Chelford Together have recently returned from another succesful, entertaining and enlightening holiday. The holiday was based in Tewksbury, Gloucestershire and some amazing days out were arranged during the visit.
A highlight for many of the group was a guided tour of Highgrove Gardens. Highgrove is the private residence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. Since 1980 when the Prince of Wales first arrived at Highgrove, His Royal Highness has devoted much energy to transforming the gardens around the house, which are renowned as some of the most inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom.
The tour included highlights of the Stumpery with its National Collection of Hostas, The Cottage Garden, The Sundial Garden and Thyme Walk. The Prince, together with the team of gardeners has transformed the area into magnificent gardens with differing themes all using techniques which are sustainable and eco friendly. The gardens are also home to many gifts from overseas countries, and a bronze relief of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother amongst others. Over the last 25 years, more than £7 million has been raised for The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund through garden tours, events, retail and catering at Highgrove.
Other visits on the 5 day holiday includes a full day in Bristol, with a guide joining the coach for a fascinating tour of Bristol to include SS Great Britain, the magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the Avon Gorge and other locations designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution who changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions. Further locations visited included Royal Worchester, Cheltenham Spa and the delightful Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-water.
The group was blessed with the weather meaning plenty of opportunities to sit outside with a gin, tea, beer or favorite tipple and watch the world go by and take in the scenery. Some free time at the Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel Tewksbury saw the group relaxing on the terrace watching golfers and some of our 80 – 91 year olds having a dip in the indoor pool!
Every evening had entertainment from male and female vocalists to a general all round entertainer on the last evening.
Chelford Together organises the holiday itself so it can be tailor made for the group, who are mainly in their 80's and 90's, this means a great atmosphere and caring and friendly environment is ensured.
Mike Jehan, Chair said " The annual holiday is a highlight for many of our residents from Chelford, Wilmslow, Poynton and surrounding areas. It's something to look forward to throughout the year and people feel safe and secure in actually going on holiday. Many people have said without this specially arranged holiday they would not get away. We even use a coach with a wheelchair lift from Selwyns Travel of Runcorn to ensure that even those who cannot manage steps are able to take part. We ensure that every detail is looked after and work with the hotel staff and coach company to raise awareness of the requirements of the group, including being "dementia aware"
One of the attendees Lillian Holmes from Chelford who is in her 80's commented " This is my first hotel holiday for 13 years, and although I was apprehensive about going, I need not have worried, I had a lovely time, in lovely company and felt safe and secure. I also laughed a lot and loved the entertainment"
The annual holiday is just part of the actvities and support Chelford Together undertake, using Chelford Community Hub as its main venue. The not for profit organisation has no paid staff, but a great band of volunteers that make things happen with the aim of reducing social isolation and loneliness and creating a compassionate community.
It was no rest of the volnuteers however, as, as soon as they were back they were ready preparing and baking for Chelford Togethers McMillan Big Coffee Morning 2 days later! The work that Chelford Together (previously named Chelford Tenants and Residents Association) was recognised by the receipt of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for volunteer groups) in 2015 and already other communitues have come to gain ideas and support for their own villages and towns, including the setting up of a new organisation "Wrenbury Together" !
Who said getting older is no fun? In Chelford the older generation certainly have plenty to keep them occupied, inspired, healthy and young at heart!
For details of Chelford Together and its activities Telephone 01625 861038 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.e-voice.org.uk/chelfordtara