And here we are again, Christmas...can you believe it? For us at The Tythe Barn it is a very special time of year. It's a time when we reflect on the year that's passed and together with the team we look back on the various events we have been so lucky to have hosted but we also review the individuals, groups and charities that we have been fortunate enough to be able to offer our support to. Our business has grown over the years but we are still very much a family business and we are passionate about supporting our local community and offering help to a wide variety of organisations. With this in mind we thought it might be nice to share with you some of the ways in which we have supported a number of charities over the years - a rather diverse bunch I might add but all doing an amazing job in their own field.
At The Tythe Barn it is so important for us to be a part of the local community here, and we feel that we really do have wonderful relationships with so many people and businesses within the village, Bicester and beyond. Supporting the great people that work and live amongst us is something that we try and do wherever possible and Christmas is the perfect time to stop and look around you and on both a personal and business level we are keen to give something back.
Here are just a few of the people we have supported ..
SeeSaw provide grief support for children, young people and their families in Oxfordshire. Unfortunately within our small Launton village we have seen a number of young families affected by the loss of a parent and have therefore seen first-hand the wonderful work that this Oxfordshire charity provide. Through appropriate and timely support, SeeSaw can help to reduce the emotional, psychological and mental health consequences of bereavement. Young people are then able to face the future with hope. We have held a number of events over the years to help raise much needed funds for Seesaw and having now known Kathy and the team there since around 2007 we are fully aware how vital this support is.
National Eczema Society
The NES is a registered charity in England and Wales and in Scotland. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with eczema and their carers. This is something that is very personal to us as a family with two of our three children suffering from severe eczema, as well struggling with the condition myself from birth. Any help we can offer to try and make a difference is vital and so making a donation has been an easy decision and something we have chosen to do on a number of occassions over the years.
Local Raffles and Auctions
We love helping out with a local raffle or auction and this year has been no different. We are frequently asked whether we would be kind enough to donate a prize to various schools or local business' and we do try to help out as much as we can. We have donated a selection of wine - usually our very popular house wine 'Pig in the Poke' to quite a few this year, particularly to groups in our local village of Launton but also further afield to surrounding villages and small, growing businesses. Everyone loves a get together and who wouldnt want to win a case of wine?
Sometimes people have come to us because they are in need of urgent support or they have been struggling to finish a project that is there for the benefit of the community or others. In times of need we have offered help to those who really need it and we know that at times like this our donation will have made a big difference. One week we may be offering help to fix something at St Mary's Church and the next we might be our donations to the Oxfam Ebola Society.
The Oxfam Ebola Crisis - Oxfam is a registered charity campaigning for a better future for people around the world and they continue to fight against poverty and injustice. When the Ebola Crisis swept across West Africa, Oxfam were already operating in the area and urgently scaled up its emergency programmes in response to the outbreak. This was a desperate time and so making a donation was a must!
We often support our local village through sponsorship - Launton Pantomime is a place we regularly help out - by, for example, advertising in their Programme and we do a similar thing for the wonderful Bicester Choral and Operatic Society. We freqently do whatever we can for our village Primary School and have recently sponsored the Launton Primary School Christmas Tree and their new Recipe Book - both great ideas to help raise funds for an ongoing project to improve the play facilities in the adjacent field for the pupils. Here's a few other sponsorship forms we've added to over the years.....Launton Boys FC, Launton Village Players, The Bull Inn, Launtons Over 60's Club, Banbury Carnival Programme, Friends of Island Pond Wood.
The Hummingbird Centre is a relaxed place, based in Launton itself and offering support for cancer patients and their families, whatever stage throughout the cancer journey. They believe that nobody should feel alone and they help individuals to find out more about cancer as well as explore complementary therapies to support their lifestyle. We are so impressed with this group of volunteers and like to help in any way we can. In March we will be giving The Tythe Barn over to The Hummingbird so that they can hold an evening to raise money so that they can continue with this amazing project and all profits will directly benefit all those in desperate need of their help, their time and their kindness.
With two boys in the family who are crazy about sport, we have often been asked to support local football and rugby teams and have sponsored quite a few team strips over the years. Not just the little ones either with Chinnor Rugby Football Club a regular beneficiary.
Cancer Research UK and The Children's Brain Tumour Trust
We have been involved with an enormous amount of charity work for cancer related charities as this has obviously impacted on so many of us. Their pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
Launton Parish Hall Improvement Project
We held an enjoyable 'Quiz Night' in aid of the PHIP and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces show up and be tested!
Bicester and Finmere Show
We have a strong afiliation to anything rural or farming-related. We have given the barn up for hosting a number of Equine charity events and are involved with many agricultural shows both locally and further afield - excuse the pun!!
The Wooden Spoon is a charity that changes children's lives through the power of rugby. Each year they fund around 70 projects, from community programmes and specialist playgrounds to medical treatment centres and sensory rooms. We have supported this charity for a long time and with Will about to step into the shoes of his Uncle John Deeley as Chair of the Wooden Spoon we will be offering our continued support for some time to come.
We all hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and maybe, if we're lucky it might be a white one! So, the barn looks stunning this season decorated with our winter branches, twinkling fairy lights and our huge Christmas tree standing tall in the eves and it is a warm and welcoming place for friends and families to gather together but this season is also about thinking of others and 'giving'. There's a definate buzz in the air, but I'd like to finish by thanking our own team here who contribute so much to this venue not only at Christmas but all year through. Happy Christmas!!