Trustee Robin Baines crossed the country from east to west and back again in his 87-year car - an Austin 7.
He was raising funds for charity and decided to drive 780 miles from Lowestoft to Pembrokeshire and back again - at an average 30mph.
Robin, who became a trustee last year and advises on the farm, market garden and the land, was driving the 1936 Austin Opal.
He left Ness Point, Lowestoft, at 6am on Saturday, September 23, with co-driver Mike Hammond, and they arrived at St David's Head at 8pm in the wind and rain.
On the return leg, Robin put the pedal to the metal - and achieved a top speed of 50mph. As he was passing Bury St Edmunds and after about 10 hours of driving, the oil was "boiling" and steam was rising from the gearbox!
The car, which was fully restored in 1995, didn't miss a beat on the whole expedition, which took a total of 26 hours there and back.
They celebrated the successful run on Sunday, September 24 at about 6.30pm with a glass of bubbly at Lowestoft.
- written by Michael Pollitt
- pictures by Sandie Hammond
Rosie Dunthorne has accepted the post of CEO and will start her takeover in September. Rosie is currently Director of Operations and Deputy CEO at Headway Norfolk and Waveney so will be with us on a phased start whilst working her notice period. - Tom Fitzalan Howard CBE
Hello, I am delighted to introduce myself as the new CEO for Thornage Hall. Thornage Hall is a really special place and I am really honoured to start working for an amazing charity in such a beautiful and spiritual location. I have a lot to learn and will embrace this over the next few months to bring myself up to speed with the charity, its people and ethos.
I have lived in Norfolk all my life, all bar the first 9 months. My parents decided to move back to the area where my late father’s family lived for many generations. I was lucky to be brought up in Burnham Market and attended school in Wells-next-the-sea. I met a local Wells boy and we moved to Norwich where we married and brought up our 2 children. North Norfolk holds a special place in my heart, as I still have links to Wells and the surrounding area and feel part of the culture.
My career in health and social care started at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital as a care assistant and occupational therapy assistant practitioner, working mostly on the neuroscience wards. Whilst bringing up my family, I was able to study for a BA Hons in Health and Social care / Business Management, which lead on to spending 3 years with Adult Social Care and more recently 6 years at Headway Norfolk and Waveney where I was encouraged and supported to build on my experience and take on the role of Director of Operations / Deputy CEO. I thoroughly embraced my time at Headway but feel that this opportunity and timing is right to take on a new challenge.
My strengths are in leadership, coaching, change management together with strategic thinking. I have led on a lot of change over the last few years all to the benefit of the people and charity and am looking forward to supporting Thornage Hall with its long-term vision whilst embracing the uniqueness of the charity.
In my personal life, I love escaping to the countryside, walking our cockapoo, campervanning, running and my smallish city garden. To relax I need good food, music and a good murder mystery drama. Rosie.
Please make sure to check out the recent Camphill Pages on the theme of Partnerships!
The creative workshops at Thornage Hall are getting ready for a month-long art exhibition which will be taking place from Thursday 6th April - Saturday 29th April.
We are so excited to be involved in this opportunity and hope to see some of you attend!
The address for this event is:
21St. Nicholas Street
WOW! What a wonderful and successful coffee morning!
A huge thank you to everyone who attended our first-ever coffee morning and the staff, tenants and day service users who made it all possible. Together, we managed to raise a total of just under £700.00!
We will be having another coffee morning in the next few months and hope to see you all again soon.
We are excited to announce that Thornage Hall Independent Living will be hosting a coffee morning on Friday 24th March at 10am - 12noon. It will take place in Gregories Barn on the Thornage Hall Site. There will be a variety of baked goods and workshop products available to purchase at this event and all money raised will go towards improving the future here at Thornage Hall Independent Living.
We hope to see you all very soon.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those staff who made our family event (Garden Party) a great success! ❤️
We had several Day Service stalls promoting their fantastic products and fresh produce from the Market Garden.
Thank you to all the families and trustees who attended.
A new addition to the grass mowing machinery fleet at Thornage has been provided by a long-established Norfolk family firm.
Ivan Cushion, who now runs NPN Mower Service, of Zobel Close, Norwich, has supplied a reconditioned Efco self-propelled mower at a very competitive price.
"When I was asked to help by Michael Pollitt, we found a really good machine which will do a really good job. I was pleased to be asked to help Thornage," said Mr Cushion.
