Click here or the image above to read the latest edition of our InSight Magazine
Christmas Raffle & Christmas Cards are back!
Our Christmas Raffle is back and there’s a host of fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a big Christmas hamper, a Betty’s hamper, two £100 Lifestyle shopping vouchers and a box of Nestle favourites. Tickets are £2 each and available from reception at Wilberforce House and by emailing email@example.com
We are also delighted to be offering Christmas Cards again, this year featuring a wonderful contemporary design. The cards come in packs of 10 and are £4.50 a pack. As with the raffle, all proceeds raised go to the trust.
Donate A Star CampaignThis Christmas we are asking our supporters to donate a star to our virtual tree, and help us provide a Sensory Garden for our tenants, and visitors, to enjoy.
A garden is a wonderful thing bringing joy both to wildlife and to the beholder. Yet not everyone is able to enjoy the visual beauty of a garden. People with sight loss experience the world in different ways, so with a little help from you we can provide a sensory garden which appeals to ALL the senses and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Your gift of a star could help buy magical mint, succulent strawberry or calming chamomile for the garden. Many small individual gifts can build a legacy we can be proud of and look forward to when the warmer months arrive.
You can donate a star by clicking the donate button that you see on every page of our website and by clicking here.
The return of Yorkshire Day’s Club Wilber Raffle!
This year saw the return of our popular Yorkshire Day Raffle, in aid of Club Wilber, the children’s arm of our charity. The raffle was drawn live on social media and one of our tenants, Lee, drew the tickets for us! We wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who bought a ticket for the draw on the 1st August. We raised over £1500 for Club Wilber, which will go towards enabling us to put on more inclusive activities and events for the children, and their families.
A big thank you too to all of the people and businesses who kindly donated a Yorkshire themed prize-
John Wrights Electricals, Simon Patterson, Assetiam, Delta by Marriott Hotel York, Masons of Yorkshire Gin, The York Roast Co, Flamingoland Resort, York Dungeon, The Deep, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pizza Express, Markinton Hall, Cross Fishmongers, Grant Young, Whittakers Gin, York Terrariums, LNER, Waste Management Co., North York Moors Railway, York City FC, Yorvik Viking Centre
Insight Magazine – Summer 2023 Edition
Our latest edition of InSight is out now.
This edition includes:
Letter From The CEO
One Year at Wilberforce House
York Design Award
Club Wilber fun
YorSensory and Outreach
Volunteer with us!
Laura runs York 10k!
Yesterday our brilliant Support Worker, Laura, ran the York 10k after months of training took her from the couch, to 5k and on to the start line! With her Dad running alongside her, and support from her partner, Kat, cheering her on she ran the route taking in the iconic streets and sights of York. Laura wanted to raise money for the trust as she loves her job and feels that the work we do and the services that we offer are really special.
The money Laura has raised, and continues to raise will go towards our Sensory Garden that we are building for the enjoyment of our tenants, and the families that visit us.
Well done Laura, for all of your hard work training for, and running, this event! There’s still time to donate to the fundraiser via her Local Giving page-
Following a brilliant York Pride last June, we were eager to sign up to be part of the festival again, and this year was even better than the last. Sarah and Lucy from the Events Team arrived early doors at York’s Knavesmire with their fundraising and information stall, amongst other the charities, organisations and traders. York Pride is the largest Pride event in the North of England and is part of Pride Month, recognised across the world.
The morning had a gentle buzz, with families and residents who prefere to avoid the crowds of the afternoon wandering around, and excitement building for the parade’s arrival. When the parade arrived, in all its noisy, colourful and joyful glory the crowds and atmosphere on The Knavesmire trebled and the party really started.
Having a presence at York Pride gives us a great opportunity to meet members of the public from all different communities, to advertise the services we offer; such as YorSensory and Club Wilber. This year we brought the popular Lucky Lolli- stick game from last summer’s events and it was a roaring success as ever! While people gave their 50ps to have a turn to win some sweets, it’s a perfect opportunity to start a conversation about the trust.
What hits you most about Pride, and what most passers- by comment on, is the amazing atmosphere; inclusive and welcoming to all. Its an opportunity for everyone to be themselves, to wear what they want and be with whoever they want. As a charity, it gives us a chance to interact and chat to people who may not have heard of us before, or know of the services available to them. It’s a long day, but it’s a happy and fulfilling one, and one we look forward to each year.
We attend the summer fundraisers to raise money for Club Wilber, the children’s arm of the charity, where we organise activities and events for children and young people with sight loss, and their families. The money we raise helps us continue to facilitate activities ranging from pizza parties and forest school, all the way to our recent Harry Potter Studio trip! As Club Wilber is Yorkshire wide, and not just for York residents, it gives us an opportunity to meet families across the county.
Our next event is our Summer Fete here at Wilberforce House, come down and see us and enjoy a host of stalls, games and summer fun!
Huntington Parish Gala
Last Sunday we were delighted to have two stands at Huntington Parish Gala and it was another scorcher of a day. The event was busy with residents and families and a variety of local groups and charities offered fundraising stalls and refreshments with tombolas, raffles and second- hand toys and books.
We were entertained on the day by a variety of performers, including Dynamics Community Band and York Vintage Dance Group and groups and enthusiasts brought vintage cars from all decades alongside motorbikes and scooters.
We brought back our ‘pick a square’ game, with a Treasure Island theme, to be in with a chance to win our Yorkshire Jubilee hamper and an old favourite, the lucky lolly stick game, proved really popular with the families! A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to buy a square, have a go on the game or just to enquire about us. The money raised on the day goes towards much needed funds for our Club Wilber activities.
