Bangor to Brighton Bike Ride Blog

Between 11th and 15th July, a brave bunch of cyclists rode from Bangor to Brighton to raise money for the Starr Trust.

Starting in Bangor in North Wales, they travelled through Snowdonia to Shrewsbury, Stratford upon Avon, High Wycombe over Leith and Box Hills before returning home to Brighton’s West Pier on Sunday.

Here is the blog of their journey:

Day 1

We started bright and early with a 6am start and a quick breakfast in Bangor. The challenge we faced was huge: 150km and 3077m of elevation change across the width of Wales, through Snowdonia and across the border to Shrewsbury. Awful signal, lots of sheep and Scott’s bare chest (standard for the Welsh) were recurring themes as we set off towards our first stop in the village of Rhyd. We made quick time and reached the stop for a quick refuel.

The operation was running tight and smooth, like Scott’s pants. After setting off from Rhyd, we began our first major climb of the day at the edges of Snowdonia national park. It was worth it; the views were stunning. We continued at a relatively high altitude across plains, birds of prey flying around us for 15 miles before starting to descend. Our new destination was Bala, a small town next to a beautiful lake. The café and scenery were picturesque, so we took an extended lunch break by the Bala lake to prepare.

Creamed up and ready to go, we faced the major climb up 350m of relentless but beautiful hill. It was conquered with help from Brown and the support van. We bombed down the other side after a quick refuel and were soon back on the flat. The next 10 miles to the stop were challenging, and there were lots of aching bottoms as we ploughed on to the Green Inn. Everyone was tired but determined. Cream was applied, water refilled and a few too many lagers later we were back on the road.

Ken had run out of mildly offensive jokes and had promptly fallen asleep on the support vehicle. We crossed an underwhelming Welsh/English border and proceeded to Shropshire. The end was in sight. Overwatered and underfed at the inn, the newly nicknamed ‘scottpants’ needed a pit stop so the support van pulled over and gave him a mars bar, which brought him round. The following 15 miles to the hotel were long, tiring but steady and eventually the group arrived at 6:30, eagerly anticipating dinner and a signature Ken speech. The only remaining job was preventing Dan, Scott and Webby leading a charge on the local Wetherspoons.

Dinner came and went, accompanied by a classic Ken speech, who is living up to his name as an entertainment officer. Tony gave important details for the ride the following morning and gave the ‘star of the day’ to Rob for persevering and keeping mentally strong in spite of the bloody massive hills. After 150km, 3070m, one national park, a border crossing, 50 flapjacks, 9 hours in the saddle and an unconfirmed amount of larger consumed, day one was complete. Here’s to day 2, and hoping they make it back from Wetherspoons.

Cyclist quotes:

Tony: “Beautiful views and a great team bonding experience
Johnny: “A difficult but rewarding a day
Rob: “A really tough day



Check out Bangor to Shrewsbury on Relive: click here!




Day 2

Day 2 began in a similar fashion to the first, wolfing down Premier Inn breakfasts and hastily assembling peanut bagels for the onward journey. Bags packed, we met in the Premier Inn car park ready to leave. First stop: Ironbridge. The cyclists rolled out, lead perhaps slightly prematurely by Tony and tailed by the support vehicles, racing to catch up. The first order of business was navigating out of the urban metropolis of Shrewsbury. Thankfully, the local Shrewsbury pub didn’t claim any scalps from the night before; Scott continued his amusing habit of falling asleep in random places and nodded off in the pub, probably representative of what Shrewsbury had to offer on a Thursday night.

There was a slight burst of rain, but we soon rode through it and were on track to hit our first stop in very good time. The first 20 miles rolled by and we were seemingly unaffected by the gruelling ride a day earlier. Rosie and Tracy had barely put up the flags when the first cyclists came in to the small town. Ironbridge was charming, filled with history and lovely people. The first stop was outside the china museum, by a hostel and (appropriately) a beautiful custom bike shop. Spirits were high and before long, full of coffee and brownies we set off once more to our lunch stop.

It was a chilled out 24 miles to lunch, perturbed only by Johnny nearly single-handedly taking out the entire peloton with a rapid stop, probably to get some bum cream out of his bag. Scott had a minor collision with Julie but kept control of his bike and chose to fall on the grass instead of on Julie. A true gentleman. It was decidedly uneventful, gliding through Shropshire’s quaint villages in search of Belbroughton. The village itself was beautiful and the pub that we stopped at was a great hit. The food and drink was tasty, although Leo was quick to point out the inefficiencies of their table number system which culminated in a frantic mix up of club sandwich bread types. Dan, always the diplomat, agreed to go half and half on bread colour. Curries eaten, Garmins refigured and tans compared, the group were ready to depart, eyeing up a speedy arrival in Stratford.

The final leg proved less smooth however, and after some navigational errors and a very busy roundabout a third stop was arranged around 15 miles from the end. A road closure required some quick thinking from the leading pack and we diverted down a little path back towards historic Stratford, under the advice of a pensive suburban Shrewsbury resident. Tricky directions in Stratford resulted in Ken standing at the crossroads, waving his crutch wildly at the cyclists in the direction of the Premier Inn. It was a wonder he didn’t get taken in by the local council. Meanwhile, Dan had managed to snap his hanger (much to the delight of Ken’s joke supply) but luckily the support vehicle was right behind. Brown had the right spare part in his van and performed an impressively quick fix on his bike. Cruising past a dogged Ken, the final group turned into our third Premier Inn.

Phones recharged, showers taken and runners admired, we settled down in the restaurant after a few drinks. Dinner was as smooth as ever, thanks to the brilliant Premier Inn staff who have been consistent across all our locations. Dinners digested, we assembled on the canal for some (more) drinks and, of course, a Ken speech. He highlighted the camaraderie amongst the group and the great cause we have been cycling for. He gave a special mention to Rosie and Tracey, who have been excellent in organising and coordinating the event, always with a smile. After telling a few more questionable jokes in front of horrified/amused bystanders, the sensible majority were ready for a good night’s sleep. As for the rest, a farewell party for Chloe awaited. After 80 miles, 2 trays of brownies, some slightly scared premier inn guests, 7 Jagerbombs, a suspicious roundabout, a broken hanger and some minor travel sickness, day 2 was over.

Rob (morning): “It was a pleasant morning ride
Ken: “Great community spirit
Rob (afternoon): “When I get back I’m going to throw my bike away

 




Day 3

It was 6:15AM in the Stratford-Upon-Avon Premier Inn and, right on cue, the all too familiar phone alarm rung out across the corridor. The cyclists rose, some more groggy than others, apart from Dan who required a poke from Scott. A textbook Premier Inn breakfast followed. 87 miles faced the riders. First was a quick photo opportunity in front of the canal. We said goodbye to Chloe, who was departing in favour of a New Forest hen party. Pulling out of Stratford in the direction of Basingstoke, Day 3 was well and truly underway. What a day we were in for.

The first destination of the day was the sleepy village of Tadmarton. Arriving early, the support team met the landlady of our pub stop, the Lampet Arms, Phyllis. After arriving, we were charmed by Phyllis and her brilliant hospitality. She was particularly taken with Scott’s bare chest and lycra pants, but Ken was having none of it, sweeping in and grabbing her attention. Sufficiently watered, the group departed, tailed by the support team.

A decent climb in intense heat proved exhaustive for the riders and the miles rolled past slowly. Matters were complicated by the Support team’s revelation that the designated pub lunch stop was effectively abandoned. A mild panic ensued, and in the chaos the press officer was woken up and groggily found a pub relatively near the route. Efficient communications between the two support vehicles resulted in a Brown-led roadblock to inform the cyclists of the correct way to the new route. The riding was slightly more laboured after two intense days but we doggedly continued onwards and pulled in at The Eight Bells in Long Crendon. An impressive amount of diet coke was drunk. The cyclists did brilliantly and ascended without any complaints, especially Julie who negotiated it with ease, barely breaking a sweat. She has been a complete machine throughout the ride and is immensely respected and loved by the entire group. There was a brief stop at the top of the hill for cake, ice cream and cider. Spirits were high, apart from a slightly irate Tony, peeved that no one had bought him a cream tea. Tony has been the rock of the group, consistent and caring, and his contribution to the charity has been immense. It was discovered that Johnny had broken his hub flange and so Brown had his work cut out trying to source a new one. The support van had its work cut out as Dan had a flat tire but after a quick rave in the van to ‘insomnia’ by Faithless we reached the tire and pumped it up in no time.

The group finally rolled into the Maidenhead Premier Inn – everyone was tired and fractious and quite honestly just wanted to go to bed. Naturally, it was a perfect opportunity for Ken to speak and give out the awards. It was all too much for Leo and Scott, who left and fell asleep mid-speech respectively. All but a small group had fallen asleep, dreaming of finally reaching home. Day 3 was complete, and home was beckoning.

 




Day 4

It was a beautiful morning in Maidenhead, and the cyclists roused from their beds like clockwork, accompanied by the dawn chorus and Andy’s snoring. It was time to depart from the all too familiar yet comforting Premier Inn. We trundled towards breakfast, aching, and set about dispatching more fried eggs. Disagreement over the route was swiftly resolved and the two big hill climbs, Leith Hill and Box Hill, were dropped from the route. Predictably, we were all tired and eager to return to Brighton. Bags (mostly) in the van and a quick final photo opportunity later, we all hit the road. Destination: home.

It was a 84 mile cycle through the heart of commuter land through classical, pretty English villages. As it was a Sunday, cyclists were everywhere, and the group felt at home amongst the other lycra clad peddlers. We cycled through dense Surrey and made our first stop near Leatherhead, just off the A24. A rather irate Surrey citizen seemed aghast that a group of charity cyclists had leaned their bikes against her wall and was keen to let that be known. She soon realised the error of her ways however, and access to her wall was most generously granted and a donation the Starr Trust was given. The heat was fierce so water bottles were refilled. As a unit, we left in search of lunch.

Rusper was our next stop and the cyclists found it without a problem. The farm shop served delicious salads, which were met with huge approval by the cyclists. We had a leisurely lunch in the full heat of the sun. A comic moment occurred when John stood up from his seat to reveal a suspect white patch left on a bench. It turned out the copious amount of Sudocream that he applied managed to secrete its way through his cycling shorts. On that savoury note the cyclists left. The end was firmly in sight.

The next 30 miles turned out to be taxing and the different groups had considerable distance between them. The welcome to Sussex sign provided a morale boost. The support group found a discrepancy in the route and communicated it with the cyclists, who managed to follow the advice and stick to the roads. Brown stopped in order to give water refills and to point everyone towards the last climb of the year, the Dyke. The first two groups passed through seamlessly, if not a little thirsty, but the last hadn’t got their heads round the route change. Much to the support team’s amusement they had managed to complete a significant distance across fields and as a result were behind the other cyclists.

The first two teams had scaled the Dyke and had time to visit a golf course club house and, slightly smugly, watch the last group cross the hill, pint in hand. Eventually they appeared, in one piece, and the end point, the i360, was in sight just behind the hills and Tony was actually right: It really was all downhill from here. The relief was palpable as everyone rolled through Hove and down to the seafront, where a welcome party was waiting.

After the obligatory group photo, prosecco was popped and pizza was eaten. Everyone was happy and rightly proud of their immense achievements over the past 4 days. Scott, never one for clothes, lead a celebratory swim for a well needed cool off. After 360 miles, countless counties and considerable camaraderie, the Bangor to Brighton 2018 ride was over.

Photos Courtesy of Jeff Mood Photography.




Champion’s Tuesday - Our Champion Hannah sets off to the Amazon!

We were thrilled to learn back in May this year that our young Champion Hannah was chosen by the British Exploring Society to take part in their 6 week Trainee Leadership Expedition to the Amazon! This will be an incredible experience for her.

Hannah set off on this once in a lifetime adventure yesterday, July 16th, and will be incommunicado for the entire 6 weeks away.

We are so very proud of all her achievements over the years since we began supporting her. She is an exceptional young woman and we can’t wait to hear all about her adventures when she gets back.

Huge thanks to the Brighton and Hove Rotary Club who gave her £500 towards the costs and to the British Exploring Society who work with relatively small groups of young people to deliver transformational youth development in the wilderness. They create unique expeditions to challenge and transform the expectations and future lives of young people.


 

Our Young Champion is a Tennis Champion!

We are delighted to share that our young Champion Alicia won her first Junior ITF title in Belfast last week - clinching both the singles and doubles title which was a fantastic achievement.

