellent time., raising an amazing £3,525. Two boys in Year 8 from Pilgrim’s, Toby and Chandos, also took on the challenge of a bike ride to Paris & raised over £800. Thank you to you all.
A schoolfriend of Allegra’s, Nathalie Hyman, organised a summer show jumping event at her yard Bramble Equine. She drummed up some great prizes and it was really well attended. She raised a brilliant £1,000, Thank you Nathalie.
Following in Allegra’s footsteps a number of girls bravely and unselfishly cut off their long hair to donate to the Little Princess charity (which makes free wigs for children with cancer) and at the same time raised money for Allegra’s Ambition. We know how hard it is to do this as Allegra’s sister Honor was one of the girls – it’s a huge sacrifice. Well done Honor, Maddie & Olivia O’Carroll & Olivia Rainbow. You also raised a fantastic amount of money.
Anna and Sammy Glasswell, Allegra’s cousins, trained for six months for an Ironman race in Zurich. This is an incredibly gruelling challenge which includes cycling 112 miles, swimming 2.4 miles and running 26.2 miles. They both completed the course successfully and raised over £10,000. If anyone is interested in what it is like to take part in an Ironman, do read Anna’s description of the day on the website:
Katie Butler, a friend of Allegra’s from Wadac, took part in her first Tough Mudder which had always been one of Allegra’s dreams. It was lovely of Katie to remember Allegra on her route round the course as well as raise money for Allegras Ambition. Thank you.
Catherine Ewart kindly ran a tennis morning in Sherborne raising £250 which is a terrific amount of money to raise from this type of event.
Lucy Mould led a cohort of young people who completed their NCS (National Citizen Service) a voluntary personal & social development programme for 15-17 year olds this summer. They chose to support Allegras Ambition for their social action project. They fundraised & campaigned through a raffle, a sponsored bike ride & sponsored stunts: some of the group dyed their hair pink & they raised almost £800 Thank you so much Lucy, Chloe, Sophie, Abi, Reece, Kat, Dan, Jack & Rachel.
Christina Kane ran the Royal Parks HALF Marathon last month. Christina, a childhood friend of Allegra’s had never done any running before and so impressed were her sponsors that she has raised almost £10,000. She hit an extraordinary time of 2 hours 10minutes – really impressive.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for all your incredible fundraising & sponsoring. We are happy to support you in any way we can. Please do keep it going and help us to change people’s lives.