With his brother, they're now running the business, which was started by their father Nigel in 1981. As the firm, which services machines in Norfolk and Suffolk expanded, they moved to larger premises on the Sweet Briar industrial estate in 2016.
When he heard that Thornage needed a replacement for a worn-out machine, he was pleased to find a suitable heavy-duty machine. He has given the mower a full service and a warranty.
Farm manager Philip Culley said that the mower was a "very nice addition to the mowing team workshop."
Ivan Cushion, of NPN, pictured with the Efco mower.
Photograph: Michael Pollitt
We are excited to announce we have received our very own ‘Breakasaurus’ sculpture to decorate & design!
The first challenge is to come up with a suitable name for this amazing creature!
A massive thank you to Break Charity for kindly providing this opportunity - we will also be posting regular updates across our social media platforms!
The Norfolk Christmas Fair is just around the corner and Thornage Hall Independent Living are so pleased to see so many new businesses involved.
Please read the following article in regards to two new Fakenham jewellery business who will be attending The Norfolk Christmas Fair.
Online shopping is now available (https://www.norfolkchristmasfair.co.uk/shop) for all those who cannot attend the Fair. Please remember to add Norfolk to the code box at check out to ensure Thornage receives 10% of your purchase.
We also have 10 wonderful raffle prizes (all proceeds to Thornage). If you cannot attend and would like to support Thornage by buying some tickets, please email Mary Marchant at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can arrange this for you. If you are lucky enough to win, prizes will either be sent to you or left at Thornage for collection. Raffle will be drawn on Thursday 18th November at 2.30pm.
Tickets are £1 each
Prizes as follows:-
Bed & Breakfast at the wonderful Swan Hotel Southwold
Stunning oil of Norfolk scene by Judi Tussaud (see image below)
£150 gift voucher to spend at Holkham Hall shops
Solo Diamond Friendship bracelet donated by Monica Vinada
2 X Fabulous hamper of food goodies from Toscana Burnham Market
Case of organic Italian wine from Toscana Burnham Market
Two dozen oysters from Loch Ryan Oyster Company
Gift basket of home fragrance goodies
Two matching vases from Birdie Fortescue
Stunning Norfolk scene in oil by Judi Tussaud
We are holding a Recruitment Day for Support Workers on Friday 26th November
If you are interested in working with our adults with learning disabilities you will have the opportunity to come along and see what we have to offer on our 70 acre estate in beautiful North Norfolk.
We will be holding two information sessions, one mid morning and one late afternoon, where you can meet the tenants, day service users and staff.
Please feel free to register your interest even if you have never worked in care before and are considering a change of career. We offer full training, support and copies of job descriptions which can be found here:
Full and part time positions are available.
A full driving licence is required and due to our remote location you will need access to your own transport.
If you would like to register a place, please contact Amanda Leeds on email@example.com / 01263860305
We are delighted to announce The Norfolk Christmas Fair will be going ahead!
The official dates:
Wednesday 17th November 2021 6pm - 9pm
Thursday 18th November 2021 9am - 3pm
For more information, please visit: https://www.norfolkchristmasfair.co.uk/
Thornage Hall Independent Living is pleased to be in receipt of the Harold Bodmer Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of our hard work during the pandemic.
Rotary Club members enjoy glorious farm tour and support Thornage with generous donation
A dozen members of Wroxham Bure Valley Rotary Club were invited on a glorious September evening farm walk.
The Rotary Club members had agreed to support a farm project at Thornage Hall Independent Living.
The visitors were shown the Thornage’s herd of pedigree Red Poll cattle – the region’s native breed – and also the Alpacas.
The club’s members, who have raised almost £175,000 for local charities and good causes in the past 12 years, were keen to fund a specific project at Thornage. One of their senior members, former president Robin Baines, who is also an adviser to Thornage Hall’s land committee, suggested a farm project
Farm Manager Philip Culley and Chief Executive Angela Steggles took the party on a 90-minute tour, which included meeting one of the three female alpacas. One, Victoria, clearly took a shine to the visitors, as the party also looked briefly at the nearby orchard.
Mr Culley explained that some of the Red Polls lived outside for part of the winter months while others were housed. A replacement animal shelter was needed, partly for the bull because the existing structure was close to collapse.
A suggestion that Wroxham Bure Valley Rotary could fund a new, robust shelter, which would be open on one side, would be invaluable.