Her mother Nicki told us “As always, we are so thankful for all the support you give us - without your help we could not have got this far and hopefully there is still much further still to go!


Bike Ride Cyclists Are In For A Treat

Huge thanks to all the lovely suppliers who have donated drinks and lovely food for our Bangor to Brighton Bike Ride this week:

AquAid Water Coolers for water taps, Truffles Bakery, The Protein Ball Co., Asda at The Marina, Real Patisserie, The Flour Pot Bakery, Infinity Foods, Co-operative Ltd, Morrisons James St, Ceres Health Store, CLIF Bar and Waitrose.





 

Tandem Skydive this Thursday 28th June!

It’s not too late to donate to our amazing trio of skydivers who will be doing a tandem jump from 12,000 feet at Skydive Headcorn in Kent this Thursday June 28th.

Anyone is welcome to come and show their support and it looks to be a beautiful day out for it.

Good luck and huge thanks to our lovely fundraisers, Hollie Hines, Clare McKinstrie and Nick Williams.

Click here to make a donation.


Midsummer Ball Silent Auction Now Live!

Whether you’re attending our Midsummer Ball or not, get bidding now and bag yourself a bargain including a 5 day stay at the stunning Hilton Mauritius (pictured). Go to: www.brightonball.com.

Online pre-bidding will close at midday this Friday 22nd June, when bids will be transferred across to the event. There really are some fantastic prizes donated by our generous supporters so don’t miss out!



Champions’ Tuesday

Our 4th Champions’ Chats saw ten of our Champions embark on an amazing day out to the Isle of Wight on Sunday June 10th.

They travelled to Hovertravel in Southsea on a beautiful and sunny day. They boarded the craft and then enjoyed the 10 minute flight across to the Isle of Wight. At Ryde they were welcomed by one of Hovertravel’s pilots, Jock Darrick, who’d formerly been in the Navy for 21 years. He explained how the craft worked, and then took everyone around the craft to get a close look - the craft is even capable of travelling on ice. The Champions loved the flight, for most it was their first time on a hovercraft and to the Isle of Wight. Jock gave each of the Champions an inflatable hovercraft to take home with them. Even the one Champion who was scared of water enjoyed the trip It was glorious gliding across the Havant and the staff could not have been nicer.

The group then took a short walk to Ryde Superbowl where they were greeted by their host Lucy who was waiting in a room especially prepared. The group then split into three teams, played a game of bowls, and then had lunch in their very own party room. After a quick photo everyone headed back to the Hovercraft and back home.

The Champions had a brilliant day - and one of the mums who came along said it was a day she’d never forget. After a full day of chatter, laughter and fun, the group returned back to Brighton for a rest!

Huge thanks go to Dave Crawforth at Teleticket for organising and sponsoring the Hovercraft and tour, and to Gareth at 1823 group for sponsoring the rest of the day. We are extremely grateful to you!



Local Businesses get behind our Charity Bike Ride!

We are delighted that two local businesses are getting behind our Bangor to Brighton Bike Ride this July. Huge thanks go out to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, who have given us a whopping £1000 towards our bike ride event. Our Fundraising team Tracey and Rosie met with James Jefferys, the Brighton Branch Retail Manager and his team yesterday to receive the cheque.

We are also really excited to share that West Pier Pizzeria is giving us a great deal on all the food and drink for the cyclists’ homecoming party to be held on Sunday July 15th at the British Airways i360.

It’s fantastic that two local businesses are supporting us.

Some spaces are still available on our Bangor to Brighton Bike Ride so sign up now!


Sussex Golfers Club Together to Support Youngsters and raise over £4000!

We were delighted with the success of our eighth charity Golf Day, held on May 9th at the prestigious East Sussex National Golf Club and which raised an incredible £4,380 to help our young Champions.

Over 50 golfers from local businesses came together to enjoy a well-earned day out and a great chance to network. The sun shone all day and with temperatures reaching over 20 degrees, golfers enjoyed the beautiful 18-hole course and took part in various competitions on the route.

The day was kindly organised by Paul Maidment and the main sponsors, Beales, Gardner & Scardifield and Airsprung helped to make the day a huge success with awards being given out, bids made on fantastic auction prizes and a delicious carvery dinner to finish off.

Thanks also to sponsors Spencer & Leigh, Tru Challenge and Creative Pod.

The winning team was Paul Maidment’s with CCI Accounting runners up followed by Style and Silver.
The winning individual was Peter Raynesford with Tom Humphries in 2nd place and Phil Mann in 3rd.

Our event organiser Tracey Narvaez told us “as ever we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and delighted at how much money we managed to raise. Even those businesses that were unable to play helped us by sponsoring a hole, so some great publicity for all concerned”.




Photos by Jeff Mood

Champions’ Tuesday

We are thrilled to share with you that our Champions have been offered a day trip to the beautiful Isle of Wight courtesy of Teleticket Travel and the 1823 Group who have offered them their very own hovercraft for the day!

This Sunday, nine of our Champions will be enjoying their 4th Champions’ Chat event, travelling together with our Outreach Manager Mel Stoner along with several volunteers and parents. The Champions will travel by coach from Brighton to Southsea where they’ll board the hovercraft, taking them across the water to the lovely town of Ryde. Here they will be given a private tour of Ryde Harbour and a presentation from the Captain! They will then head over to the local Superbowl where they will have some lunch and spend a fun afternoon bowling before heading home.

Huge thanks to David Crawforth and his team at Teleticket Travel and to Gareth Hardy from the 1823 Group for kindly giving our Champions this brilliant opportunity.

Two of our Champions prepare for the expedition of a lifetime!

We have teamed up with the British Exploring Society, who work with relatively small groups of young people to deliver transformational youth development in the wilderness. They create unique expeditions to challenge and transform the expectations and future lives of young people.

We were thrilled to learn that two of our Champions have been chosen for expeditions.

Stephen was chosen to take part in a three week trip to the Canadian Yukon. He will be raising his own funds to cover equipment costs. We are super excited to hear how he gets on.

Hannah was chosen to take part in the 6 week Trainee Leader Expedition to the Amazon. £500 of the funds needed for the trip have been kindly donated by Brighton and Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary Club. Hannah was thrilled and we are all extremely grateful.


Champions’ Tuesday - Champions Chats

Whilst Meghan and Harry were signing their nuptials, Starr Trust Champions were being given a backstage tour of the Theatre Royal Brighton. The tour began at the Stage Door, which hundreds of famous actors have walked through. This beautiful grade II listed theatre holds over 200 years of secrets and intriguing tales.

Jackie Alexander, Creative Learning Manager at the theatre, first led us through the unusual backstage area, which we learnt had been constructed over the years from fishermen’s cottages, and we had a glimpse at a dressing room. We learnt about how the scenery used to be painted on the side of the stage which now houses hundreds of lights before visiting the orchestra pit. The highlight was stepping onto the wonderful stage and looking out into the auditorium which seemed interestingly intimate, despite holding nearly 800 seats. We learnt that although theatre can be expensive, for good value tickets we should book the gallery – where prices frequently start at around £10. After sneaking into the Dress Circle to see if the theatre’s resident ghost was present, we were given refreshments and chatted more about the theatres wonderful history. 

Thank you to Jackie and the Theatre Royal for the fascinating tour – we learnt so much and encourage anyone who hasn’t been to go!


 

Champions’ Tuesday

Our Champions feature on BBC South Today and BBC Radio Sussex.

The Wembley to Soweto Foundation, headed up by Director David Westhead, recently selected 2 of our Champions to attend their three week photography course at Brighton’s i360. These were 18 year old Stuart from Hove who dreams of being a professional watersports photographer and Shayla aged 20 who wanted to develop her photography skills.

This has been a fabulous opportunity for them and the project has been featured on BBC’s South Today and BBC Radio Sussex.

You can see clips below:

 



To find out more about this brilliant project, visit wembleytosoweto.com

Rob Starr Reveals How the Starr Trust Came to Be

Ian Trevett, Director at Platinum Business Magazine talks to Rob Starr about his vision for the Starr Trust, which is going into its 10th year this September.



“It was a visit from my dad’s window-cleaner that inspired me to try and make a difference.”

It was an unlikely spark for a life-changing decision, but The Starr Trust is no ordinary charity.

Rob Starr explains: “The inspiration for the trust was my father. He was the most wonderful man who always made me believe anything was possible. He made me believe there was nothing outside of possibility – a massively powerful thing to have instilled into you as a child.

“When we lost my dad to cancer 12 years ago, when he was still very young, a few things happened which really highlighted dad’s ability to make people feel special. A few months after we’d lost dad, a guy came to my office and I ended up comforting him as he was so upset about dad. As he left, I curiously asked him, ‘I’m sorry for your loss but who are you?’ He gave me his name and told me he was my dad’s window cleaner.

“I phoned up my wife and asked whether we had a window cleaner, which we did. I asked her if she knew the window cleaner’s name. She wasn’t sure.

“That was a real turning point for me because it really made me think: ‘Wow, that’s where me and dad differ.’ I was going through my life trying to do good and be good, as we all hope we do. But how much time did I give to other people? This was my dad’s window cleaner, for God’s sake. It really made me think about the impact you can have on someone’s life by listening to them – nothing more, just listening to them and making them feel important. It doesn’t cost anything to do that but it’s really powerful. Having discovered what was so special about my dad, I didn’t want to lose that.”

The result of that revelation was the setting up of The Starr Trust.

“I didn’t have any money to set up a charity, but I thought I’m not going to wait until I can afford it. Dad taught me that if you wait to do something, you will look back a year later and wish you had started a year before. So along with my brother-in-law Darren, my sister, my wife, some friends and my mother, we started The Starr Trust. We just thought, ‘Let’s set up a charity in dad’s name, raise some money somehow and give the money away to young people in the city to help them be the best they can be’.

“We set up The Starr Trust with no money in the bank, just good intentions and a good idea. We held a barn dance and a quiz night, and we gave the money away. It was absolutely brilliant. I put some desks and computers in my office and got some volunteers in with the promise that we’d take them on as staff when we could. In our first year we gave away in the region of £20,000.”

For most people this is where the story may have ended. Rob and his family had raised a substantial sum of money to help local children and done something positive to remember a loved one. But Rob’s personality is such that this wasn’t going to end there. He decided to take on some endurance events to raise more funds, which is not unusual except that from a young age he had suffered terribly from arthritis and Crohn’s Disease.

With these debilitating conditions a marathon was out of the question, so he decided he should swim to France instead! The bravery (or madness) of this decision cannot be overstated.

Rob recalls his first swim: “The first day was in April 2010 and it was the most shocking experience of my life. It was so cold and scary, but I stuck at it. I was doing seven and eight hours swimming every day, but my Crohn’s Disease meant I kept losing weight; I was under eight stone at one point. It just wasn’t sustainable, so we turned it into a relay, which was equally difficult in different ways. I got a team of swimmers together and we completed it in 2012.

“Ironically, because of the amount of exercise I was doing, I built up my strength for running - and I completed the Brighton Marathon. We ended up raising over £80,000 for The Starr Trust and it put us on the map.

“I don’t take any medication anymore. When I was younger I lived on medication because of my Crohn’s. I threw it all away when I took up sea swimming. Sometimes I’d walk down the beach with a walking stick or crutches and in quite severe pain. Then I come out the sea afterwards and I pick up my stick and walk up the beach – it’s almost biblical. It’s really weird. There have been studies on cold water swimming and the positive effects it can have.”

Plans for the King Alfred

As well as improving his health, sea swimming also led to another inspiration: “I would swim past the King Alfred Centre and it got me dreaming. I had this idea that I would knock down the King Alfred and I would put a building on the seafront that would be a hub of creativity.

“Just as my dad had taught me, it didn’t occur to me that I couldn’t do it. I had no idea how and I had no idea whether the council would give me the land. I always believe that I can and I don’t ever worry about how. I don’t think it’s my job to work out how, I just assume the answer will come.

“People who achieve things fail a lot along the way. I’ve made more mistakes than most in business. Being in business 26 years, I make one a week. But you learn from them and I don’t think I’m fazed by them. There’s this term resilience. I think my epitaph will probably be: ‘He was nothing if not resilient’.”

In some ways Rob’s naivety was an advantage. The odds against getting the council to release the land, to raise the huge amount of capital and win a bidding war against experienced developers would have been staggering. How Rob pulled off the coup of winning the bid is a fascinating story in its own right. Now, in partnership with Crest Nicholson, the dream is about to be a reality.

