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Isle of Wedmore Society – Thursday 28 March

Report of February Isle of Wedmore Society Meeting The society had a talk from Kylie Gallagher from Children’s Hospice South West. The charity was established in 1991 by a couple who had two children who died, both of whom had lifelimiting conditions. In 1995 the charity established its first hospice in Barnstaple and 12 years later opened its second hospice at Charlton Farm, part of the Tyntesfield Estate, in Wraxall North Somerset.

It has now opened its third Hospice near St Austell in Cornwall. The Charlton Farm site is set in 100 acres with a wide range of animals reflecting its farming origins. The Children’s Hospice is not just about providing end of life care for children with life-limiting conditions and bereavement support for families.

About 80% of the stays in the 8-bedroom facility are family stays where whole families can stay to provide respite care or holidays for parents and siblings while staff and volunteers look after the affected child. Without this facility many families with children suffering from life-limiting conditions would not be able to have any sort of holiday or break.

Charlton Farm has lots of different facilities to keep families entertained such as soft play, messy play, a music room and jacuzzi/hydrotherapy pool. There are communal facilities including a large dining room and large lounge where many families meet and make new friends. There are also quiet areas where individuals can relax, reflect and enjoy the surrounding environment.

All of these facilities and stays are provided at no cost to families who use them. All of these facilities clearly cost a lot of money to run and maintain with Charlton Farm having an annual budget of about £3.5 million. Most of this money is raised by charitable donations, fundraising events and legacies. Only about 14% of its funding is provided by the government.

Charlton Farm has regular open days where individuals and groups can see the facilities, services and gardens provided for the benefit of families that desperately need them. More information on open days and fundraising can be found on the charities website at www.chsw.org.uk

Martin Fulford

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The March monthly meeting will take place in the Wedmore Masonic Hall, at 7.30pm.

The speakers will be Derek Logan and Vanessa Becker-Hughes and their talk will be titled ‘Catching the Sun’ about the Wedmore power co-operative. Members free.

Visitors £3, with free tea/coffee and biscuits afterwards.

Contact: Ian Tomes,
01934 710390.


Report of March Isle of Wedmore Society Meeting

Our March meeting was entitled ‘Catching the Sun’ and was
introduced by Derek Logan and Vanessa Becker-Hughes. The
clue about the subject of the talk was in the last word ‘sun’.
The Wedmore Solar Energy Park was commissioned in October 2013 and situated off Quab Lane.

Wedmore Power Cooperative set up the CPL (Community Power Cooperative) and started to look for suitable solar panel sites which had to be as near as possible to the National Grid and in an aesthetically acceptable site.

Two local farmers showed an interest in renting out a portion of their land and after planning permission was granted, leases finalised with the farmers, funding secured and a sound business model produced, the CPL then created a share offer document and marketed the project.

The project cost just over £1 million pounds and the developers
wanted to achieve an ethical and green investment, community grants and attract local investors with a level of investment from £250 – £1000.

The panels were built higher off the ground than normal so grazing for sheep was available, thereby cutting out the expense of regular mowing.

Even though the panels came from Norway local labour was mainly used.

The whole project, which is to last for 27 years, was built in very quick time, all the objectives were achieved and up to date £36,000 has been distributed to a number of local causes including our own Wedmore Society to help finance our Speakers, for which we are very grateful.

An interesting evening about a very successful local project which is producing good dividends for their Investors.

Chris Edwards, Wedmore Society

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