The dozen visitors including president Peter Milsted, president-elect Robin Baines, and former president Simon Gorton, inspected the site of the new raised herb garden. Work was about to start on creating a wheelchair-accessible area, which would be easier to tend, in front of the existing glasshouses.
Then, the party was shown the Red Poll herd. Mr Culley explained that the 70-acre farm helped to feed Thornage’s resident tenants. However, sales of the market garden’s organic and biodynamic surplus produce have grown significantly in the past few years with local outlets including nearby Back to the Garden, local hotels and restaurants.
After the tour, the party, which included trustee Michael Pollitt, enjoyed supper at the Three Horseshoes, Briston.
Author: Michael Pollitt
Royal West Norfolk Golf Club are hosting a charity Golf Day on 17th September 2021 in aid of Thornage Hall Independent Living to raise funds which will be designated to support the construction of an additional supported living facility, Orchard Lodge.
As part of the fundraising event, the RWNGC are also holding a silent auction which is now live. Click on the link: https://givergy.uk/RWNGC/?controller=home to see the amazing prizes on offer for all to bid on.
Please feel free to share with friends and family members who may be interested.
Beef boost for Thornage thanks to Norfolk agricultural valuers
Keen bidding for surplus beef at the annual dinner of Norfolk’s agricultural valuers made £660 for Thornage.
A long-standing traditional charity auction was a great success. Thanks to Edward Fitzalan Howard, retiring president of the Norfolk branch of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, members decided to donate the entire proceeds to Thornage Hall Independent Living. Edward, son of the chairman of Thornage’s trustee board Tom Fitzalan Howard, even paid £50 for one of the six lots of beef.
Rachael Hipperson, secretary to the Norfolk branch, said that £330 was bid for the surplus beef, which was then doubled by CAAV matched funding.
The speaker at the annual dinner, which was held at Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett, was a Thornage trustee Michael Pollitt. He talked about farming’s 50-year cycles of prosperity. Almost two centuries ago, wheat prices peaked at £28 per ton in 1812 – and it took another almost 150 years to achieve that level.
He also said that in 1819 Fakenham’s corn hall was the country’s largest wheat market selling almost twice as much as London’s Mark Lane.
A surprise socially distanced gathering was held at Thornage Hall to mark 20 years’ service by farm manager Phil Culley.
Tenants, colleagues and trustees gathered in the cow barn on a wet Friday afternoon in late May to celebrate his long service award.
The guest of honour had joined Thornage Hall Independent Living, on May 21, 2001 during the foot-and-mouth epidemic.
He was presented with a certificate by CEO Angela Steggles, a pint glass tankard engraved “Phil Culley 20 years Thornage Hall” a box of Adnams bitter and a number of other gifts.
In addition, Business & IT Administrator, Solomon Barnard, had compiled a photographic scrapbook of Phil's 20 years on the 70-acre farm containing tributes from tenant, staff and others in the agricultural industry.
A large sponge cake, decorated with a tractor, had also been baked especially for the occasion from our Bakery workshop leader Kim. Frances had also created and presented a colourful drawing for Phil.
In response, Phil said that he was taken aback by the surprise presentation, which was also attended by his wife Marie. He had joined Thornage in 2001 having been encouraged to apply for the post of market gardener by a former trustee.
He had absolutely no idea that the small gathering had been planned and was obviously surprised that friends and colleagues had gathered in the cow barn for the occasion.
The special long service certificate was signed by trustee Jenny Manser and Angela Steggles, a further trustee Michael Pollitt also attended.
We are delighted to announce we are officially registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
The Fundraising Regulator are an independent, non-statutory body that regulates fundraising across the charitable sector in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information, please click here:
We have officially released our Online Shop!
If you would like to purchase handcrafted products from the Tenants & Day Service Users at Thornage Hall Independent Living, please click here
During this lock-down period we have been working hard to keep our social media up to date. We hope this will help you feel a little more in touch with life in the community at this time. You might find these posts especially useful if you have family who live at Thornage Hall or if you are an isolating member of our day service community at home.
Stay up to date with regular news plus some project ideas and activities for you to work with at home too.
Subscribe to Thornage Hall on the following platforms:
Everyone is concerned about the spread of Corona Virus/COVID19 and here at Thornage Hall Independent Living we are very aware that we work with many people who have additional health needs and who may be additionally vulnerable to infection.