The plans for the new King Alfred are hugely impressive. Rob says, “The council will get a £40-45 million state-of-the-art, fantastic leisure centre. There are going to be about 560 flats with 20% affordable housing, which is what the city needs. Every single one of them is going to have a sea view; not one flat is hidden at the back. Right in the middle is a creative hub, which will include sport, art, theatre, music, education, business and social interaction.

“I wanted to design it from the inside out. I wanted it to be about what happens there. The traditional way a developer works is to design a building, put the building up and then look at what happens there. I wanted to do the opposite.

“We will run the hub but it will be separate from The Starr Trust. We will set up a CIC (Corporate Interest Company) - basically a not-for-profit company. We can generate revenue from commercial lets on the rooms. The dream is that the income would pay for the 60-70% of the year when we can offer discounted or free space to local community groups. A true scenario of the commercial supporting the charitable. We want charities to come down and use this space. We’ll make it affordable or free for them to use the space.

“If people want to rent the rooms out and can’t afford them, we’d say: do some volunteering work (not necessarily at the hub) and earn the hours. We’re really trying to bring in change in how charity is viewed in the city, working in a spirit of collaboration: businesses and charities working together instead of fighting against each other. And it’s so exciting!

“Over £65 million is going back into the city. Developers often get bad press but I’ve got to say Crest have been fantastic.

“All being well we would hope to be on site at the end of the first quarter of next year. My partners always say I’m way too optimistic but one of us has to be. One of us has to keep pushing, so that’s my job. The build will take three years, which seems like a lifetime because by the time it’s done it’ll be 10 years of my life. All because I used to swim past the building!”

The King Alfred hub will secure the future of a wonderful charity, of which Rob is understandably proud:

“We’ve got a bike ride coming up in July from Bangor to Brighton, 360 miles which I’m going to do despite my arthritis and Crohn’s. Then we have our Winter Ball in November at the Hilton. We have a fabulous relationship with The Metropole. They’re wonderful. We’re one of their chosen charities for their Midsummer Ball. They chose us last year, though I had to sing and dance with Robin Cousins, which was interesting.

“We’ve supported over 4,200 children, giving grants up to £5,000 a time. We’ve got youngsters who have become champions. When you hear what these youngsters are going through and what they’re inspired to do, not helping them just doesn’t seem an option. It’s life-saving and life-changing.

“It’s about young people with the drive to do something but not having the financial ability to do it. Maybe they’re in care and no financial backing. We see our job as raising the money to help them on their journey and also giving them as much support as we can. Money is one part of it but the support is equally as important.”



This interview originally appeared in Issue 47 of Platinum Business Magazine. Link to original interview.


Champions’ Tuesday – Exciting news about Stuart and Ava

Our Champion Stuart has been taking part in an amazing three week photography course being held courtesy of the Wembley to Soweto Foundation which is based at Brighton’s stunning i360.

We have just heard that Stuart has been chosen by the project leaders to shoot pitch-side at Wembley Stadium at the FA Trophy Final on May 20th! What an incredible achievement and experience for Stuart.



Our Champion Ava recently got the opportunity to be in the audience for the finals of television show ‘The Voice’. The trip, which was organised for us by our Ambassador Claire Clements was taken by photographer Ava and her Dad - both fans of the programme.

Ava told us: “I am a Film Studies and Photography A Level student, and being in the film studio was absolutely amazing and inspiring! The lights during the show were so bright and beautiful and it was interesting to see how a show of The Voice plays out.

Supposed live TV is quite contrived – with sections being recorded the day before, footage being filmed elsewhere, and the audience being revved up to fever pitch by a warm-up person in every break!

It was also a privilege to be in the same studio where household classics such as Star Wars were filmed.

My family’s favourite contestant, Ruti Olajugbagbe, won, so that was an extra bonus from the day! I am now a definite fan of The Voice.

Thank you, Starr Trust for organising an amazing evening out for me and my dad!

Here’s three photos of me – two taken from the TV, I’m wearing a black dress saying “Thrilled” in white letters! You can just see me…



The Starr Trust would like to thank Claire for giving Ava such a wonderful opportunity.


Champions’ Tuesday - Starr Trust teams up with Brighton and Hove Rotary

We have been working closely with Brighton and Hove Rotary Soiree helping three of our Champions fulfil their potential.

At the end of last year we received £500 from the Rotary towards our Champion Macy’s ballet lessons and took her to a trip to the ballet at Brighton Dome In December 2017. Amira, aged 15 from Brighton, won an award to take part in the Rotary’s week long leadership programme in Guildford in April. The Rotary supported Amira throughout this experience, including taking her to and from the course.

In February, Champion Sophie was sponsored by the Rotary to take part in the Springboard music festival.

This May, at their Youth Festival weekend on the Barge at the Marina, the Rotary awarded a further £500 to help one of our Champions Hannah. Hannah’s mother Claire and our Champions Outreach Manager Mel went along to the festival to receive the cheque. Our 20 year old Champion Hannah will use the money to go towards the costs of her 6 week expedition to the Amazon arranged by the British Exploring Society who work with relatively small groups of young people to deliver transformational youth development in the wilderness. Hannah is currently teaching outdoor watersports in Wales and wants to expand her skills on dry land.

Ann Dieckmann from the Rotary told us “Rotary is committed to helping young people make the most of their lives and we want to empower youth here in Brighton as well as those less fortunate in developing countries too.  Rotary has a long history of helping young people through educational scholarships, competitions and Rotaract as well as supporting community initiatives that help children and young people.

Mel from the Starr Trust said “We are delighted that the Rotary has been so involved with the work we do and given our Champions such great opportunities. We are extremely grateful that they have chosen to support us.  To say thank you we had a wonderful team of our volunteers, Champions and their families volunteering at the Rotary’s Easter Egg Hunt, and look forward to collaborating with them more!.

Images: Mel and Claire recieving Hannah’s cheque (above), Amira speaking at the Rotary (below, L), Lee as the Easter Bunny at the Easter Egg Hunt (below, R)

Get Early Bird Tickets for Panto!

Christmas may seem a long way off but tickets are selling fast for E3’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Huge thanks to David Hill of E3 Productions.

We are one of their Chosen Charities for this brilliant panto.

Champions’ Tuesday

Our Champion’s Outreach Manager Mel and Starr Trust Ambassador Claire Clements were delighted to be invited to Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary Club’s Youth Festival on 28th April at the Barge on Brighton Marina.

The event, which celebrated the contributions made by the Club to its youth projects, featured a short presentation from Champion Amira who recently took part in their Leadership Course in Guildford.

Claire and Mel were presented with a cheque for £500 to go towards funding Champion Hannah’s forthcoming leadership expedition to the Amazon. More news on these stories shortly!

We are extremely grateful to Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary for their generosity over the last few months.

Champions’ Tuesday

We are very excited to share with you that two of our Champions are taking part in an amazing three week photography course being held courtesy of the Wembley to Soweto Foundation which will be based at Brighton’s stunning i360.

Watch this space for more details.

Help Our Supporter Who Is Running The London Marathon

Please sponsor our lovely supporter Ian Newbold at COGO Group Travel Specialists UK who is bravely running the London Marathon next week and raising money for the YHA Brighton and the fantastic work they do with underprivileged children.

Ian has been a brilliant supporter of ours, having done Spinning Events to raise money for us and donating totally fabulous auction prizes to our Summer and Winter Balls, such as trips to Disneyland Paris! He is a LEGEND!

Click here to sponsor Ian on VirginMoneyGiving.

Champions’ Tuesday: Champions Chat at Raystede Animal Sanctuary

Seven of our Champions had a fantastic trip to Raystede Animal Sanctuary on the 3rd April 2018. Raystede covers 43 acres and cares for over 2000 animals a year, rehoming over 1000 animals and providing sanctuary to even more.

The theme of the chat was how to take care of animals and in particular dogs, cats and horses.

The morning began with Cat Bray from the Sanctuary explaining what to look for in dogs’ behaviours that demonstrate how they are feeling. We then learnt how to introduce ourselves to a dog, before heading out to meet a new dog Tinker who had been recently received by the Sanctuary. The Champions’ were tasked with assessing how Tinker was feeling, which included looking for signs of stress and his appearance, and how he dealt with meeting other dogs.

The next task was to visit the cats, and match them with new owners based on their situations and environments.  The team did really well assessing which cats should go with which humans, and decided that some situations weren’t appropriate for cats.

After a lunch session being entertained by Goldie the amazing robot dog, we were taken to visit the horses. The herd mainly consists of older animals, however Raystede also look after horses and ponies with various health issues such as blindness. They are allowed to live as naturally as possible, having access to inside and out at all times. The Champions loved grooming the two horses, even cleaning out their hooves.

The session finished with a quiz about what we’d learnt. Our Champions loved the session, with one shouting “this is the best day!”.

Huge thanks to Cat Bray for the fantastically informative session and to Mark Phillips and Raystede for donating the session to us. Also we are extremely grateful as always to Claire Clements our Starr Trust Ambassador for volunteering her time. The last but not least thanks goes to the wonderful animals at Raystede! We hope we can come again soon! 

Thanks to our Easter Egg Hunt Volunteers

Many thanks to the volunteers at Brighton & Hove Rotary at the Easter Egg Hunt on good Friday for keeping smiling through a wet morning!

Our Champion Lee was the Easter Bunny, and the event was sponsored by Hall & Woodhouse and supported by Fairy Dust Events.

Champions’ Chats

We received some really positive feedback from our Champions who attended the Audition Chat held at E3 last month.

Next month our Champions will be going to Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare on Tuesday April 3rd. 9 Champions are attending, plus Claire Clements and her daughter Amy who will be coming along to help. The theme for the day will be Responsibility.



Thanks to our Easter Egg Hunt Volunteers

Huge thanks to our Champion Lee and his family Keith and Mary; to our Ambassador Claire Clements and her daughter Amy and last but not least to Hellen Ward from Crunch Accounting and her friend. They will all be volunteering for us this Good Friday March 30th at the brilliant Easter Egg Hunt at Hangleton Manor.

This will be a really fun event so head over there on Friday and thanks to the lovely Brighton and Hove Rotary for raising money for us at their event.



Champions’ Tuesday: Sophie and Amira

Every Tuesday we highlight one or more of our young Champions with exciting news and updates. This week we are featuring Sophie and Amira.


Sophie
Our young Champion Sophie recently took part in the Springboard Singing Competition in Brighton. She was very nervous but did really well. Her pianist and entry costs were sponsored with a donation from Brighton and Hove Rotary, which was very much appreciated.

Amira
Amira is getting ready for her week long leadership course in Guildford starting 1st April, which is being organised by Brighton and Hove Rotary who are also transporting her there and back. She is really looking forward to this opportunity.

Our Champions’ Chats
We have also received feedback from two of our Champions who attended the Audition Chat which they said was really good. Their next trip is to Raystede Animal Sanctuary on April 3rd. 9 Champions plus Claire Clements and her daughter Amy will be coming along to help for the morning and the theme will be Responsibility.


Last Chance for Earlybird Tickets

Don’t miss out! This week is your last chance to get early bird tickets for a table at our fabulous Midsummer Ball at the Hilton this June.

Our Annual Midsummer Ball will be on 23rd June at the Hilton Brighton Metropole - this year, the theme is “A Night of Nashville”.

Drinks reception: 6.30pm

Table of 10: £850 (earlybird offer before 31st March 2018)(£950 after 31st March)
Individual tickets: £95

To book or for more information, email rosie@starrtrust.com.


Champions’ Tuesday: Feedback from our Champions Nisar and Alicia

Every Tuesday we highlight one of our young Champions with exciting news and updates. This week we have feedback from two of our Champions - Nisar and Alicia.

Nisar and his family suffered terrible trauma at the hands of the Taliban in his home town in Afghanistan. He was finally granted permission to travel to the UK in 2016, and we were able to buy him a laptop and mobile phone.

Alicia is a talented tennis player who has represented her region competitively on many occasions and has lots of fantastic wins to her name. She was given an Edward Starr Award in December 2013 and the Trust is delighted to continue to support her.




Nisar


Nisar gave his feedback on how the Starr Trust has helped him:

How has your Award made a difference so far?
The award has brought a huge change in my life, especially when it comes to education and sport.

Has having your award had any impact with your school/college or education?
It brought out confidence in me and made me believe in myself.

