End Of Term Report 2008
I am pleased to welcome readers to our annual news letter, a kind of ‘end of term’ report to you all on the year to date and just before we run into all the business of Christmas!
It’s been an interesting year for us with many and varied tasks and problems solved. It began with the mildest winter on record at our cottage in Finland, which meant we didn't get a full winter season in with the youngsters, but from the reports and photos elsewhere you’ll see we had a pretty good time. It’s been the first full year with our lakes and river in the Meon Valley: besides a little problem with poachers and some dialogue with planners its been progress all the way. It’s also been about the worst summer I can remember too. I feel like we can’t win with the weather! It doesn't seem to dampen the youngsters enthusiasm however, especially for the fishing side of things.
Next year we will celebrate our 25th anniversary as a Charity. It hardly seems possible, the time has just flown past..
So... Please dip into this newsletter and share in the joys of the youngsters and ourselves as they have moved through the year.
The Clothworkers And Our Land Rover...
In recent times we have started taking youngsters to our cottage in Finland in the winter. Such a contrast from their experiences in the summer and so far removed from those of inner city Britain, it is the completion of a long held ambition. The problem we initially had was one of transport! Our mini bus struggled to access our remote and isolated cottage in deep snow and temperatures of minus 20! This is where The Clothworkers Charitable Foundation came in. They were able to supply a specially equipped vehicle to cope with these demanding experiences. As you will see from the accompanying photographs, the youngsters took full advantage!
We are so grateful to The Clothworkers for their support and especially to our good friends Alistair Leslie and Sam Rawson. Sam we were so sorry to lose during the year and he will be sadly missed, a great character and a great supporter.
Back to School with Esmée Fairbairn!
Throughout last year and this we have been operating a ‘back to school’ scheme for inner city Portsmouth children. Those who do not attend for a variety of reasons; school phobic, permanently excluded, parentally neglected, whatever, we work them back in gradually and support them when back. Strategies have varied from playing ‘catch up’ academically in our own classroom, through turning up on their doorstep and taking them to school, to staying in school with them to ensure their continued presence! It has been a varied and multi disciplined approach that has worked.
All this has been possible because the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation decided to support us and for the last two years have been paying for three years salary for youth worker Russell Lyne. Their support has been invaluable and has changed many young peoples prospects for the better.
The Railway Children...
Our parent and toddler drop in group continues to flourish and we are delighted to say the parenting skills and support that they receive is paying dividends. It is our hope that by investing in this group we will see less referrals in years to come, ‘breaking the cycle’. Interestingly one or two of our teenage mums are now coming through this scheme and we are seeing a real maturing and blossoming of their parenting skills.
Thank You For Your Support...
There have been too many people to thank everyone for their support individually during the year. There have been numerous and often innovative ideas for fundraising. We thank Andrew Langley for running a half marathon for us, then there is our own Russell running ten miles in the Great South Run.
There have been parachutists and fishermen, there have been barn dances and bridge parties! Farnham Angling Society raised £1,713 by holding the Annual Jack Frost Memorial Match. Jack was a great patron of the Charity until his death. There were a group of people on Hayling Island who organised an evenings entertainment for the local community “Bands In The Barn” and raised enough money to buy two much needed trailers for the Charity (more of this in the next newsletter). Many companies raised funds for the Charity either through staff fund raising or through company donations.. Trust funds have continued to see the worth of the Charity and individual donations from people who have seen and learned about the work we do continues to rise, even though we have seen an overall drop in financial support this year.
Thank You JCB!
Many of you assisted us in the purchase of our property on the River Meon last year, but if anyone is reading about this for the first time... Last year we bought 26 acres of land straddling the lovely Meon chalk stream. The main river flows through the centre and a large carrier forms the boundary on the west side. It contained a lake with carp in and two rather badly silted lakes, one so silted there was no longer surface water in it.
It is a terrific resource for us and as we develop it, it will enable us to deliver our angling and country pursuits environment much more cheaply and conveniently. The big problem we had was the lack of equipment to carry out the much needed maintenance . The biggest problem was the silted pond adjacent to the existing lake. We needed large and expensive excavating equipment, something that was beyond our limited budget.
We are delighted to say that following a letter to Lady Bamford, JCB weighed in their support for Second Chance in the form of a generous amount of the necessary equipment. Without JCB we couldn't have managed.
Farewell Old friends...
It’s been one of those years! We have had to say goodbye to so many good friends and supporters of the Charity. Firstly we had to say a very fond farewell to our very first patron, Anton Rodgers. He was a great fisherman and truly understood the value of the pastime to our youngsters. He was a great ambassador for the Charity and introduced many people to us. Robert Minter was an enthusiastic patron and spent quite an amount of time fund raising for the purchase of our new property. Sadly we will miss his counsel and organisation on our behalf. We mentioned elsewhere the sad loss of Sam Rawson, of the Clothworkers. His work as a judge meant he had great sympathy with our work with the less law abiding clients and he shared a similar disregard for political correctness! And last but not least we said farewell to Vince Lister. Known throughout the angling world he was perhaps our most active of all patrons. Often at the office or on the bank on corporate days, always rude and irreverent to Doug, he kept us humble yet encouraged at the same time - one of life's real characters. They will all be sadly missed... Past friends
Jonathan Continues His Legacy...
Many of you will have contributed to the fund that provided a fully equipped Orkney Spinner boat for fishing in memory of Jonathan Ryan. Jonathan was tragically taken from us at an early age in a road traffic accident. He was a great fishermen, known to many as the representative from Hardy’s. His mother Patricia McCowan organised a fund to buy the boat as a legacy of Jonathans passion for angling and great interest in Second Chance. It has done sterling service during this year in a great many varied situations from zander fishing on the River Severn, through pike and trout fishing in Wales to sea fishing off the coast in Portsmouth. Here are some of the moments caught on camera.
Old fishing tackle. The flow is starting to slow up!! We are grateful to people like Robert Ferguson who regularly sends us bits and pieces. Any tackle, game, coarse or sea but especially coarse and particularly carp tackle—all gifts gratefully received. Also Musical Instruments—especially brass ones! Then of course Camping Gear and even Fish! Any water owners got surplus fish for stocking?!
Because of our fall in income this year we have had to cut some of our capital expenditure. If anyone could help it would avert the worry of operating with aging equipment and facilities. We need to replace three vehicles as soon as we can, The old Land Rover 110, The newer Land Rover Discovery and the oldest Mini bus. We also want to invest in a quantity of plants and trees for the Land. We need building materials and, as mentioned elsewhere, we would like to buy a Mini Digger. It is not very easy to get money for vehicles or mechanical equipment, but it is one of our most vital areas of support. The most difficult of all funding expenditure is running costs—what do we need the most?.... Running costs! Any donation however small or large will be equally well received.