On the advice of Norfolk County Council we have now closed our day service provision to external users.
We will continue to manage the farm and land with tenants receiving support from day service and house staff. Our support staff, workshop leaders and managers continue to be extra vigilant in relation to infection control and to take common-sense steps to reduce the risks to our service users.
If you are unwell, or if you are concerned about cross infection, please follow the NHS guidance.
If you suspect that you, or someone you care for have symptoms resembling those of COVID19 the NHS is asking people with internet access to use the dedicated COVID19 111 Online Service. This will take you through the same questions asked by staff at the 111 Telephone Service. To visit the online 111 service (click here).
Using the Online Service for COVID19 queries is quicker than making a phone call, you will not have to wait for your call to be taken, and pressure will be eased on the 111 Telephone Service – which is stretched at present – to be available for those who do not have internet access, those who have been directed to make a phone call by using the 111 Online Service first, and those calling with non-COVID19 related health queries.
We will endeavour to provide regular updates and further information as/when we can; if you have any concerns about our response or guidance please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 26th March 2020
If you shop online via Amazon, please consider shopping with Amazon Smile and choosing Thornage Hall Independent Living as your selected charity.
This will donate 0.5% of the total price to Thornage Hall at no added cost!
We are currently offering opportunities for stall holders at our annual Summer Fair.
If you would like to be considered please complete the attached form.
We are glad to announce we are now accepting applicants for day volunteering. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit our "Day Volunteers" page by clicking here.
This page is located on our Thornage Hall website and can also be viewed by clicking "How You Can Help - Day Volunteers"
Our chairman has died after a long illness aged 79
An innovator in social care in Norfolk and with a lifelong passion for creative solutions to help people, Ted Hare, has died aged 79.
When poor health ended his career prematurely after 30 years, he had been Norfolk’s director of adult social services.
However, four years later, in 1999, he had quadruple heart surgery and made a complete recovery.
With renewed enthusiasm, he spent the next 25 years as a nationally respected healthcare and social care consultant. He became heavily involved with Norfolk groups and charities including serving as chairman of Thornage Hall Independent Living, near Holt, and vice-chairman of Aylsham & District Care Trust.
Edward Joseph Hare, who was the youngest of three, was born at Downham Market in 1941. After Lyng Church of England Primary School, near Reepham, he passed his 11+ and went to CNS (City of Norwich School) at Eaton.
After working for the Inland Revenue, where he met his wife, Rosemary, they married in 1963. Edward joined Norfolk County Council as a mental health worker in 1965, covering south Norfolk, completed his training and was awarded a certificate in social work.
Rapidly promoted, in 1972 he became one of three team leaders for the City of Norwich, responsible for older people and those with physical difficulties.
He pioneered day care in residential homes, introduced short-term respite for the elderly and encouraged volunteers to provide transport and support.
Studying part-time at Cranfield School of Management in 1975/76, he was awarded an MSc in social administration.
At a Norwich care conference in May 1978, he highlighted Norfolk’s emerging challenge of an increasingly elderly population, which would be more dramatic than anywhere else in the country.
His practical “can-do” approach was crucial in delivering successful developments for the most vulnerable in the community. His watchword: “There’s no limit to what can be achieved as long as you’re prepared to help others take the credit.”
He was always reluctant to be in the limelight but was a driving force for change. For more than three decades, he worked with health care organisations and housing associations and encouraged planners to provide purpose-built assisted housing. The Lawns, Great Yarmouth, was a successful model, which others copied. Benjamin Court in Cromer was another joint initiative, this time with the National Health Service and Broadland Housing Association.
He encouraged learning disability projects to enable people to play a more active role in society. Another passion was developing independent living opportunities for those with learning difficulties such as at Thornage Hall.
A flagship scheme, St Michael’s care complex in Aylsham, which has a 86-bed care home with nursing and mixed tenure housing, was just one of his many hugely successful projects.
He was asked to advise on many schemes including successful projects in Newark, Nottinghamshire and a conversion of a Victorian house in Worcestershire into a 42-bed assisted living residential complex, including day care centre for dementia.
Closer to his home in Old Catton, Norwich, he led the development group for Halesworth’s integrated health and social care complex – similar to the Aylsham model.
He was also a trustee of Norfolk’s cancer charity, the Big C, and of WellsCommunityHospital among many others.