Has having your award had any impact with your family?
Whenever my dad found he was very happy and very proud of me because back then I didn’t have enough support for my education and for my sports, whereas now things have changed and this award has brought a huge impact towards my success and support.

What have been the main challenges for you over the last twelve months?
I wanted to get a positive and a successful result in my exam and this award lead me into that success and brought out the best potential in me.

What have been the highlights for you over the last twelve months?
Passing my exam and and winning the final in cricket, plus the award also boosted my skills in cricket and gave me the appropriate facilities which I feel very lucky for.

Has your confidence changed from having our support?
My confidence has definitely increased and it all made me believe in myself.

Are you happy with your relationship with the Starr Trust?
Yes I am very happy and very lucky to have this great relationship with the Starr Trust.

Do you need any other help from us at the moment?
Yes, I still need a balling machine for cricket which is very important because it would allow me to train myself even further and it would help me become a better player than I already am.

Do you have any suggestions on how we might support our Champions better?
I think the way you supported me is kind of enough because I really can’t ask for any better support since I am already very with the way you support me.


Alicia



Alicia’s mum gave her feedback on how the Starr Trust has helped them:

Has the award had any impact with the Champion’s education?
Although there has been no direct impact on Alicia’s education it has definitely had an indirect benefit. By having the opportunity to continue training Alicia is happier, focused and disciplined - this means that she is happier and works hard at school in order to have time to train.

Has the award had any impact on the Champion’s family?
It has enabled us to continue to support Alicia’s sport and her dream of becoming a professional tennis player. To see her happy and motivated has had a really positive impact on our family.

Are you happy with your relationship with the Starr Trust?
Yes - everyone at the Starr Trust has always been very kind and helpful and we have always felt fully supported.

Do you have any suggestions on how we might support our Champions better?
I think you are doing a good job already and Alicia certainly feels supported.


Spinathon Weekend for Starr Trust and Sport Relief 17-18 March

Our Events team Tracey and Rosie spent last weekend at the David Lloyd Leisure Club at Brighton Marina, raising money and awareness for Sport Relief and our own Charity Bike Ride 11-15 July.  Some members of staff at David Lloyd have already signed up to do this popular event which will leave Bangor in North Wales heading back to Brighton over 4 days. This event is a fantastic collaboration between individuals and businesses in Sussex, all raising money for local young people.

The David Lloyd team kept a static bike going throughout the day on Saturday 17th and covered an incredible 100k whilst collecting money. Sunday 18th saw over 50 volunteers come down and take part in a 5 hour Spinathon run by our Ambassador the amazing Tony Wright (better known in Brighton as Mr T). With upbeat music and heaps of enthusiasm, everyone had a great time keeping fit and raising money for two great charities. The spin covered over 700 kilometres which is even more than the distance being cycled on our route this July. 

Nathan Gillingham, General Manager of David Lloyd Brighton said “this is our second year of supporting the Starr Trust’s Pier to Pier bike ride. It was great to see staff, members and non-members cycling for such a great cause. Our team members enjoyed the ride so much last year that they are signed up and raring to go for this year.

Visit our Events page or email rosie@starrtrust.com for information on how to join the July Pier to Pier bike ride.

Our Young Champion Alicia on BBC Sussex 13th March 2018

Our young Champion Alicia, aged 14, was interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex about the important role the Starr Trust has played in helping her for the past 4 years by paying for her tennis training and coaching.

Nicole Carman our PR Manager was also on the show promoting our Spinathon and Bike Ride – explaining to listeners how important these fundraising events are, and how the money they raise help young people like Alicia to fulfil their potential.

Alicia is now 3rd in the Country in the Under 14s. You can listen to the Allison Ferns interview below:


Champion’s Tuesday - Meet Sophie

Every Tuesday we highlight one of our young Champions with exciting news and updates. This week meet our 14 year old Champion Sophie.

Sophie is a talented singer and in 2016 won a singing competition out of 200 competitors. She attends Theatre Workshop and wanted to continue her studies on the singer/songwriting course but her family were unable to afford it. We awarded Sophie the money to pay for 3 terms of singer-songwriting, private singing and keyboard sessions.

Sophie sang and competed at the Springboard Festival on Sunday March 4th, accompanied by Maria Dunn.

She sang songs from The Lighter Side Class - Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.

It was a large and very high standard class and we were delighted to learn that she gained a Merit. What a wonderful achievement for her first time!

Champions’ News

Meet Our New Champions



Aira aged 14 from Brighton
Aira has an amazing imagination and creativity. She attends the Self Managed Learning Centre in Brighton and is flourishing there. We awarded Aira to fund her 2018 school fees. Aira says: “This award is giving me an education that I attend and learn in. SMLCollege is such a unique opportunity that only a few can experience and I am glad to be apart of. So, thank you and that’s the truth.








Nathan aged 15 from Brighton
Nathan loves cricket, which really boosts his self esteem and he is currently working on his bowling skills. We awarded Nathan to partake in a project at Brighton and Hove Amex, to focus on Maths, English, and sports – including cricket, football, personal training and coaching experience. 





And we have re-awarded our current Champions:




Luana age 12 from Hove
Luana is a young carer and loves Streetfunk. We have been supporting Luana’s classes since 2017 and in January 2018 paid for a further three terms of classes.





Daisy aged 15 from Hove
Daisy loves musical theatre. She has suffered health problems and finds her classes at Bird Studios a release. We are paying for a further year of classes.





Macy aged 15 from Hove
Macy studies dance at Gielgud Academy. Unfortunately her family have incurred unforeseen financial difficulties due to illness. We paid for a further two terms of Macy’s dance tuition and exam fees.  Macy received a treat from the Brighton and Hove Rotary Club when she was taken to see the ballet at Brighton Dome in December 2017.





Bako aged 13 from Brighton
Bako loves basketball and attends sessions at Storm Club in Crawley several times a week. His family wouldn’t be able to afford the training sessions without our support. We are funding him to help further with club fees, camps, travel and new basketball shoes. Bako was recently asked to play for the under 16s National Premier team.





Vaughan aged 13 from Brighton
Vaughan is home schooled and enjoys meeting other children through dance, which helps give him a real sense of achievement. Dance helps him focus during lessons and plan his future. We supported Vaughan to have a further year of Streetfunk lessons, and to attend dance training camp.





Amira age 15 from Brighton
Amira is a talented musician. We paid for further flute lessons and for her to perform in her school’s musical tour of Germany. We are delighted also that after our nomination, Amira has also been selected by Brighton and Hove Rotary to take part in their Rotary Young Leaderships programme in Guildford in April 2018. The week long course, designed to develop the talents of those held back by lack of confidence, offers young people one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives by developing qualities of leadership, team working, initiative and problem solving at the start of their careers.





Nisar aged 18 from Brighton
Nisar travelled to the UK on his own from Afghanistan and is adjusting to life here. Nisar loves cricket and last year his cricket team won their tournament. His favourite subjects are IT and business and he would like to go to university. We awarded Nisar a gym membership, some cricket shoes and monthly payment for his mobile phone to help him socialise.





Stuart aged 18 from Brighton
Stuart enjoys being on the water and finds that it helps him communicate. He loves being on the water, watching others and learning how to do various sports at Lagoon Watersports in Hove. He loves photography too and his dream is to become a watersports photographer. We are funding Stuart for a further year at Hove Lagoon, a new surfboard and photography kit.





Alicia aged 14 from Hove
We have been supporting tennis player Alicia since she was 10 when we funded the costs of individual coaching, her group squad training and her fitness coaching. She competes all over the country, and is currently ranked 2nd in Great Britain in the under 14 age group! We are funding Alicia to support her ongoing tennis training.





Jessie-Jae age 14 from Brighton
We have supported Jessie-Jae who has had some difficulties at home since she was 10. Jessie-Jae loves dancing, singing and acting and we paid for her to continue her studies with Shana Goldman for a further year.





Nathan age 14 from Worthing
Nathan has always loved sport and over the years has tried a number of mainstream and disability sports. We funded 11 year old Nathan in 2015, to pay for a custom made racing wheelchair and he has gone from strength to strength ever since. He has been chosen to compete in the World Games 2018 for which we are funding him, as well as the National Championships. Nathan’s coach says: “The light from his torch shines brightly and those caught in its beam are enriched by it



Isabel from Brighton
The Starr Trust are delighted to be sponsoring Isabel to take part in the Theatre Royal Brighton’s Theatre Workshop. Isabel loves the theatre and would not have the opportunity to do the course without our support.


Legal & General choose the Starr Trust as their Chosen Charity for March

Huge thanks to Legal & General in Brighton for inviting us along on March 7th as their chosen charity for March.

Our fundraising team Tracey Narvaez and Rosie Molloy spent the day in their offices with the lovely Vikki Lester-Nown so that staff could hear all about the great work we do and stall holders there gave 10% of their sales.

A Heart Warming Story During the Big Freeze!

We are so excited to share the news that the students from Brighton College Prep School raised an incredible £8800 at their Christmas Fair. The money was split between ourselves and the organisation Extra Cover which helps young people in Sri Lanka. Extra Cover is supported by Father Robert Easton who is the chaplain at the college.

£4400 is a huge amount of money and will make a massive difference to us. It means we could champion a young person for a whole year and change their life dramatically. In the same way Extra Cover actually built a whole school and fed its pupils, who without their help wouldn’t get more than one meal a day.

The cheques were presented by Head Teacher Mr Weeks and two school pupils and it was lovely to be part of their World Book Day Assembly. We also learned that on such a cold snowy week the children were still giving by donating blankets and Rose and her mum spent four hours driving around the area keeping homeless people warm.

Photo:
Father Easton, chaplain at Brighton College Prep, Rosie Molloy and Tracey Narvaez from the Starr Trust

Champion’s Tuesday - Meet Stuart

Every Tuesday we highlight one of our young Champions with exciting news and updates. This week meet our young 18 year old Champion Stuart.

Stuart enjoys being on the water and learning how to do various watersports. He also loves photography and would like to become a Watersports Photographer. He first became a Champion in 2017 when aged 17; we paid for him to have a year’s membership at Lagoon Watersports in Hove. He has since become competent at all the sports to a point where is now able to volunteer there, helping others to learn, which is fantastic.

In 2018, we awarded Stuart again for another year’s membership at Lagoon Watersports, a GoPro to continue his photography and a new surf board and a wetsuit. This young man has a bright future ahead of him!

Stuart also features in the Starr Trust video! Check it out here!

 

Congratulations to our Ambassador Tony

Our Ambassador Tony Wright became British Cycling Ride Leader (Level 2) over the weekend - congratulations Tony!

The qualification is for the delivery of guided bike rides on roads for groups of intermediate and advanced level adults, and covers challenge ride preparation, group riding etiquette, advanced communication, group management across longer distances and challenging terrain, decision making, route planning considerations and managing risks and emergencies in remote environments.

Champions Chat with McKenzie Associates

On the 13th February, seven Starr Trust Champions were invited to attend a workshop about auditioning for theatrical agents and colleges. The workshop, held at McKenzie Associates in Hove, was open to all our performing Champions, whose interests range from musical theatre to opera.

The session was hosted by McKenzie Associates’ Director Lukas Wojcik and their Agent Stuart Dawes - a West End performer who has been working in the industry since he was aged 7. The session included tips on getting your CV noticed, how to make showreels, how to choose material and photos for different audition situations and identifying the Champions’ unique selling points!

Our Champion’s Outreach Manager, Mel, says: “We are extremely grateful to Lukas and Stuart for giving up their time and for coming up with the idea of this workshop to help our young performers get a chance of stepping on the ladder of the entertainment industry. The knowledge they imparted was invaluable and the Champions learnt so much in one morning. The Champions left feeling inspired and motivated to include these tips in their plans to audition for colleges and theatrical agencies.

Read about it on McKenzie Associates’ website here.

14 Mile Marsden March for Cancer

Our lovely supporter Nicholas Taylor of Healys LLP is joining Right Said Fred on 4th March to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity on the 14 mile Marsden March.

Any donations small or large make a huge difference.

Click here spread the word and make a donation.

How to Prepare for Auditions

Our next fantastic Champions Chats event is taking place on Tuesday 13th February at the offices of Mckenzie Associates, a highly respected Talent Management Agency in Hove.

6 of our young Champions will attend this workshop, all of whom are interested in a career in the Performing Arts.

