Whilst Strode Park Foundation is a charity in its own right, we are very lucky to have support from another charity: The Friends of Strode Park.
The Friends of Strode Park was originally formed in 1980 with the purpose of increasing the awareness of the work done at Strode Park House in Herne, Kent and to raise funds to provide extra amenities for the residents. Since then, Strode Park Foundation has expanded and we now have several sites across Kent (Footprints and Redwalls in Canterbury, Lady Dane Farmhouse in Faversham and Platters Farm Lodge in Rainham) so the help that the Friends can give us is more valuable than ever.
The Friends provide support to our residents and service users by raising money through membership subscriptions and by holding fundraising events. Monies are donated to provide equipment, additional recreational activities and other items to make life more comfortable and enjoyable.
Throughout the year, the Friends run a variety of fundraising events such as quizzes, race nights and bingo evenings. They will also normally hold an annual, family-friendly music event in our Theatre in the Park on a Sunday afternoon and this year over a hundred members of the local Rock Choir came and put on a fantastic performance.
Amongst other things, in the past couple of years the kind donations from the Friends have enabled us to provide the residents with an extra shower trolley, help to refurbish and provide a television in the main residents’ lounge and support our ‘Space to Play’ project (a new extension with indoor playroom and respite rooms for the children at Footprints), which is due to complete any day now.
One of the highlights in the Friends of Strode Park’s calendar is their annual firework display which is held at Strode Park House for all the residents and staff. This is always an extremely fun evening and especially important for many of our residents as the level and range of their disabilities can often mean that they are unable to attend the big, public displays.
Another wonderful way in which the Friends of Strode Park support the residents is by buying each and everyone at Strode Park House, Footprints and Redwalls a Christmas present every year. This is a truly lovely gesture which the residents all really appreciate and look forward to as part of their festive celebrations.
The Friends of Strode Park Chairman, Priscilla Cox, said:
“I was invited to join the Friends of Strode Park committee over 30 years ago because of my heavy involvement with other activities and groups in Herne. I grew up in the village supporting Strode Park Foundation as a child and used to enjoy coming to the events that were put on at Strode Park House. Things have changed so much over the years and sadly many of the original committee members are no longer with us so it would be wonderful to be able to build up new memberships to help support us both financially and at our events.”
Life is better with good friends and that’s definitely something that we at Strode Park Foundation have found to be the case.
If you are interested in joining the Friends of Strode Park, you can find out more by giving them a call on 07931 380184. Membership is just £10 per year and it really does go a long way towards supporting the work that Strode Park Foundation does.
Written by Christina Jones, Fundraiser at Strode Park Foundation