As an assessor for a charity, Spurgeon’s Child Care, he helped to bring a 14-year-old Romanian girl Andreea Caprita for treatment by consultants in Norwich, as the EDP reported in August 2002. She suffered from Von Recklinhausen Syndrome, which causes large unsightly brown patches all over her body, and could not be treated in own country.
His hobbies included surfing and windsurfing and in his seventh decade took up snowboarding with equal enthusiasm. He was also passionate about wine, especially those from Bordeaux and Burgundy.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has two older sisters, one in the United States and the other in Canada.
Photograph kindly provided by Rosemary Hare.
Ted Hare R.I.P
Great result in photo competition
Dominic & David presenting our fresh picked chard.
What a great result for Thornage Hall Independent Living – and especially to be announced on Norfolk Day, July 27, 2021.
The latest photographic competition celebrates the vital work of Norfolk’s small charities and groups – and Thornage was awarded third place.
Norfolk Community Foundation launched the competition to coincide with Norfolk Day, and to highlight the work of local and inspirational community and voluntary groups.
Claire Cullens, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Congratulations to our competition winners and their images which highlight just some of the inspirational work we’re proud to support in Norfolk.
“Our local charities and voluntary groups have been a lifeline for many during the Covid-19 pandemic and we were delighted to continue our annual celebration as part of Norfolk Day to help thank these inspirational organisations for everything they do to make Norfolk shine brighter."
The range of entries illustrated the work by local groups to benefit their communities.
The winning entry was from Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which provides relief from the effects of bereavement to children and young people who have suffered the loss of a parent who served in the British Forces.
Taken by Ian Burt Photography, it promoted Scotty's Virtual Festival - a fun-filled virtual festival that put smiles on the faces of children and young people when lots of other activities could not go ahead.
The runner-up was Norfolk Accident Rescue Service. The image by Daniel Lightening Photography wins £300.
NARS provides critical care clinicians who volunteer their services to give specialised medical assistance at major trauma incidents, such as road traffic collisions, industrial and farm accidents, and serious medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest. They have been saving lives in Norfolk for around 50 years.
And in third place, Thornage Hall Independent Living, which receives £200.
The rural north Norfolk-based charity provides supported living, learning, and working for adults with learning disabilities. Alongside supported accommodation, the charity runs a biodynamic farm that produces food for those living on the estate, as well as local sales, and provides a range of craft, IT, and artistic activities for those taking part.
The photo, taken by Georgie Allpress, shows the garden team with some of the first harvested Rainbow Chard.
Results – Scott’s Little
Soldiers £500; runner-up Norfolk Accident Rescue Service £300; third, Thornage Hall Independent Living £200.
See the Eastern Daily Press for full story.
Author: Michael Pollitt
Photographer: Georgie Allpress
We are delighted to announce we will be supporting Duncan Baker on his 26 Miles for 26 Charities!
A massive thank you to all staff and followers who nominated us as one of the 26 charities, we truly appreciate this opportunity.
If you would like to support Duncan in this special event, please visit: https://www.duncanbaker.org.uk/marathon for more information.
We have had to put considerable thought into the merits of holding the Summer Fair given that Thornage Hall is home to adults with learning disabilities who are extremely vulnerable.
Our priority and duty of care will remain, as always, with our tenants, day service users and our staff, therefore it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to cancel the Summer Fair which was due to take place on Sunday 5th September.
I hope you will understand why we have taken this decision and we very much look forward to your support at future events.
Graves of Briston was established 75 years ago just after the second world war and has been buying our organic beef cattle for some years.
Butcher Paul Graves rates the Red Poll cattle from Thornage, which produce really tasty beef. "We work closely with Philip Culley and have done for some years," he added.
H V Graves was started in 1946 by Paul's grandfather when food was still rationed. The weekly ration entitled shoppers to buy about 10p worth of meat. It lasted for almost 14 years until it was scrapped on July 3, 1954 when all rationed ended.
Red Poll cattle, East Anglia's native breed, thrive at Thornage and been run on the farm for the past 20 years or more.
Phil said "The Graves have always supported us as a local charity and have always dealt with our butchering and giving a fair price for young stock. Their team is incredibly valuable to work with and we are grateful to work alongside them as an external stakeholder. Congratulations on behalf of us all at Thornage Hall"
See EDP for full story: https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/h-v-graves-butchers-briston-anniversary-8227020