Get some practice in for our upcoming Bike Ride

If you’ve signed up for our Brighton to Amsterdam Bike Ride, or are unsure, Fran Dirand is organising some bike rides to help you get some practice in:

Sunday 27th January, 10-12 ish from Virgin Active Falmer campus
Sunday 17th February, 10-1 ish from David Lloyd, Marina
Sunday 3rd March, 9-12 ish from Virgin Active Falmer campus
Sunday 17th March, 9-12 ish from David Lloyd, Marina
If you want a personal training programme or more information please contact Fran at

The Brighton to Amsterdam Route:

The Jive Aces Big Beat Revue

Get tickets for this fantastic show in London and support the Starr Trust with a percentage of profits coming to us! Don’t miss this fantastic night of Vintage Swing, Hot Jive and Rhythm & Blues on Sunday 10th February.

Go to for tickets

Huge thanks to Rocco Buonvino for supporting us.

Local Legend Daley Thompson Banishes January Blues

January in Brighton got off to a fantastic sporty start with Olympic Champion Daley Thompson offering free circuit training whilst raising money for us!

This special event was held at the Mercedes-Benz Pop Up in Churchill Square in association with Lookers Mercedes. Last Sunday January 6th saw Daley offering free circuit training sessions where anyone could sign up and donations were made to us as well as Laureus Foundation.

The event raised £106 and locals were absolutely thrilled to meet this much loved sporting icon.

A Lovely Early Christmas Present!

Huge thanks to Samuel Levene, a pupil at Blatchington Mill School & Sixth Form College and his Head Teacher Mr Harrold, who have organised a non school uniform day today, with £1 donations per pupil raising money for us.

We are proud to have supported several Champions who have attended this brilliant local school.

Enjoy your last day of term and have a fantastic Christmas everyone!

Priscilla is coming to The Old Market!

Brighton and Hove Operatic Society has raised money for 100 charity beneficiaries to come and see the Friday show for free, including two of our Champions Jasmine and Amira. What a lovely thing to do!

Some of the Starr Trust team will be there with collection tins on the evening of Saturday 8th December so please dig deep and we hope to see you there! 

Another successful Champion’s Chat with Accordance VAT

A huge thank you to Rochelle and Accordance VAT for the latest Champion’s Chat. Rochelle, who is Facilities Manager at the company along with her colleagues Louise and Anita, gave invaluable advice to Champions Jay, Sophie and Amira on how to write a CV – and how to get it noticed when they apply for jobs.  They were given tips on job boards, what to include in a CV, and what puts employers off.

The Champions were treated to a tour of Accordance VAT’s fabulous Brighton offices, and went home with an advice pack, which will be of great practical use when they start to apply for work.

We are excited to look at other subjects that Accordance will present on for future Champions’ Chats. Watch this space!

Thank you Rochelle, Louise and Anita.

Champion’s Choir

Thanks to Tracy (mum of Champions Daisy and Max) we have a Starr Trust choir!

Made up from Champions Jessie-Jae, Amira, Ayala, Sophie, Daisy, Zoë and Jasmine, our choir was coached by Tracy, who also organised the arrangement and musical accompaniment. 

You can watch them perform again this winter on the 20th December prior to the performance of ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ at Hilton Brighton Metropole


Our Winter Extravaganza raises over £44,000

Wow! Our Winter Extravaganza raised in excess of £44,000!

Huge thanks to all of you that made it happen. You are amazing!

The evening featured live music at the Champagne Reception followed by a delicious 3 course dinner and throughout the evening everyone had a chance to bid on some fantastic auction lots that include a 2 night stay for 2 with 2 days access to the Disney Pride event from COGO Travel and tickets to the England vs France rugby game at Twickenham for 2 with hospitality package donated by Mazars of London and Just Lets Brighton.

Our very own Starr Trust Singers performed hit songs from music legends accompanied by dazzling dancers and a live band. Guests then boogied the night away ‘til the early hours with a dress-to-impress disco!

