For the last five years our friends Mike & Alison Wells have held a Fairtrade Coffee Morning at their home in Winsley in aid of the Neem Tree Trust and have over the years raised over £4,000, As well as serving tea, coffee and delicious home made cakes made by supporters, they also sell items made and designed by the boys. Mike & Alison's Coffee Morning was held on Thursday 27th October this year and a record £1,130 was raised in just two hours for The Neem Tree Trust! In spite of the inclement weather, the good folk of Winsley and beyond turned out in their scores to enjoy Mike and Alison's hospitality, to support the charity and to spend generously on goods and tombola tickets. Over 20 local businesses donated fantastic prizes for the tombola thus encouraging everyone to buy more tickets in the hope of winning one of the prizes. We would like to thank everyone who helped with the Coffee Morning as well as those who came along to support us and who made it such a successful event. Kathy will be visiting the children in India in January next year and she will hand over the money and will report back on how the money will be used to improve the lives of the children at the boys' home and the leprosy hospital.
The Neem Tree Trust Grand Cricket Draw to celebrate the charity’s 5th Anniversary took place at The Poplars Inn, Wingfield on Saturday 27th September 2008 and was sponsored by Wadworth Brewery. Mr Bernard Camish, publican of The Poplars, had made arrangements for us to have lunch before the draw took place and for photographs to be taken in the pub garden.
Our Neem Tree Trust Go Green re-usable, washable shopping bags are robust enough to avoid double bagging with a rigid base and reinforced handles. Over the years many of our supporters have bought our bags and we thought it would be fun to create a gallery on our website picturing the bags in interesting places. If any of you are going anywhere interesting in the future (it doesn’t have to be abroad) please take your bag with you and when you return you could e-mail us a picture. If you are unfortunate enough not to have a bag, don’t worry you can buy one at the Prior Park Garden Centre in Bath or we can send one to you for £3 including postage.
It was both a culture shock and a temperature shock to move from the cold of February in Edinburgh to the heat of South India. We had undertaken much planning for our trip – emails back and forth to Dr Chelliah, lots of reading, and long telephone conversations with Kathy – but nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming warmth of the welcome which engulfed us when we reached the Boys’ Home.
Daniel Marsh-Jones, who was then aged 10, went home to his mother and said he wanted to help the children he had seen on our film by getting sponsorship to have his very long hair shaved off!! Luckily she was not averse to this idea, as she had been trying to get him to cut his hair for years! Daniel is a member of Trowbridge Junior Rugby section and he had his hair cut on Sunday 28th June 2009 at Trowbridge Rugby Club after their end of season award ceremony.
Sue & Ian Bolden have been friends for many years and supporters of The Neem Tree Trust since its foundation. They have a lovely terraced garden in Bradford on Avon which they occasionally open as part of the Bradford on Avon Secret Gardens Scheme. On 25th July 2010 their garden was open to the public and Sue & Ian offered to sell ice creams in aid of The Neem Tree Trust. We also sold items which were designed and made by the boys we support in India. It was a sunny afternoon and they had many admiring visitors and raised over £230 for The Neem Tree Trust. We are extremely grateful to Sue and Ian for their interest and support over the years and would like to thank them for sharing their garden with us!
The “Silk and Spice” fund-raising Ball took place in September 2010 at The Royal High school, Bath. The event was a colourful evening with Indian/African/Asian themed decor and music. Over 180 guests enjoyed fusion food and wonderful entertainment by the Bollywood dance troupe “Angel Dancers”. In their final dance number several Year 10 girl helpers joined in with a splendid version of Jai Ho. We then went on to dance the night away.
Some lovely ladies who live in the village of Sutton Benger, 5 miles from Chippenham, have been diligently knitting hand puppets and hats for Kathy to take out for the children in India. To date they have knitted 64 clowns, 84 teddies and 37 hats and Kathy and Ken went to Sutton Benger in October to pick them up. The Sutton BengerKnitters meet once a fortnight in each others houses and were delighted to make the hand puppets for the children. Kathy has promised to take some photographs when she visits the children in India next January and to visit the group again in the spring to give them an update on progress at the boys’ home and the leprosy hospital.
Although the Indian Cricket Team sadly lost the last ODI match in Cardiff on Friday 16th September 2011 they weren’t short of supporters. Ken and Kathy both went along to the match suitably attired for the occasion and met up with many Indian supporters who wanted to take our photograph. We even had a mention from Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special because Kathy had sent him an Indian garland with a letter about the charity and he opened it up on the airwaves!! A reporter from Delhi also interviewed us for Indian television so we’re hoping that some of the children we support in India may have seen us. We gave out a number of cards and leaflets about the Neem Tree Trust which certainly generated a lot of interest. All in all a great day!