Allegra’s Ambition has had a busy six months. Our relationships with our partner charities continue to grow and the feedback on the impact of our joint initiatives on the lives of the young people we are supporting is hugely exciting and rewarding. None of this would be possible without your incredible support. Thank you so much – we are so grateful.
Last month we were proud to support “We are the Traiblazers” – an inspirational new youth empowerment initiative which aims to help teenage girls develop confidence and resilience. The programme devised by Sophie Radcliffe (http://www.challengesophie.com) and delivered with the assistance of Youth Sports Trust (https://www.youthsporttrust.org) works to raise self-esteem and confidence to a targeted group of Yr 9/10 girls with low self-confidence – this year it has been piloted in six schools across London and Kent. The girls attended a number of workshops run by Sophie during the year and then a weekend at PGL Osmington Bay for a series of workshops with motivational athletes and challenging physical exercises. The camp was blessed with incredibly good weather and we were so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved – it will have been a life-changing experience for many.
Our partnership with StreetReach (https://www.winchesterstreetreach.org/) continues to develop and the jointly liveried minibus we have sponsored is being put to great use all over Winchester.
The bus has enabled StreetReach to be more visible with their outreach work, transport young people to events and provide a warm, quiet space where young people can come for a private chat. We have also agreed to continue to fund the Friday football drop-in sessions for another year.
Our annual Ebony day (http://www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk) was a great success with 28 young people coming from London by coach for a fun day riding in the Hampshire countryside.
Ebony describe the event “as possibly our biggest of the year and for some of our young people the first time outside London seeing the countryside”. None of this would be possible without the fantastic support of the Hampshire Hunt Pony Club – the landowners who kindly allow us to use their fields, the amazing instructors who volunteer their time, the brilliant barbecue (generously donated by Newlyns Farm) and most importantly everyone who lends their ponies. We could not do it without you and we know for Ebony members it has become a highlight of their year and something they all look forward to.
This year, we funded a primary school in the heart of Brixton to attend Ebony Horse Club on a weekly basis. In June, we visited Loughborough School to see first hand the impact of the Ebony work we are supporting. We accompanied some of the enthusiastic young riders from year 5 to the yard to watch their lesson. The Headteacher selects eight children each term to attend the hour long lesson and described the powerful impact she feels the experience has had on her students – building confidence, supporting emotional regulation and improving concentration. We met with a varied group of children who had riding lessons at Ebony and the articulate way they expressed the difference the sessions had made to each of them was very moving. Building on this success we are now also sponsoring Ebony’s engagement with City Heights Academy which is very exciting.
Our two Allegra’s Ambition breaks run by CHICKS – Country Holidays for Inner City Kids (http://chicks.org.uk) took place in Cornwall this summer. This year we had a fantastic team of eight Allegra’s Ambition volunteers who attended the breaks. Everyone who volunteered reported that it was a rewarding experience as well as being great fun. Please do get in touch if you are interested in volunteering at Chicks next year.
Again, for many of the young people attending the breaks this was their first time seeing the countryside. The care and support they receive from the youth workers and the volunteers and the opportunities to surf, ride and play outside are transformative and reflect the spirit of Allegra’s Ambition giving everyone the chance to challenge themselves.
Our sponsorship of the bushcraft equipment and training for 3 youth workers at Youth Options (http://www.youthoptions.co.uk) has had a very positive impact. Building on our investment the charity has developed the programme and most recently delivered a project in conjunction with CAMHS (Child and Adolsecent Mental Health Services) in Southampton. They worked with 160 Year 5 and 6 pupils across primary schools to build confidence and self-esteem through attending bushcraft workshops. The evaluation has been very encouraging in terms of outcomes and they hope to continue this next year. Youth Options are also piloting a parent and child bushcraft group to support positive parenting. None of this would have been possible without Allegra’s Ambition’s support.
So many of you have taken on fantastic fundraising challenges in the last six months and as always we cannot say enough about how grateful we are. Every penny you raise makes a difference so please keep on challenging yourselves. #challengeyourself
We are very honoured to be one of the two chosen charities of Mary Howard Christmas Fairs which takes place on 13th -16 th November this year (https://www.maryhowardfairs.com). We owe a huge thank you to the great team of volunteers who are supporting us at the fair this year selling our new, carefully curated, Allegra’s Ambition merchandise – all of which will make great Christmas presents! We will also be selling at other Christmas fairs and you will hopefully be able to order soon through our website. Please take a look and encourage your friends as well.
We are very grateful to the Tice family who have contributed so much to Allegra’s Ambition this year. In May, Sarah organised a baking demonstration, sharing some of her effortless baking tips, with all proceeds going to aid Allegra’s Ambition – it was a fun & creative way to raise money. Then in June, Louisa and Hannah along with their friend Ellie, took on the incredible challenge of cycling the 935 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groat’s (without any training or much planning!). Against all the odds, they completed the ride in a phenomenal 14 days including 4 punctures, 7 bikeshops visits, 1 spontaneous bungee jump, 168 chocolate bars, 52 donors and all for 1 cause for which they raised an unbelievable £14,000. Thank you to all of you who supported them. It was a fantastic achievement and truly reflects the spirit and values of Allegra’s Ambition.
In July Perdi organised a 5km pink fun run at St Swithun’s School. We were so touched by the number of people who contributed running, sponsoring and baking and generally embracing the pinkness. Thank you so much. We are also delighted to hear that St Swithun’s has selected Allegra’s Ambition as their charity for 2018/19.
In September Mia ran a 10K at the New Forest Marathon. She wrote a very moving post on her fundraising page about her reasons for running and how she has worked on challenging herself physically and emotionally. Her honesty and bravery sum up everything Allegra’s Ambition is about. Thank you Mia for all your amazing effort and support. We are so proud and touched.
In September, Sarah and her brother Sean set off to walk along Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for Allegra’s Ambition. It took them 37.5 hours to go from coast to coast and they walked on average just under 8 hours a day to complete the 84 miles. They walked through rain & sunshine and some spectacular countryside and, despite the lack of coffee shops along the way, were still smiling at the end. Thank you so much for challenging yourselves and for your generous support.
We owe a huge debt of thanks to the fantastic students at Tudor Hall who made us their school charity last year. They undertook so many creative and fun challenges and raised a wonderful amount of money. Thank you to every single one of you. The lovely Ruth raised money for us for the third year in a row doing the Kiltwalk in Glasgow. Ruth looked after Allegra when she was young and her support and kindness means so much to us. Thank you Ruth for challenging yourself. For a second year Catherine and Georgina organised a charity tennis tournament at Sherborne Tennis Club – thank you to everyone who participated.
Allegra’s stuffed dog Philomen now has his own Instagram (philomensadventures) as he is accompanying so many people on their challenging adventures. This year he has cycled to John O’Groats, travelled to India and is currently in Australia with Josie. Do get in touch if you would like to take him with you – he’s very easy-going and travels light.