Champion’s Tuesday - Champion’s Chat

We are incredibly grateful to Rochelle and our friends at Accordance VAT who are kindly giving up their time tonight to help a group of our Champions learn how to write a great CV.

What a great thing to do on World Kindness Day.

Thanks to our Champion Jasmine

Many thanks to our Champion Jasmine who helped with facepainting at the Rotary’s Halloween event this year at Hangleton Manor.


Champion’s Tuesday - Our Champion Alicia’s nomination for Young Sports Personality of the Year!

Our amazing young tennis Champion Alicia has not only been nominated for Sussex Young Sports Personality of the Year 2018, but she has now been chosen as one of the 3 shortlisted finalists!

This is an amazing achievement and Alicia will now attend the Awards Ceremony at the Grand Hotel on 23rd November where the winner will be announced. Click here for more info on the awards - we are absolutely thrilled for Alicia! She should be really proud of herself as this is an incredible achievement.



Our Bike Ride inspires Westmeston Warriors to Cycle from San Fran to LA!

Update October 29th

The fabulous 4 Westmeston Warriors have now covered an epic 506 miles and arrived safe and sound in Santa Monica on Saturday. They managed to raise an amazing amount of £2560 for us!

A truly incredible achievement and we are so grateful to Lynn Wardill and her team! We wish them all a safe trip back home to Blighty and look forward to seeing them soon. A big round of applause please!

Update October 24th – en route from San Fran to LA

The amazing Westmeston Warriors have now raised an incredible £2503!

Mike messaged us and said “going well, 95 miles yesterday. 3 big climbs to 8000 feet today and 104 miles… Awesome scenery!”

Check out the stunning images below. What an achievement! Go Lynn, Mike, Ali and Neil!

Sunday 21st October - They’re on their Way from San Fran to LA!

Our fantastic supporters the Westmeston Warriors are now on their way from San Fran to LA in an epic bike ride USA style which is raising money for us!

We send them all our very best wishes for a safe and successful bike ride. We’re so grateful for their support. What an incredible challenge they have set themselves. Good luck team!

Please go to their fundraising page to sponsor/donate. They have currently raised £1,890 so please help them reach their target. Thank you!

Unable to join our Bike Ride earlier this year – our lovely supporter Lynn Wardill, who has cycled with us previously, decided to take on a different challenge instead. She has formed her own team with husband Mike and two friends Ali and Neil, and these fantastic four, named the ‘Westmeston Warriors’ are cycling to raise money for us in America! They will be wearing our Starr Trust cycle jackets and cycling between San Francisco and LA!

This gang of four are keen cyclists and fitness fanatics who love a challenge and are really looking forward to cycling 450 miles through beautiful scenery on the West Coast of the USA. They will be raising money for the Virgin Atlantic Foundation and for us.

Do join us in wishing them well and please give generously via their WESTMESTON WARRIORS FUNDRAISING PAGE.

Their Bike Ride will take place from 20th to 28th October 2018.

We will be posting further updates of their progress via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Raise Money for us and Have Some Family Fun this Xmas!

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomime. The launch party was held at Donatello’s earlier this week, where the Mayor and local businesses also attended.

Please support us and come along to the Opening Night or the second night of Jack and the Beanstalk which will be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on 20th and 21st of December 2018.

David Hill of E3 who is putting on the panto has kindly offered to raise money for us on these two evenings, and there will also be a magical Christmas Fayre alongside this popular family event and our team will be there to say hello.

Click here to get your tickets!

Photo (top):  Rob and Sharon Starr, Cerys from The Sundaes and Tracey and Rosie our Fundraising Managers.

Photo (below): Simon Haffenden and his team from the i360, Mayor Dee Simson, Tracey and Rosie from Starr Trust and Sascha Koehler, GM at the Hilton.

Celebration Night - It’s Our 10th Birthday!

Last night on October 10th we celebrated 10 amazing years of The Starr Trust with over 200 guests, including many of our young Champions with their families, and our fantastic supporters.

It was a wonderful opportunity to look back on everything we’ve achieved over the past 10 years, and to look forward to the future.

Photos courtesy of Graham Franks.