Talent Agent Lukas Wojcik and West End performer Stuart Dawes will offer advice on how to make contact with an agency, signing a contract and what to expect from an agency. They will also offer guidance on writing CVs and getting Headshots done, how to prepare for an audition and the audition process, and how to cope if you don’t hear back! There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and to practice these skills.

Our Champions are incredibly excited to be given this opportunity and we are very grateful to Lukas, Stuart and Mckenzie Associates for kindly donating their time.

 

The Starr Trust Celebrates Children’s Mental Health Week

During Children’s Mental Health Week we are excited to share with you that our young Champion Luana has become a Mental Health Champion at her school and attended some out of school training.

We have also just awarded Luana funding to enable her to continue with her Streetfunk classes at Marina Studios for the next three terms.

She recently made a lovely video (below) about being a young carer for her brother who has autism.


Exciting opportunity for a Champion

We are excited to announce that to celebrate our 10th year, we have partnered with the British Exploring Society, to offer one of our Champions a fantastic opportunity to go on a three week expedition to Canada this July!

Applications are open to Champions aged between 16 and 24.

The Champion will:

  • Trek and climb through the forest, mountains, and valleys of the Yukon, one of the largest wildernesses in North America
  • Wild camp under the midnight sun and if you are lucky see the northern lights!
  • Learn about the geological history and biodiversity in the Yukon, as well as seeing the eerie remnants of the Klondike Gold Rush which have been reclaimed by nature.

The trip costs £3800, however, the Starr Trust will pay the first £3000, and the British Exploring Society will pay £200, which means that the Champion will need to fundraise the remaining £600, and be able to get to and from the training in April and the airport in July.

To apply, Champions are asked to tell us:

  • Why you should be considered for the opportunity
  • What you will gain from the experience
  • How you will share your story after the expedition

You can do this by writing an essay of no more than 500 words, making a video or song - whatever best explains why you want to go.

Please submit your application to mel@starrtrust.com by the 8th February 2018

Click the links below for more information:
Information Pack (PDF)
Fundraising Pack (PDF)

You don’t have much time to apply – we need your applications by the 8th February, so if this is for you GO FOR IT!

If you have any questions, please email mel@starrtrust.com.

Good luck!


 

Exciting King Alfred News!

The £15 million Government funding came through last week, giving the King Alfred redevelopment the green light.

Read all about it here.

Exciting times ahead!

Click here for an editorial from The Argus, February 2018

Can you help us Champion an Olympic Champion?

We’d like to say Good Luck to our wonderful Patron and Olympic Medal winner Robin Cousins who is heading out to Korea on Feb 5th to commentate on the Ice Skating at the Winter Olympics. Talking of Olympics we thought we would share with you some sports news from our Champions.

The Starr Trust helps young people of Sussex be the best they can be, but some of our Champions are really aiming high and already on the road to bringing back Olympic Medals. With your help we can inspire many more young people so why not sign up to one of our brilliant sports events like the 4-day Bike Ride this July and really make a difference.


3 of our young Champions



Hannah took up kayaking after years of being bullied at school. We supported Hannah and her family and she has gone from strength to strength. Hannah has competed both nationally and internationally in Kayak and also competed with Team GB at the Rafting World Championships in Dubai, winning 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.




Shaina loves kickboxing and age 14 qualified to enter the Unified World Championships being held in association with the WKA Association in Florida last October. We helped her to get there and were absolutely thrilled when she came home with the World Title!




Nathan is a wheelchair user and is really good at wheelchair racing but the costs became prohibitively expensive for his family to cover. We bought him a bespoke racing chair and
he has been selected to be part of this year’s Team England 2018 CPISRA World Games in Spain! He’s now following his dream of becoming a Paralympic champion.

Champion’s Mum Raises £258

Huge thanks go out to our Champion Zoë‘s mum Sarah-Jane! She held a raffle at her yoga retreat for us and raised a whopping £258! Brilliant!

Midsummer Ball Launch Party - January 23rd

What a brilliant Launch Party at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Tuesday evening!

Huge thanks to all who came along and to Sascha Koehler and his wonderful Hilton team.

Get your early bird tickets now for our fantastic ‘Midsummer Ball: A Night of Nashville’ and check out all our other fantastic events coming up in this our 10th Birthday year!



Photos by Graham Franks.

Tonight’s The Night!

So excited about tonight’s Midsummer Ball Launch Party: A Night of Nashville, where you can find out who this year’s acts will be!

Come join the fun from 6.30pm at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.

New Year’s Resolutions!

Is getting fitter, losing weight, doing more exercise (or all 3!) something you’d like to achieve in 2018?

If it is then we have just the thing to get you motivated! This July you can join us for our brilliant 4-day Bike Ride, using your pedal power to raise money for young people in Sussex.

The ride leaves Bangor in North Wales, travelling through stunning Snowdonia to Shrewsbury, Stratford upon Avon and Box Hill, continuing back to Brighton’s West Pier. This will be a fantastic and challenging Bike Ride raising money for the Starr Trust.

Now in its third year, our annual Bike Ride is a great opportunity; not only to get fit and set yourself a challenge, but it’s also great fun! You’ll make new friends and enjoy cycling through some truly stunning locations.

Dates: 11th - 15th July 2018. Entrance fee £400 (includes insurance, food and accommodation).

For full T&Cs click here or email: rosie@starrtrust.com.



The route:

Thanks to Sussex Charity Foundation

We are delighted to share with you that we have been awarded £5000 from the Sussex Community Foundation. This is a brilliant start to the year and we are incredibly grateful for their support.

An Update on some of our Champions

Our Champion Luana has become a Mental Health Champion at school, for which she attended some out of school training. Luana is really enjoying her role!





Luana also recently made a super video about having a brother with autism:



Meanwhile, singers Sophie and Sophie are entering a singing class at Springboard Festival in 2018, supported by Brighton and Hove Rotary.

 

 

Champion Hannah Talks to Safety Rocks

Our Champion Hannah talks to Safety Rocks about being bullied at school, taking up Kayaking and becoming a Starr Trust Champion.

Read more here.

 

Starr Trust wins Greatest Contribution to Sussex Charity Award

November 30th 2017

We were absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won the Sussex Business Awards Greatest Contribution to Sussex Charity last week.

Rob Starr and his wife Sharon (pictured) attended the Award Ceremony at the Hilton Brighton Metropole and were delighted when the Starr Trust won this coveted Award.

Our Champion Ava Features In Gemini Print 2018 Calendar

Ava, our young photographer, was asked by our regular supporter Gemini Print to submit some photographs to feature in their 2018 calendar. They have chosen a lovely image of two cows and this will feature in the calendar. Well done to Ava!

Champions Update November 2017

Macy and her sister Kirsty spoke recently at the Brighton and Hove Rotary Club along with Rob Starr about how their donation of £500 had helped Macy attend another term of dance college.




Jasmine performed at Glyndebourne in their production of ‘Belongings’. Our Champions’ Manager Mel Stoner went along with two Champions, sisters Ayala and Sophie (pictured right), who were kindly given free tickets from Glyndebourne, along with Emma Red – who has offered to donate a piano to Jasmine to help her with her studies. It was a stunning opera, and Jasmine was fantastic.

Earlier this year, Jasmine received the prestigious Bill Weston Young Singers Award from Glyndebourne for showing exceptional promise, which resulted in her being granted £1000 to further her studies. 

Well done Jasmine!



Nisar was invited to the Houses of Parliament to speak about his journey as a refugee, travelling from Afghanistan. He also met with Juliet Stevenson, the well known British actress.
Nisar is also involved in the Hummingbird Project, who provide refugee aid and solidarity in the UK.

 

 

Winter Extravaganza raises £28,000!

Huge thanks to all for helping us raise the biggest amount of money from any event ever!

We kicked off the festive season early this year with a brilliant fundraising evening. Held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on 18th November, the Regency Suite glittered and sparkled with the help of David Hill from E3 Entertainment.

Our ‘Winter Musical Extravaganza: A Night at the Movies’ featured live entertainment from the talented Starr Trust Singers and some hilarious compèring from Mark Yexley. The cast wore dazzling costumes and put on a fabulous show with musical medleys from the movies.

Guests were treated to a champagne reception followed by a delicious 3-course festive dinner and late night disco, and the evening ran like clockwork thanks to Sascha Koehler and his wonderful team at the Hilton.

Our Events Manager Tracey says “We are incredibly grateful to everyone that came and supported us. Our legendary Starr Trust Singers entertained 245 guests and the evening raised over £27,000 which is an incredible achievement. We couldn’t have managed this without our generous headline sponsor Drum Technologies, supported by Curation Corporation and Gemini Print. Local businesses also donated truly fantastic prizes which all helped raise money for the young people of Sussex. We can’t wait to see everyone again at our Winter Ball next year on November 17th.

Gemini Print Team
Nick Taylor with Stacey and Jonathon Bunn
John and Kerry from Drum
Jonathon Sothcott of Hereford Films with Janine Narissa and Nick Taylor
Michael Rogers and Lyndsey Brett of Design Interiors

Photos by Graham Franks Photography

Starr Trust Team wins Cardens Charity Quiz Night

November 9th 2017

Big congrats to our Fundraising Manager Trish Starr and her brilliant team for winning first prize at Cardens Accountants Charity Quiz Night at the County Cricket Ground, Hove.

The evening raised an incredible £4,022 and Cardens will kindly be sharing the money between ourselves and their other chosen charity RISE.

Huge thanks to Cardens for their generosity.

Read more in The Argus here.

Our Champion Nathan Selected For The CPISRA World Games

We are so excited and proud to announce that our young Champion Nathan has been selected for Team England for the 2018 CPISRA World Games in Spain!

He’s worked so hard and truly deserves this opportunity!

Huge congratulations to Nathan and his family from all of us at the Starr Trust.

The Starr Trust Celebrates Helping over 4000 Kids

Last Thursday we held our annual Celebration Night; our favourite event of the year where we celebrate the lives and achievements of the 4580 young people we’ve helped over the past 9 years, and thank all those businesses and individuals who have made it possible. Over 200 people came together at the Sussex County Cricket Ground, where supporters had the chance to meet the young people whose lives have been transformed by their generosity.

It was a truly wonderful evening. The Boundary Rooms at the Cricket Ground were buzzing and we were thrilled to see so many of our supporters there. Local businesses including the Hilton Brighton Metropole, The Implant Centre, Crunch Accounting, Gemini Print, Teleticket, E3 and Drum were only a few of the many who attended and we’re so grateful for their continued support.

During the evening many families spoke of how our Edward Starr Awards had turned their children’s lives around. One of our Champion’s mums Maya talked about the financial difficulties her family had faced and how since receiving an award to help with his basketball costs, her 13 year old son Bako is now thriving and was recently chosen to play for Storm Basketball Club, one of the largest and most successful basketball clubs in the South East of England.

Highlights of the evening included recitals from 2 of our talented young Champions; Jasmine is an opera singer awarded a grant to attend the Guildhall and Zoe is now flourishing at drama school and spoke of how much her confidence has grown since receiving her award. The audience also heard from a young stage manager Connor Lovejoy who received his award 6 years ago and went on to graduate from the Brit School and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

We would like to thank all the lovely businesses and other supporters who came along and made the evening one of the best so far. As we go forward into our 10th year, next year’s Celebration Night will be very special indeed.



Skybreak Celebrates its 25th Birthday

Skybreak celebrated 25 years in business last week with a fantastic birthday party at the beautiful i360 in Brighton. As the Starr Trust is the chosen charity of their sister company, Teleticket, we were invited to join them!

Teleticket will support us over the next twelve months with a range of team fundraising activities, auction prizes and Champion Day Trips within the South East of England.

It was a fabulous celebration as you will see from the photographs. There was even some birthday cake!

 

Winter Extravaganza Launch Party

Our fabulous Winter Extravaganza Launch party went off with a bang last Thursday evening, thanks to David Hill our event organiser at E3 Entertainment and our event sponsors at Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Guests were treated to delicious canapés and champagne and enjoyed a sneak preview of some of the Winter Ball ‘Night at the Movies’ songs, sung by the incredibly talented Starr Trust Singers.
We can’t wait to see them in full swing at the Hilton on November 18th. Go to our Events page for more details.

Guests in photos below included:
Julia Beard, Gemini Print Group
Simon Nicholson, Handelsbanken.co.uk
Matt Turner and James Turner, Creative Pod
David Elphick, Juice Brighton
JordanWebb, We are Echo
Starr Trust included:  Rob Starr, Tracey Starr, Trish Starr and Nicole Carman
Volunteers and Ambassadors included: Della Hart, Susan Starr and Tony Wright.