We also had the pleasure of being joined by long standing volunteers David & Daphne who kindly attend some events with us, selling beautiful, handmade knitted and tatted crafts, raising money for the Trust.
We have always enjoyed attending this well organised event and we were really pleased to see its return after a two year break due to Covid.
Club Wilber’s 3rd Birthday Party
On the 4th August, Club Wilber celebrated its 3rd birthday party at The Marriott Hotel in York and it was amazing to meet to celebrate this wonderful occasion.
It was great to welcome our Club Wilber ambassador Will Jubb from York City Knights Rugby Club who came to support this event along with some of our wonderful sponsors.
Guests were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco or fizzy elderflower as they arrived to the book themed party. The room was decorated with The Jungle book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland decorations.
Everything was geared to be a sensory experience, on The Jungle Book craft table we made beautiful leather notebooks. The leather had a lovely smell, and each piece had a different texture. The parents then helped the children bind the paper between the leather using specialist metal studs and they enjoyed using the screwdrivers to tighten the studs. They finished them off nicely with animal stickers and gems and some did great drawings inside them too. We had lots of animal balloons hiding in the jungle watching us from above.
The special guest was one of our ambassadors, the award-winning author, Christina Gabbitas. She came to read two of her books to the children. She was amazing, giving the characters voices and singing songs she delighted the children. The children were engaged and got to feel different fruit and vegetables mentioned in the book, tomatoes, broccoli, pineapple and even a dragon fruit! She quoted a poem too and the children loved joining in. We thank her for a wonderful opportunity to hear her stories. These can be found online on her website www.christinagabbitas.com.
Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was the theme for the afternoon tea. With wonderful decorations for the table which consisted of a Mad Hatters hat, a white rabbit, and clocks… lots of clocks, the caterpillar on a giant toadstool, even the Cheshire Cat was watching us from above. Everyone enjoyed afternoon tea with scones with jam and cream, sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps, biscuits, and lots of “drink me” squash.
Samantha Scholey who was the founder of Club Wilber gave a speech and thanked everyone for their support and coming to celebrate with us, especially the sponsors who joined in the fun. We sang happy birthday to Club Wilber and enjoyed a delicious rocky road birthday cake.
The final game was a sensory pass the parcel. Each layer was a different textured material. Sweets and scented lavender were between the layers with a box of fidget toys as a main prize for the two lucky winners.
Everyone who attended got a golden ticket which was labelled “golden ticket” in Braille. They took these to the Willy Wonka sweet table to claim their going home sweets and popcorn.
Everyone had a great time, and it was great to see the families have fun together. Club Wilber continues to grow bigger and better each year and we look forward to a year ahead full of activities.
We want to say a big thank you to everyone who came – our ambassadors, sponsors and of course our Club Wilber families.
If you would like to volunteer and help us out with these amazing events then please check out our Volunteers Page.
The 2022 York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge
On what was one of the hottest days of the year so far, Ellen & Lucy from our activities and events team, set up our bright orange gazebo in a prime spot on Dame Judi Dench Walk, ready for the start of the annual Dragon Boat Race.
Dragon Boat Racing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and with its appeal to community fundraising groups, and its visually exciting events, it’s clear to see why. A Dragon Boat crew is made up of 16 paddlers, paced by a drummer at the bow and guided by a helmsman at the stern, who combine power and rhythm to achieve maximum acceleration and speed over a 250 metre course on the iconic River Ouse.
Now in its 20th year, York Rotary’s challenge event pitches companies and organisations against each other in a fun and exciting race, whilst highlighting and raising money for their chosen charity and York Rotary’s local, chosen charities. It’s a great opportunity too for these charities to set up a stall with information, friendly conversation and maybe a tempting treat or two! With race heats running from 10am – 3.30pm and the grand final at 4pm the event usually attracts local families and tourists in their thousands, and last weekend’s race didn’t disappoint.
With a group of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers on hand to help, we provided a wealth of information about the charity and our services to passers-by and race goers, and sold plenty of our Yorkshire Day raffle tickets, to raise money for Club Wilber. We were also there to support our friends and sponsors at YO1 Radio who were racing as team ‘Rule the Waves’, raising money for us as their chosen charity.
With three teams racing in each heat, and three sections of heats, it was a packed race card, and the eventual winners, Tadcaster Trojans, were clear contenders from the start. As Ellen pointed out, “the crew with the drummer that kept a strong beat, and the team shouted in time with them, performed the best”. 0 YO1 smashed their first heat, but unlike many of the other teams, didn’t perform as well in their second run out. But in their third and final heat they were the clear winners again.
After all of the races were done, the fastest six times were taken, and the six best teams were called for the Grand Final. It was no surprise when Tadcaster Trojans won overall, and additional trophies were given for The Best Dressed Team and Armed Forces Team, amongst others.
The glorious sunshine, the bunting and the yummy treats from ‘The Full Moo’ ice cream boat helped create a wonderful gala atmosphere and we had a great time meeting existing supporters of the trust, and new faces who wanted to know a bit more about us. We love attending events like this and getting out there in the community and if we can raise awareness and much needed funds at the same time then it’s even better.
Thank you to all of those that stopped by to say hello or buy a raffle ticket and a BIG thank you to YO1 Radio who took to the water and proudly flew the flag for us and raised much need funds in doing so!