The Good Causes
CAR-nival is about serious motor sport but there is another very important element – Charity. In the last 22 years we have raised funds for the Army Benevolent Fund and a local charity ‘The Friends of Stowford’. However, in 2016 and following a review of the distribution of monies raised, we re-aligned the event to totally benefit local causes and in 2019 we will be supporting…..
FRIENDS OF STOWFORD
Stowford House was formerly found towards the South-eastern part of the airfield in the village of Shippon. Sadly, 10 years ago Oxfordshire County Council withdrew its funding leaving the residents without a central care facility or focus amongst their collective of small but independent dwellings.
Whilst the long-term care for people with learning difficulties and their need for substantial nursing care is provided by ‘Out-workers’ from the NHS Trust, the residents are left with no formal arrangements for transportation or any inter-action with each other.
There are currently 27 people of all ages (15 men / 12 women) in the group who strive to maintain a degree of normality in their day-to-day lives. Support and welfare is provided through the volunteers, The Friends of Stowford who are a registered charity made up of relatives and friends of the residents. They work ceasingly to provide a better way of life through physical and fund-raising activities and this is where the contribution from the Abingdon Motorsport CAR-nival is vital. Chairperson Anne Brownson comments ‘It is absolutely certain that without the yearly Abingdon Motorsport CAR-nival we simply would not exist and in all honesty, our residents quality of life would be severely affected. In fact, the Stowford Community would have probably been dispersed when the main house closed a few years back if it hadn’t been for the CAR-nival event.’
For their part it’s not simply a case of smiling and accepting the cheques as The Friends of Stowford contribute enormously to the success of CAR-nival. Whether it be through the negotiated free supply of over 1,000 road cones from Enterprise-Mouchell, the evening BBQ and Pig-Roast or their Tea & Cake service through Sunday afternoon, they get stuck in and add to the whole atmosphere.
THE DALTON BARRACKS SOLDIERS WELFARE FUND
In 2016, the CAR-nival changed its emphasis, turning it’s attention to an issue much closer to home. Government cut-backs and reductions in budgets has meant the MoD has had to concentrate solely on the infrastructure of the military operation. With reducing funds for ‘extra, non-essential works’, many of the facilities (both social and recreational) within Dalton Barracks have either fallen into disrepair or are in need of urgent attention. The affects the ‘off-duty’ life of the soldiers posted to Abingdon who are often either on route to oversees deployment or returning from active service in areas of severe conflict.
This means that some facilities are unheated in winter, often with leaking roofs or missing windows and virtually no ‘extra-curricular’ activities exist and there is very little to do when not on duty. To help improve things, Abingdon Motorsports CAR-nival is joining with other organisations in forming a sort of ‘Dalton Barracks Soldiers Welfare Fund’ to help finance a number of projects to improve life for our soldiers such as sports teams and societies. It may be utilising a disused drill hall for a social club or mini-cinema, or even helping with a new table-tennis set or a repair to the broken pool table…. It all counts!
Every penny raised goes directly into specific projects related to the daily life at Dalton Barracks and nothing is ‘added’ to existing MoD repairs or reinstatements so rest assured that every contribution is used for the stated purpose.
So WHY do we do it?
SOME OF THE STORIES OF THOSE YOU ARE HELPING AT CAR-NIVAL
3 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps – 4 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps
Many just think of the British Army in frontline roles as shown above, frontline action against an often unseen enemy. However, there is another Army in the background, the army that is the Royal Logistics Corps and Dalton Barracks is home to 2 Regiments of this vital group of dedicated individuals. 3 and 4 Regiment provide close support around the world, moving troops and equipment to wherever they are most needed and often into areas of extreme danger.
So when they return to the UK and are ‘at ease’ for a few months, they need our support to provide them with a standard of life whilst preparing for their next deployment.
As they say its the little things which are ‘off-budget’ and no longer provided to the individuals to improve this downtime and allow them to have reasonable social life whilst serving Queen and Country.
Through our work with the Station Commander and the Station Officer, we are pleased to donate 50% of what we raise directly into the Abingdon Station Welfare Fund and we give you our strict assurance that every penny gets spent on benefits for the serving soldier.
Afterall, even Super Heroes need their rest time!
Friends of Stowford (It would be inappropriate to highlight specific individuals). There are 27 adults with learning disabilities in Abingdon who live in a ‘supported living residential area’. Their ages range from the early twenties up to seventies, with varied disabilities from those who are able to work for a few hours a week to those who need 24 hour personal support.
The Friends of Stowford is a local charity which provides support for these adults like John, a 45-year-old man, who needed an electric wheel chair to get about. The charity also provides three vehicles to allow these adults to attend hospital, go shopping or even go on holiday without having to hire a special taxi. Our donations over the past 21 years have even provided a specially adapted holiday home.
It just goes to show that heroes can look like your Grandma…..