Brighton College School Children Raise over £340 for us!

We are delighted to share with you that the lovely young people of Brighton College kindly went down to Tesco on Church Road in Hove last week, helping customers to bag pack. They managed to collect an incredible £343!

We will be using this money to buy chocolates for 300 kids attending this year’s Xmas Panto with ABC Children’s Charity on December 21st.

Many thanks to Tesco’s Community Champion Tracey Colburn and everyone involved.

Our Champion Nathan in the Media

Our young Champion Nathan continues to get media attention for his incredible Diana Award for services to wheelchair racing. Click here to read the story in Brighton & Hove Independent.

Young Champion Nathan chats to Allison Ferns live on BBC Sussex – Monday 11 September

Our young Champion Nathan recently won a prestigious Diana Award for his services to wheelchair racing, and popped into the BBC Monday afternoon to appear live on the Allison Ferns show. He talked about his love of wheelchair racing, his fastest times, getting a bronze medal in London’s mini marathon and racing downhill in his chair at 25 miles an hour!



Photo (L-R): Nicole Carman, Starr Trust PR Manager; Nathan Freeman, Starr Trust Champion; Kim Freeman, Nathan’s mother; and Allison Ferns from the BBC.



Listen to this amazing young man who has already achieved so much at just 14 years old:




Check out Nathan’s website here.

Starr Water Wars Press Coverage

Check out this feature in The Argus on our multi sport event ‘Starr Water Wars’.

12 teams of local businesses battled it out at Hove Lagoon Watersports, going head to head in fun activities such as paddle boarding, kayak water polo, raft building and sailing. Back on dry land there was plenty to keep the kids entertained from crazy golf, pirate island paddle boarding and trampolines to face painting and hair braiding.




Read the online article here.

Teleticket nominates the Starr Trust as its Charity Partner!

Teleticket, the agent friendly flight consolidator has nominated us as their Corporate Charity Partner and we could not be more excited!



Michelle Wheatley, Customer Engagement Manager at Teleticket said:
“With our close proximity to Brighton, our team chose to support a local charity who really bring the best out in people. The work and support that Starr Trust provides for young people in the community is crucial to the development and implementation of their chosen sport”.

Our Chairman Rob Starr also commented:
“Support from local business is vital to enable us to continue looking after our existing Champions and to help us fund new Champions to be the very best that they can be.  We were absolutely thrilled to be informed by Teleticket that they have chosen the Starr Trust as their charity partner and I know that together we will be able to help so many more children in the city”.

Teleticket will support us over the next twelve months with a range of team fundraising activities, auction prizes and Champion Day Trips within the South East of England.

Teleticket offers flights with no surprises for the agents’ customers. There are no added extras, no check-in charges and no luggage charges. ATOL bonded and licensed with the CAA, Teleticket has been supplying flights to the travel trade for almost two decades.

Champions Updates September 2017

Our Champion Mia is busy fundraising this Autumn, even after she underwent a recent hip operation.
Having recently taken part in the first UK Disability Pride event held in Brighton on 9th July, and having watched her Daddy recently abseil off Peacehaven Cliffs for the Martlets Hospice, Mia is returning to her own fund raising activities.
On the 3rd September she is taking part in the big Parallel London event at the Olympic stadium where she is (for the second year) entering the 1km Sensory event, this year raising money for Rett UK, the national organisation supporting her condition.
On 23rd September she is taking part in her first 5km Colour run. Mia will be using that as an opportunity to raise the final amount to pay for the additional speech equipment to accompany the Eye Gaze equipment that we recently funded.
On 30th September, she will be doing her 3rd annual Altzheimer’s Society, 5km Memory walk in memory of her step Grandad Tony Gallup. She’s even managed to rope in another 8 people to join her!
She hopes to take part in the annual Santa Dash in December.



Our Champion singer Daisy from Brighton played Eponine from Les Miserables in the recent production by Bird Studios at the Old Market in Brighton.



Champion singer and actress Iona played Audrey in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Lewes Old Grammar school, directed by the brilliant Rachel Munro in the Music Department.



Our young farmer Lee has gained a place on the two year Agriculture course - Level 1 - one day a week.



Champion dancer Jessie-Jae features in the new video for ‘Pumping the Beats Out’ by Choc ft. Mc Buzz:



Champion’s Chats
Six Champions had a fantastic time at Neil Laughton’s house, chatting about self belief. You can read more here. Mel is currently working on future chats at Gatwick, Raystede Animal Sanctuary, Isle of Wight and Hisbe.

Meet some of our Champions:

 

Starr Water Wars raises in excess of £4000 – Sunday Sep 3rd

Last Sunday we held our ever popular Family Fun Day at Hove Lagoon and managed to raise an incredible £4000 with money continuing to come in.

Our multi sport event ‘Starr Water Wars’ saw 12 teams of local businesses battle it out at Hove Lagoon Watersports. The teams of 4 went head to head in fun activities such as paddle boarding, kayak water polo, raft building and sailing. Back on dry land there was plenty to keep the kids entertained from crazy golf, pirate island paddle boarding and trampolines to face painting and hair braiding.

Our very own local DJ Guy Lloyd of Juice FM Brighton was the host with the most and brought with him a fantastic party atmosphere and presented the coveted First Prize to Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel, with Sheridan Coopers and Team Webb in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

Families and friends from all over Sussex came along to support the teams and delicious refreshments were provided by Lagoon Watersports with meat for the BBQ from Steyning Butchers.

Our Events Manager Rosie said “The day couldn’t have gone any better with so many teams getting involved and Guy Lloyd helping to create a fantastic party atmosphere. We are so grateful to all the businesses that took part and also to our event sponsors, Beales of Worthing, Airsprung and Drum Technologies Brighton for their support. In excess of £4000 was raised which will help local youngsters achieve their goals in Art, Sport and Education”.

Huge thanks go out to:

Our Event Sponsors:
Airsprung
Beales of Worthing
Drum Technologies Brighton

All the Teams that took part:
West Dogs (Westbeach Properties and The Little Doggy Daycare)
Hilton Brighton Metropole
Beales of Worthing
Seico Insurance
Crunch Accounting
Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel
Bluetone Communications
Sheridan Coopers
Team Webb
Premier Marina (Brighton Marina)

Special Thanks go out to:
Steyning Butchers for proving all the bbq meat for free
Rachel Langridge from Santander George Street who ran the raffle with other volunteers and price matched.
Hove Lagoon Watersports for running the event and the BBQ.
Sainsbury’s on Western Road for providing all the bread rolls.
Marina Dance Studio who provided some fantastic entertainment with 45 of their young dancers.
ABC Marquees who donated the marquee on the day.
Gemini Print who printed the programmes
Hove Lagoon Pirates for the Mini Golf
Last but not least a big thanks to Guy Lloyd from Juice FM Brighton for being our lovely compère for the day and entertaining all the supporters with music and for calling the raffle.


Congratulations to the winning team: Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel, followed in second place by Sheridan Coopers and third place by Team Webb.
Front row-1st Jurys Inn
2nd Sheridan Coopers
3rd Team Webb


Sussex Butcher of the Year – Please help!

Please vote for the lovely Steyning Butchers http://www.steyningbutchers.co.uk/ who so kindly provided us with all the meat for our BBQ at Starr Water Wars last Sunday.

http://www.sussexfoodawards.biz/vote/

Go to the ‘Sussex Butcher of the Year’ Category and find Steyning Butchers. Thanks all!!

1Up Brighton

Are you aged 14-19?
Into music, gaming, the environment, sport or art?

1Up Brighton is a one-off, free event to help young people discover how to get more out of life in Brighton & Hove.

-Take part in interactive music workshops
-Explore Brighton in minecraft using virtual reality
-Try pop up pottery
& lots more!

August 17th, 2017
The Basement, Brighton
2-5pm

Don’t miss out, get your free ticket: click here.

We look forward to seeing our Champions there!

Our Champion Nathan Wins A Diana Award

Champion Nathan recently received a Diana Award for his services to wheelchair racing. The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. Nathan was one of 750 young people in the UK and around the world to receive one. The award is committed to fostering, inspiring and developing positive change in the lives of young people through practical social action. Today The Diana Award has the support of both her sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

All the award winners – who come from every region in the UK and USA, Canada, UAE, India, Belize, Australia, Greece, Indonesia, Croatia, Jersey, New Zealand, and Liberia –  have had a monumental impact on society and lives of those in their communities. Many of them only know Princess Diana as a historical figure but they carry the honour of the Diana Award with pride and admiration for whose memory it was set up in.

Well done Nathan – we are really proud of you!

See Nathan in our latest video:

Thanks to Richard Patching

Richard Patching has been busy swimming and fundraising for us and has managed to raise around £1000 for us!

He swam with some members of the Brighton Swim Club (BSC) last month which included our very own Rob Starr. He swam from the West Pier to the Palace Pier, around both, which was 1.8km exactly. He told us that he was swimming for his grandfather Donald Patching who was a BSC member and a great swimmer, and also for Maisy who is learning to swim at the King Alfred. Richard told us his swim went well and he is now himself a member of the BSC.

A brilliant achievement! Huge thanks to Richard for fundraising for us.


         

 

Our Supporter John takes on the Challenge of a Lifetime

August 2017

Please help our lovely loyal supporter, John Pattison, who is taking on the challenge of a lifetime! His aim is to complete two Ironman triathlons on the same weekend in Vichy, France this month. In John’s own words “quite a challenge for a 62 year old grandfather!

After some injuries John has been bravely training since October 2016 between long periods of work away from home and will be fundraising for St. Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley. He really needs our support; please donate here.

King Alfred Bike Ride

Congratulations to all our bikers!

The King Alfred Bike Ride raised over £11,000 and counting!

Between 12th and 16th July 2017, our bikers cycled through the beautiful King Alfred countryside of Somerset, Hampshire and Sussex taking in Glastonbury, Cheddar Gorge, Bristol, King Alfred Tower at Bruton, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Winchester Cathedral and Petersfield.

Click here to make a donation

.
You can continue to donate until September.


                                                           


Brilliant Show ‘All or Nothing’ raises over £1000!

Huge thanks to the production team and audience of the brilliant show ‘All or Nothing’ and to our amazing volunteers for raising over £1000 for us! Thank you!

Champions’ Chat – ‘Believe in Yourself!’  with Neil Laughton

18th July 2017

Six of our Champions had a fun packed few hours this week, when they attended our latest Champions’ Chat.

The chat, which was all about self belief, was held at the amazing home of Neil Laughton. Neil is a former Royal Marine Commando and Special Forces Officer turned entrepreneur. He founded a group of companies in the design, construction and office furniture industries which grew to £40m turnover and was then sold to a FTSE 100 company in 2011. His awards include the Ness Award for “inspirational leadership” from the Royal Geographical Society and clients include B&Q, Virgin Atlantic and BP.

Neil and his family welcomed the Champions, and the next half an hour was dedicated to fun – with the Champions playing air hockey, table tennis and meeting many different animals. The Champions were then given a spin in Neil’s Sky Car – the first road legal bio-fuelled flying car. This was a highlight for the Champions and the alpacas watched on as our Champions span around the grounds. It was certainly exhilarating.

The group then sat down and were set the task of thinking about what was most important to them, what they were good at and one thing they wanted to achieve one day. The Champions all contributed with their thoughts and aspirations. Amongst the things most important to them were family, music and education and their goals included using IT to help others, visiting Japan and making music.

Neil told the group a bit about his personal journey – he had been told by a headmaster at school that he wouldn’t pass a single exam, but through hard work, determination and self belief he proved the headmaster wrong. He did pass his exams, and has gone on to have the most fantastic experiences.

Neil also has a passion for adventure and he has led numerous expeditions across 7 Continents – by land, sea and air. He summited Mount Everest with Bear Grylls, circumnavigated the UK on a jet ski and piloted a flying car across the Sahara Desert.

Later in the day, Neil went on to show the group his memory shelf, which displayed items he’d collected - including a piece of rock from the top of Mount Everest, sand from the Sahara Desert and air from the South Pole.

The Champions discussed how they should give things a go so they wouldn’t regret not having tried and that if they worked hard, and believed in themselves they had every chance of achieving their dreams. They concluded that whilst it was good to have a back-up plan, they should not lose sight of their dreams, and that life is about moments and memories.