Halloween Ghost Hunt

Calling all kids… get ready for a fright on Halloween night!

Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary Club are hosting a Halloween Night in the grounds of Hangleton Manor on Wednesday 31st October to raise money for the Starr Trust and other local charities.

There’ll be face painting, a burger bar, and scariest costume and best pumpkin competitions judged by the Brighton & Hove City Mayor. Our Champion Jasmine and Starr Trust Ambassador Claire Clements will be there so be sure to stop by and say hi!

Hangleton Manor, Hove BN3 8AN
Wednesday 31st October 4.30pm to 6.30pm
£4 entry - please pay on the door. Bring a torch!

The Starr Trust celebrates its 10th Birthday!

On September 27th over 130 of our supporters took to the sunny skies of Brighton in the BAi360 which was kindly donated to celebrate the Starr Trust’s 10th birthday.

This special day in the calendar was chosen as it was the late Edward Starr’s birthday. He was the inspiration for our charity and sadly died back in 2006. Two years later his son Rob Starr founded the Starr Trust, along with his sister Tracey and other family members, as a tribute to their father.

The afternoon saw young Champions and their families, Trustees and Patrons of the charity plus local businesses such as The Implant Centre, the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Nick Taylor from Healy’s Law and Crunch Accounting, all come together to celebrate the Starr Trust’s achievements over the past decade.

Rob Starr told us “The Starr Trust has gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years and I’m proud to say we have helped many thousands of young people in this city to fulfil their potential and be the best they can be. We are very much a part of the Brighton community and couldn’t carry out the important work we do without the help of so many local people and businesses. They really go the extra mile through event sponsorship, becoming a partner or signing up to our latest Champion a Champion scheme and we are always so grateful for their support. We hope our next 10 years will see us champion even more young people in our wonderful city”.

Photos by Graham Franks.


Brighton College Students: It’s in the bag!

A huge thank you to the amazing young students from Brighton College who gave up their time to bag pack at Tesco Church Road last Wednesday 26th September.

They managed to collect an incredible £338 for us.

They are all amazing!

Creative Exposed!

We are delighted to share that 3 of our Champions, Jasmine, Jessie-Jae  and Daisy, will be performing at Brighton and Hove Rotary’s Creative Exposed event this Saturday at 10.25AM.

Please do come along and support them.

Businesses can Splash Out at Lagoon Watersports!

Following our amazing fundraising day ‘Starr Water Wars’, we thought we would share this corporate day out with a difference, with the businesses of Sussex. It’s a great opportunity to take on an ‘Ultra Challenge’ in house, over at Hove Lagoon.

Here’s what Lagoon Watersports told us:

If you enjoyed the Ultra Challenge at Lagoon Watersports then why not enquire about doing your very own in house ‘Ultra Challenge’ with your business. We can run these corporate days for groups of 20 - 200 people from 90 minutes to a full day of activities and challenges. They are a fantastic way to engage, motivate, or simply reward your employees with some friendly competition in a fun, active outdoor environment. Get in touch to find out more, and to book your corporate adventure for 2019.

Email for more information.

Creative Brighton Exposed

One of our lovely supporters Ann Dieckmann, President of the Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary Club, is organising this brilliant event. Check it out:

Brighton and Hove Rotary Clubs invite you to come and enjoy art, music, singing, dance and drama plus a tour of the historic Theatre Royal, Brighton and find the Wandering Spirit of the Theatre in some expected places!

Saturday 29th September 2018
10AM to 12.30PM at Theatre Royal, Brighton
Suitable for all ages. Free entry!

Come and meet creative and fun-loving Brightonians of all ages… people who are bringing positive changes to our city.

In association with Brighton & Hove Older People’s Festival and Springboard Festival.

For more information please visit
or email or

Champion’s Tuesday - Glyndebourne Supports A Starr Trust Champion

Our young Champion Ayala and her mum Victoria received free tickets from Glyndebourne Opera House for their production of Saul. Fresh from its triumph at the 2015 Glyndebourne Festival, Barrie Kosky’s blazingly original and visually spectacular staging of Handel’s oratorio returned for a first revival, pairing baroque music with contemporary choreography and lavish designs to create an enthralling theatrical fusion of old and new.

