By Will Bradley
Wylye Valley Disabled Children’s Charity, is holding an auction of promises on April 29 at Codford Village Hall and is calling for donations of pledges.
The charity established in 1970, has the objective of supporting disabled, ill or disadvantaged children in the Wiltshire area and finances a horse-riding holiday, every summer, for up to 18 children, aged 11 to 16.
Visitors, with a team of dedicated volunteers, spend a week under canvas in rural Wiltshire. The riding camp has been an annual event for disabled children to experience ‘real camping’ away from family and professional carers.
The packed week also includes sing-songs, fancy-dress competitions, swimming, skittles and a disco. The achievements and progress of the visitors are encouraged, recognised and rewarded and all activities during the week are funded by the charity.
“A range of pledges is needed to make the auction event a success, and all offers, large or small, would be appreciated. Potential pledges include holiday accommodation, balloon flights, and dog walking or babysitting. Pledges can also be accepted on the night,” Teresa Fox, Camp leader, explained to Valley News.
“The camp is a completely self-contained community that brings together horses and people to create a unique environment combining learning, therapy and fun for everyone involved.
“Unfortunately camp expenditure is huge. A dedicated team of cooks cater for upwards of ninety mouths, providing three sit-down meals per day,” Teresa said.
Funds for the exciting week are also raised throughout the year by raffles, dances, quizzes, BBQs and collection boxes.
“There is always a great need to raise funds to maintain marquees for sleeping accommodation, activities, day trips, resources, coach hire and insurance. Every single penny goes straight to the charity,” Teresa stated.
Helpers also contribute towards the cost of their meals to help offset the food bill and frequently contribute their own money to add impromptu treats for the children.