For the final part of the event, Neil split the Champions into two groups and set them a challenge – to cross the swimming pool to the other side, using only the materials they could find, and without getting wet. The teams managed to get across – and no-one fell in!

After a huge thank you to Neil and his family for a wonderful time, (and the chance for one lucky Champion to drive the Sky Car – which he’d stated was one of his goals) the Champions left feeling inspired and there was a lot of discussion on the journey home about their experience.

The Starr Trust would like to say a HUGE thanks to Neil, Oscar, Scarlett and Amber for their generosity in giving the Champions a day to remember and for inspiring them. As one Champion said “when can we do that again? It was AWESOME!

Neil told us “It was an absolute pleasure to have the Starr Trust Champions at Laughton & Co HQ where we ensured they had fun, discussed some important issues and they were set the difficult challenge of building half a raft and collaborating with others to ensure safe passage across the swimming pool. They performed far better than most corporate teams that have attempted this team building exercise!

Midsummer Ball In The Argus

Read about the success of the Midsummer Ball, which featured the Starr Trust as one of its chosen charities, in The Argus - click here to read the article.

Hooray for Hove and Portslade

Hove Business Association teamed up with Hove Museum and Art Gallery and The Starr Trust to put on one of its biggest events on Wednesday 5th July.

It is called Hooray for Hove and Portslade and the gallery hosted 140 guests, including Mo Marsh, mayor of Brighton and Hove.

Strawberries and fresh cream, courtesy of the Blatchington Road Co-op, and pimms and fizz donated by Matthew Clark were available. There was live entertainment from local duo Melissa and Reece.

Brighton Yoga Foundation were on site to help guests relax after a hard day at work.

Many thanks to Rob Reaks of the Hove Business Association for choosing us as their charity of choice.

 

Midsummer Ball Raises £100,000

We were delighted to have been chosen as one of 4 charities at the Hilton Brighton Metropole’s annual Midsummer Ball on June 24th. The theme this year was ‘A Night at the Musicals’ and our Chairman Rob Starr alongside Patron Robin Cousins wowed the audience of almost 450 guests with their memorable performance from Hairspray.

The evening has raised an incredible £100,000! The Hilton’s own charity arm, the DM Foundation for Young People will share the proceeds between The Starr Trust, and other local charities Chailey Heritage Foundation, Chestnut Tree House and Action Medical Research, who all work to improve the lives and prospects of children and young people living in Sussex.

The event sponsor was Skerritts and the evening kicked off with bubbles and canapes in the gallery overlooking the stunning ballroom and stage below, which totally dazzled thanks to PSAV, E3 and Gemini Print. Guests were then led downstairs where they were treated to a truly impressive 3-course dinner where the Hilton staff really pulled out all the stops. There was plenty of fabulous entertainment from all the participating charities, with games and dancing and even some fantastic bumper cars provided by Carden Accountants.

Our Events Manager Tracey said “we are totally thrilled with how much money was raised and so thankful to Sascha Koehler and his staff at the Hilton who never fail to deliver and impress. We would be honoured and thrilled if there’s a chance to be involved again next year”.

Launch of the Big Screen – June 27th

We are very excited to announce that we have been chosen as Charity of Choice by The Big Screen Brighton 2017. We were invited to the Skyline Bar at the Brighton Centre for the launch party on June 27th.

Rob Starr spoke on behalf of the Starr Trust and thanked Bill Murray at Murray Media for supporting us through the Big Screen.

Other businesses supporting the Big Screen are:

IBIS hotel
Orangina
Camden Beer
British Street Food

An Update On Some Of Our Champions

Some words from runner Stephen:
“Since injury it has taken a few months to get confidence and fitness back, but through training sessions and speaking to people I am slowly moving forward positively. I have competed on three occasions this year.

First race was the Sussex Road Relays at Christ Hospital where I was really pleased with my performance, finishing third overall fastest behind two great runners Charlie Grice and Spencer Thomas. A few weeks later I competed in the first British Athletics League Competition in Crawley K2 arena, where the race was tactical so my finishing time was not great. However came away with a victory pulling away 600m to go with last fast 400m.

On Wednesday 31st May I competed at the Brighton Phoenix Open BMC, where I competed in the 3000m and came away with another victory. Since I am not fully fit yet and not where I would like to be, I was disappointed with my time.”



Congratulations to Jessie-Jae for her theatre school performance on Saturday 3rd June.
The show, which featured students of Goldman’s Theatre School in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne was held at Roedean Theatre.

Mel and Alex from the Starr Trust went along to support her. Mel says: “It was great to see Jessie-Jae on stage – we loved the colourful tap number and Jessie-Jae’s singing in ‘A Million Reasons’ was beautiful. From the beam on Jessie’s face, she was clearly having a wonderful time doing what she loves most”.



Some words from photographer Ava:

“Hi all, just a quick update on my photography project and grant from the Starr Trust.

The money from the Starr Trust has enabled me to get all that I need to progress with my Gold Photography Arts project – to buy photography, video and audio software, to buy a new camera and to pay for meetings with my mentors – Lindsey Smith and Sarah Pain. They have guided me through the Arts Award structure and to complete the assignments.

Recently, I have made leaps and bounds with my Award.

First, I have made my short film; ‘In the Nightmare’. I have posted it up on YouTube and Facebook so that I can hear people’s thoughts on it. The comments on the film had all been positive and in some, people have told me about what they fear. 

After that, I wrote an essay on the roles of woman in horror films and whether their involvement had improved or not. I concluded that the roles of woman in the modern era have been getting better thanks to more women becoming involved in horror and writing and directing films.

For the second part of my award, I am currently planning an event where artwork about people’s fears (both understandable and ‘silly’) are discussed and showcased. The event will feature opportunities to talk with audiences about their fears and/or display photos, films, songs, poems and other art forms about their fears and how they view them.

This event will be the climax of all my work. I’m hoping for the event to occur in July or August. I’m hoping to invite the artists that I know and even send an invitation to other young artists who have won awards from the Starr Trust to attend and possibly display work if they would like.

I feel that my project is going according to plan. I’ve received positive feedback for my photography from the Varndean photography course leader who has recommended me for A level photography - a key aim of applying for an award from the Starr Trust in the first place was to enable me to move on to level 3 photography at Varndean.

Thank you so much to the Starr Trust for their generous award – it has helped me so much!”

Hooray For Hove And Portslade

Summer. Think of Strawberries. Pimms. Garden parties. Warm summer evenings. Laughter. Hove Business Association brings you ‘Hooray for Hove and Portslade’
.
Join HBA for the first Hove Museum garden party in a very, very long time. Enjoy the beautiful gardens - with fresh English strawberries and cream, refreshing Pimms, live singers and the opportunity to meet your new Mayor – Cllr Mo Marsh.

This exclusive and unique Summer Garden Party at Hove Museum and Art Gallery - hosted by Hove Business Association – is a relaxed and informal drinks reception for people who work or do business in Hove and Portslade.

Brighton Yoga Foundation will be on site to help you relax and unwind after a hard day at work.

Supporting the Starr Trust.

Prize raffle on sale - bring some cash!



Hove Museum Gardens

Wednesday 5th July 4.30pm – 7.30pm

Tickets £15 (+booking fee). Click here to book.

Tickets £15 per person (+bkg fee). Due to limited capacity please book early to avoid disappointment. If it rains, the event will be held inside the museum.

Click here to book your tickets.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors are passionate about inspiring others to help our Champions. They have a personal connection with the Starr Trust, which has affected them. Our honorary Ambassadors are our representatives, who help us build community connections. We are extremely grateful for the huge impact their contributions make to the Starr Trust.



Claire Clements

I am incredibly honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for the Starr Trust, the Trust has touched the lives of my family in such an enormously beneficial and supportive way, helping to positively change the direction of my daughter’s life.
As a family we owe the Trust a huge debt of gratitude and we have endeavoured to help the Trust in any way possible - becoming an ambassador will allow me to further support the trust to help other young people and continue their amazing work.




Tony Wright

I am humbled and honoured to be recognised for the work I do as Ambassador in the community for Starr Trust.
I have known the Starr family for a number of years. Through my involvement in sport I have held fundraising events to raise funds and the profile of the charity.
What made me get more involved was the fact that I felt an empathy to the young people benefitting and it really struck a chord with me. As a young child I was bullied as I had dyslexia which in those days wasn’t diagnosed early on and became overweight. This then caused me to have low self esteem and no self confidence. By giving back through my time and hopefully inspiring others to follow I feel that I am helping the local young community to have a chance that was not there for me.

Young Chefs Cook up a Storm

Photo from left: 3 Northbrook college student chefs, Abigail Illes, Russell Williams of Bailiffscourt Hotel, Robert Whittington (chef winner), and Richard Hopton of Hilton Brighton Metropole





This June young up-and-coming chefs from Northbrook College went head to head in a ‘MasterChef’ style evening, cooking up some exquisite food for 80 guests whilst raising an incredible £2184 for us.

Assisted by their college tutors and mentored by Russell Williams of Bailiffscourt Hotel, the two trainee chefs, Abigail Illes and Robert Whittington, created some culinary magic with a 6-course menu where diners voted on the winning dishes. Russell told us “this year the students were even more enthusiastic as they are from families with catering backgrounds. Both menus were creative and inspired and where possible they used seasonal produce. Robert won by the smallest of margins but both chefs and teams did incredibly well and worked really hard”.

Diners enjoyed a glass of champagne upon arrival in the lovely Arundel restaurant on campus and went on to critique delicious dishes that included a port marinated foie gras ballontine with caramelised pear puree, truffled french beans and red onion focaccia.

The winning chef Robert is currently working at Bailiffscourt as well as attending college. He told us “Cooking for the Starrs was a brilliant evening. It was really exciting to write my own menu and to organise my team who worked with me. For anyone thinking about college, it’s really worth working at the same time as doing your course, so you can get some practical experience”. Head of Department at Northbrook, Peter Whiffen, added “this event provides a great experience and allows our students to hopefully move on and gain employment in a competitive world and we love being able to support local charities”.

Tracey Narvaez, our Events Manager, said “this sold out event is now in its third year and we’re so grateful to Russell for his time and expertise, to the hard working college tutors who put in extra hours to run this event and to Sascha Koehler and Brighton Hilton Metropole for their continued sponsorship.  Not only do they help financially, they also provide the students with anything practical they may need in order to showcase their food. The event is a real collaboration and even local suppliers donated food and drink. We couldn’t be more thrilled”.

Here’s a lovely message we received from one of our diners on the night:
Thank you very much indeed for organising such a fabulous evening last night. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Your hard work certainly paid off.

We thought the students did an excellent job. Every student we spoke to was obviously passionate about food, and it was reflected in the excellent plates of food they produced. It is a shame that there could only be one winner. The final scores reflected this.

Many thanks to all the students, the support they were given, by the administrators, the chef from Bailiffs Court, and the Hilton Metropole, and to all those behind the scenes. Great team work.



Photos by Jim Browning





Huge thanks go out to the suppliers listed below who have all kindly donated to this event:

200 Years Since The First Organised Bike Ride

In 1817, the first verifiable bicycle was born and this week is the 200th anniversary of the first organised bike ride.

Why not celebrate this by signing up to our amazing 4-day King Alfred Bike Ride, cycling through gorgeous countryside from Somerset back to Sussex!

Get a Pack here or get more details here.

We need your sponsorship to help us win!

Please sponsor our CEO Rob Starr and our Patron Robin Cousins who will be dressing up and performing songs from Hairspray at our ‘Night at the Musicals’ Midsummer Ball on June 24th at Hilton Brighton Metropole - it will be epic!

Click here to go to their Everyday Hero Page.

As ever, your support is much appreciated!

To book, contact nicky.willard@hilton.com or call 01273 775432 and please remember to choose us as your favoured charity.

One Great Day

On Saturday June 3rd we were invited by Debbie Rathbone (of New River Retail in the Martlets Shopping Centre in Burgess Hill) to do a collection and promote the Starr Trust alongside other businesses, on behalf of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The event was called ‘One Great Day’ and took place outside the Montague Centre in Worthing.

We managed to raise an amazing £109 and would like to thank Debbie Rathbone, Trish Starr, Della Hart and Susan Starr and all who came along and supported us.

A Champion Performance

Congratulations to our Champion Jessie-Jae for her theatre school performance on Saturday 3rd June.

The show, which featured students of Goldman’s Theatre School in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne was held at Roedean Theatre.