Ayala’s mum Victoria said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for Ayala to see all the sights and sounds of an Operatic Production. We loved having a wonderful picnic and being surrounded by all the other people dressed up for the experience. The Opera Saul was very dramatic. It was a great chance to see something completely different from Musical Theatre, giving Ayala a broader view of performing arts.

Our Champions Outreach Manager Mel said: “We were thrilled that Glyndebourne chose to support a Starr Trust Champion to see their thrilling production for free.  Thank you so much Lucy Perry and the team at Glyndebourne for making this possible.” 

Starr Water Wars featured in The Argus today 11th September

A great piece about Starr Water Wars is in today’s Argus newspaper (page 30) and features many of the businesses and supporters that helped us raise an amazing £5,000!

Big thanks to Louise Disney who took all the wonderful photos. See if you can spot yourself making a splash!

Splashing Time at Starr Water Wars Challenge raised over 5k!

This year we were very excited to be joining forces with Rockinghorse children’s charity down at Hove Lagoon where 64 business men and women battled it out to be crowned 2018 champions!

On September 2nd on a super sunny Sunday, participants took part in a series of water-based tasks in a bid to be crowned 2018 champions. 16 teams of 4 competitors went head-to-head in a number of challenges, including giant paddle boarding, kayaking, raft building and the finale – a raft race across the lagoon!

Hosted by Latest TV presenter Guy Lloyd, teams battled it out to become Starr Water Wars champions. There was a lot of intense (playful!) team rivalry but following a thrilling finale, Bright View Lofts were crowned the winners, with 2nd place going to Sheridan Coopers and Jurys Inn coming in 3rd.

Other businesses that participated were: Accordance VAT, Beales, Clearline, Coole Bevis, Crunch, Enterprise Rentals, Gardner & Scardifield, Green People, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Seico Mortgages and the The Treatment Rooms.

Rosie Molloy our Fundraising Manger said “We are so grateful to all the businesses that put in teams, especially Beales and Airsprung who were our headline sponsors for the third year running. Everyone had such a fantastic time, and the gorgeous sunshine, delicious BBQ courtesy of Steyning Butchers and marquee donated by ABC Structures all helped to make the day a huge success.

Terrina Barnes, Corporate Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, added: “What a day! Well done to everyone who joined us at Hove Lagoon to make Starr Water Wars such a great event and raise a fantastic amount of money. We couldn’t have done it without the support of some very generous individuals and businesses such as Green People who were the shirt sponsors. Our thanks to all those who helped make the day happen.

To register your interest and involvement in Starr Water Wars next year, email or

Crunch Carnival Time

Last Friday Crunch Accounting held their inaugural “Crunch Carnival” - there was music, BBQ food, face-painting, circus skills, rounders, and so much more and we were invited!

Thank you Darren Fell, Hellen Ward and all at team Crunch for a fantastic afternoon; thanks also for raising money for us earlier this year on your virtual bike ride and for signing up not only one but TWO teams to participate at Starr Water Wars on September 2nd.

As ever we are so grateful for your continued support.

Our Bike Ride inspires Westmeston Warriors to Cycle from San Fran to LA!

Unable to join our Bike Ride earlier this year – our lovely supporter Lynn Wardill, who has cycled with us previously, decided to take on a different challenge instead. She has formed her own team with husband Mike and two friends Ali and Neil, and these fantastic four, named the ‘Westmeston Warriors’ are cycling to raise money for us in America! They will be wearing our Starr Trust cycle jackets and cycling between San Francisco and LA!

This gang of four are keen cyclists and fitness fanatics who love a challenge and are really looking forward to cycling 450 miles through beautiful scenery on the West Coast of the USA. They will be raising money for the Virgin Atlantic Foundation and for us.

Do join us in wishing them well and please give generously via their WESTMESTON WARRIORS FUNDRAISING PAGE.