Mel and Alex from the Starr Trust went along to support her. Mel says: “It was great to see Jessie-Jae on stage – we loved the colourful tap number and Jessie-Jae’s singing in ‘A Million Reasons’ was beautiful. From the beam on Jessie’s face, she was clearly having a wonderful time doing what she loves most”.

Warm Up Bike Ride

For all those joining us for our King Alfred Bike Ride, this week’s warmup rides will be:

  • Thursday at midday at the Peace Statue for a 2 hour ride.
  • Saturday at 9.30am at the sea side of the King Alfred for a longer ride.

See you there!

An Update On Some Of Our Champions

Tennis player Alicia has been extremely busy over the past few months. She spent a couple of weeks in Nottingham, firstly competing in a Tennis Europe event where she lost in the quarter finals to a Polish girl. The second week she played her first Junior ITF tournament - these are 18U age group so it’s a big step up and also gives her the opportunity to get a world ranking! She did really well and won her qualifying rounds to get into the main draw which is a great achievement, unfortunately she lost first round of the main draw to the eventual winner (who was ranked around 340 in the world) - but this has given her a great benchmark to aim for.

Shortly after her return she was selected to represent Sussex in the 14U Girls County Cup team - they travelled to Carlisle over the Bank Holiday weekend and won their group. This weekend the Sussex Team is back in Nottingham playing in the National County Cup Finals - we’ve all got our fingers crossed for them!

Alicia has been invited back to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton for a 4 day National Training Camp - an extremely tough few days but a great experience to live and train alongside many of the professional players.

Alicia will also be interviewed at Brighton’s Big Screen this summer.

Runner Stephen is currently managing his time between a job, studies and training. To help him out with this, our Trustee Rich Bates has offered to conduct some one to one Time Management training with him.

Nathan, our wheelchair racer, is doing really well this season so far. His biggest achievement has been to compete in his first London Mini Marathon where he came 3rd, completing the 3 mile course in 20:23 - his first British Athletics medal!

Cricketer Nisar is settling into life in Brighton. He has joined Karbelzalmi cricket team, following his shopping trip to buy cricket equipment, and has passed the aural part of his English exam. He is currently looking to get some funding for his weekly cricket tournament.

May 11th - Win Some Fantastic Prizes!

If you’re on either Facebook or Twitter, share our post or re-tweet about the Bike Ride on today’s page and you could win these fabulous prizes!









             
3 Brighton Palace Pier wristbands for unlimited rides on any day you choose.
Two-week Trial Membership for 2 to use all the facilities at the prestigious David Lloyd Centres.


Get sharing and we will do the prize draw next Thursday 16th May.

Meet the Mayor and Learn About Our Bike Ride!

Come along today and support us at Brighton Palace Pier from 1-4pm and meet our lovely Mayor of Brighton & Hove who will be there at 1pm. Our Ambassador Tony Wright will be promoting our 12-16 July Bike Ride on his static bike where you can cycle the route of our King Alfred to King Alfred Bike Ride through beautiful Somerset, Hampshire and Sussex countryside and help raise money for local young people.

Click here to learn more about our Bike Ride
Click here to download your Bike Ride Entry Pack

An Update on our Champion Nisar

Big thanks to Jack at Nick Rivett Sport in Hove who helped our Champion Nisar choose his cricket equipment and gave us a great deal! Nisar was kitted out with a new cricket bat, shin pads, shoes, helmet and gloves, and is thrilled! We look forward to hearing how Nisar gets on in his tournament!

Bike Ride Meeting

Bikers! Please note, our meeting on 2nd April has unfortunately been cancelled, but we will be holding a bike ride meeting on Saturday 22nd April. There will be a bike ride starting at the King Alfred Leisure Centre at 9.30am, and the meeting will take place at 11.

If you or someone you know is interested in coming to the meeting to hear all about this brilliant 4-day cycling trip please email rosie@starrtrust.com.

Secure Your Place For Starr Water Wars 2017!

Twelve teams of four battle it out to become the champions!

Secure your place in this fun, exhilarating charity event with action packed activities. Be prepared to get wet!

£300 per team - Corporate Package

Hove Lagoon Watersports
Kingsway, Hove, BN3 4LX

For more information email rosie@starrtrust.com or call 01273 715882.




Sponsored by:
Drum Instant Web Meetings
Beales Department Stores
Airsprung Beds

Seaford Head Golf Club Donate £1445

Huge thanks go out to the lovely team at Seaford Head Golf Club who selected us as their Charity of Choice and managed to raise an amazing £1,445 for us. As ever we are so very grateful for all their support.

Our Fundraising Team went out to collect the cheque and met with Adele Wakefield, Ladies’ Captain 2017 (left of photo); Ian Norris, Club Captain 2016; and Shelagh Miller, Ladies’ Captain 2016.


 

Starr Trust Champions’ Workshops

At the Starr Trust we are always looking for new ways to best support our Champions, old and new, and we’ve come up with an exciting programme of workshops for them. March 23rd saw the launch, and based on suggestions from the Champions themselves, we kicked off with ‘teambuilding’, hosted by our guest speaker Claire Clements. 

Claire told us: “When the Starr Trust asked if I could run a team building session for their champions, I jumped at the chance. My daughter is a Champion having received funding after a difficult time at school so I like to give back whenever I can. These sessions offer young people the chance to get to know others in a similar situation as themselves which is so important. It was wonderful to watch them working together to accomplish the tasks. I had one of the most enjoyable afternoons, with a group of incredible young adults”.

The Champions were split into teams and had to work together during two games: the first involved building a tall tower from spaghetti and marshmallows, and the second, decorating cakes whilst blindfolded! We wanted these events to help our Champions feel a part of the Starr Family, to get to know each other better, share experiences and learn new skills. The afternoon was a huge success and our Champions made friends, swapped numbers and helped each other out. Going forward we will be looking to cover other subjects such as mental coaching and building self-confidence.

The feedback afterwards from the Champions was really positive and they were all excited about the next meet up. Jessie Jae, aged 14, told us “it was great coming along to the Starr Trust’s recent Champions event. I had a great time and met new friends, who helped build my confidence and it was also really great fun. The activities were also enjoyable to do and even better to eat! It was really nice to catch up with a champion I met a few years back. I feel like part of a family when I meet other champions. I hope the Trust does more events for us kids as it was great fun”.

This Mother’s Day the Starr Trust Celebrates the Lives of Three Amazing Mums!

All mums are amazing! – we know that – but as Mothering Sunday fast approaches we would like to give a very special shout out to 3 mums in particular:

  • Claire Clements
  • Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
  • Kim Freeman

Claire is mum to one of our champions Hannah. She helped her daughter overcome an incredibly tough time at school. She reached out to us and supported Hannah with a new passion - kayaking and rafting. Since taking up these sports Hannah has turned her life around, so much so that she came back from Dubai recently with 5 medals for Team GB! Claire is now a Volunteer with us and her continued support (and cakes!) are legendary.

Kim is another amazing mum whose son Nathan was born with cerebral palsy and who approached us for help with paying for a racing wheelchair for him. Kim managed to get Nathan into a brilliant school and we even heard his dulcet tones on BBC Radio Sussex recently. He absolutely loves chair racing and says it makes him feel like he is running. His dream is to take part in the Paralympics.

These two mums met at our annual ‘Celebration Night’ last year and as a result, Claire reached out to her friend, a third amazing mum – Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Crossbench Life Peer in the House of Lords and Paralympian.

Tanni has amassed a remarkable medal haul over 16 years with five Paralympic Games of 11 gold medals, 4 silver and a bronze and continues to be involved in sport; she is a Board Member of the London Marathon, the Sportsaid Foundation, Transport for London, and many more.

Claire arranged for Nathan to meet Tanni and her husband Ian to give him some inspirational training on his wheelchair racing. The meeting was a huge success for everyone.

Tanni told us “It’s lovely to meet a young man who has so much drive and enthusiasm for the sport, and so willing to listen to advice. He obviously spends a lot of time watching wheelchair racing on the internet which is a great way to learn about who is in the sport and how they compete. I really hope that he continues to enjoy the sport and I can’t wait to see him compete this season”.

Kim shared this with us “We’re really grateful to Claire, Hannah and The Starr Trust for making the meeting happen. Nathan learnt so much from Tanni and her husband Ian, not just about the technical elements of wheelchair racing, but also practical tips and encouragement. We were really grateful for the amount of time Tanni & Ian spent with us and Nath left feeling really inspired to train harder and work on the elements they had advised”.

Happy Mother’s Day to brilliant mums everywhere making great things happen!

 

An Update on our Champion Alicia

In February half term our Champion Alicia headed to the 16U National Tennis Event where she won her way through two qualifying matches into the main draw. Her performance earned her a place back at Roehampton in March, this time for the 16U National Winter Tour Finals.

A few days later she travelled to Southampton to play for Sussex in the 18U Girls County Cup event. At 13, she was the youngest member of the team and won all her singles and doubles matches which was a great achievement. Overall Sussex won their group, beating Derbyshire, Dorset and Norfolk so they have now gained promotion to the higher division next year which is a great result. Alicia still has 4 more years where she’s eligible to play for the team so hopefully they can build on their success next year.

Immediately after her County Cup, she left for Sutton to play in her first Ladies Open Aegon British Tour Event. She played some fantastic tennis and won both her qualifying matches to earn a place in main draw. This is an amazing achievement. Although she lost her main draw match she competed well which gave her plenty of confidence to compete at a higher level.

Finally earlier this month Alicia was back in Roehampton in the 16U Winter National Tour Finals where she played some great tennis and reached the quarter finals. She then lost but to a much older and more experienced girl.

Her mum told us “We are very proud of all her hard work and her current ranking is an incredible 17th in Great Britain within the 14U Girls age group which is a great achievement”.

King Alfred to King Alfred Bike Ride - July 2017

Brilliant news cyclists! We now have a free place on our King Alfred to King Alfred Bike Ride for someone worth £380 - all they need to do is raise at least £500 sponsorship.
We also have a FREE BIKE for someone! All they need to do is raise £500 sponsorship and they get to keep the bike! Yay!

Meeting

Our meeting on 2nd April has unfortunately been cancelled, but we will be holding a bike ride meeting on Saturday 22nd April - more details to follow. If you or someone you know is interested in coming to the meeting to hear all about this brilliant 4-day cycling trip please email rosie@starrtrust.com.

Golf Day Raises £3370 to help local young people

We are delighted with the success of our sixth annual Golf Day, held on March 15th at the prestigious Singing Hills Golf Course in Albourne and which raised an incredible £3370 to help local young people.

Ten teams of golfers from local businesses came together to enjoy a well-earned day out and a great chance to network. The sun shone all day and with temperatures reaching a balmy 17 degrees, golfers were seen peeling off their clothes as they made their way around the stunning 18-hole course.

The day was organised by local Hove hairdresser Kevin of DNK Hair and the main sponsors, Beales of Worthing and Airsprung, helped to make the day a huge success with awards being given out, bids made on fantastic auction prizes and a delicious carvery dinner to finish off.

The winning team was Pavilion Plumbing with Nick Collins of Bluetone Communications winning individual 1st prize and Shane Brown of the Lighthouse Group winning ‘Nearest the Pin’.

Tracey from the Trust said “as ever we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and delighted at how much we managed to raise. Even those businesses that were unable to play helped us by sponsoring a hole, so some great publicity for all concerned”.

Click here to see photos from the day

Farm Fridays for our Champion Lee

Our Champion Lee has been working with FarmBuddies who arrange social care farming programmes across the South East.

Lee is a pupil at the Cedar Centre in Brighton and his school has been very pleased with the results of his Friday trips to the farm. They told the publication Amaze; “Lee has improved his team work, time management, social skills and career focus, the plan now for 2017 is very encouraging.









Read the full story published in Amaze below:

Coffee Morning Raises £300

Huge thanks go out to Nicky from Glamlife for hosting our Coffee Morning on Saturday where we raised an amazing £300!

Nicky was showcasing a new Spring Italian Collection of womenswear that she sells from her home in Brighton. If you’d like to make an appointment to see these lovely clothes or book a party, just go to her Glamlife website.

Big thanks also go out to Harleigh and Lynsey. Harleigh gave make-up sessions using some gorgeous Arbonne products courtesy of Lynsey, an Independent Consultant from Arbonne. If you want to book Harleigh for a private make-up session or book a make-up party then call her on 07535 090673.

Finally a massive thanks to Claire Clements for baking some amazing cakes!