Their Bike Ride will take place from 20th to 28th October 2018.

Sunday 21st October - They’re on their Way from San Fran to LA!

Our fantastic supporters the Westmeston Warriors are now on their way from San Fran to LA in an epic bike ride USA style which is raising money for us!

We send them all our very best wishes for a safe and successful bike ride. We’re so grateful for their support. What an incredible challenge they have set themselves. Good luck team!

Please go to their fundraising page to sponsor/donate. They have currently raised £1,890 so please help them reach their target. Thank you!

We will be posting further updates of their progress via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Champion’s Tuesday

So proud of our Champion Jamie Spall who is the organiser and dancer at the forthcoming Brighton Tap Festival.

What a fantastic achievement!

Jamie received an Edward Starr Award in December 2013 to cover the costs of training and international competitions.

The following years opened many doors for her and she has been very successful, including winning a gold medal at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany.

See below for more info on Brighton Tap Festival:

Business Opportunities at our Winter Extravaganza Ball

Our hugely popular Winter Ball will take place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on November 17th and there are some fantastic partnership packages available for all business budgets.

The evening will commence with live music at the Champagne Reception followed by a delicious 3 course dinner and throughout the evening everyone will have a chance to win some truly fantastic prizes!

Our very own Starr Trust Singers will perform hit songs from music legends accompanied by dazzling dancers and a live band. Guests will then be able to boogie the night away ‘til the early hours with a dress-to-impress disco!

Champion’s Tuesday

Update August 2018

Good luck to our Champion Stephen Ferroni who is about to leave the UK for the trip of a lifetime with the British Exploring Society. Stephen and a group of other young people will be travelling to the Yukon in Canada. We wish him all the very best.

Champion’s Tuesday

Our young Champion Nathan has been chosen to be part of Team CP England in the forthcoming CPISRA World Games 2018.

The Cerebral Palsy International Sport & Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games will take place in San Cugat in Spain 6th to 12th August 2018.

Cerebral Palsy Sport announced they will be coordinating Team CP England to attend the games to emulate the success of the Nottingham 2015 CPISRA World Games.

HUGE congrats to Nathan! What an amazing achievement!

See the full list of Athletes here.

Tandem Skydive a Resounding Success

Our amazing trio of skydivers did a tandem jump from 12,000 feet at Skydive Headcorn in Kent on Thursday June 28th.

Huge thanks to our lovely fundraisers,  Hollie Hines, Clare McKinstrie and Nick Williams.

Rotary Club Launches Sussex Mermaid School!

Our lovely supporters at Rotary in Brighton and Hove have just launched this brilliant mermaid school as one of their many ventures. It’s mermaid swimming for kids and adults. All the profits from parties and experiences go to Zanzibar Schools Project. Looks fab and we wish them every success!

Champion’s Tuesday

Incredibly proud of our young Champion Hannah Clements who will be leading these young people to the Amazon with the British Exploring Society.

The British Exploring Society 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.


Midsummer Ball Raises Over £10,500 for us!

Thank you to Hilton Brighton Metropole, DM Thomas Foundation for Young People, David Hill at E3, the Starr Trust Singers Sharon Starr and James Harrington, and last but not least, all our supporters who attended and all the businesses that donated prizes.

You all helped to raise over £10,500 for us!

‘Tour de Crunch’ raised £292.84 over 19th and 20th July

To support us after our Bangor to Brighton bike ride last week our friends over at Crunch Accounting set up a Zwift virtual reality training bike in their offices and an Apple TV in reception.

Crunch Staff were invited to join one of 4 teams which each cycled for half a day on the bike to see who could cycle the furthest! Entry was £2 per person with a max of 12 people per team.

They then battled it out over 2 days and had online donations going at the same time.

The target was £100, and by the end of the second day, Tour de Crunch had smashed it by raising an amazing £292.84!

Read all about their brilliant bike ride here.

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:

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

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.

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 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

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 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’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 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.

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 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

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:

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,
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:
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 who so kindly provided us with all the meat for our BBQ at Starr Water Wars last Sunday.

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