Southsea Day Trip 2023

Another week another Coach Trip this time 20 families 30 adults and 58 children enjoyed a lovely day in Southsea. The trust paid £2,000 for the coach hire and lunch in the fantastic Beach Club restaurant on the seafront.

London Day Trip

We had an amazing day with our 53 Ukrainian friends today even the predicted bad weather stayed away.

We had an early start leaving Wantage at 6.30 am but we made good time reaching London by 8.30 am despite the rain along the route.

We had a fantastic tour of the Houses of Parliament our guide Princeton was an encyclopedia of knowledge. So amazing to see the House of Commons we’ve all seen on TV and House of Lords and hear the history. Both houses look so much smaller in real life especially the House of Commons because Winston Churchill wanted a loud raucous room when it was rebuilt so he could look the opposition right in the eye whilst debating. Lots of beautiful art and sculptures of historical political figures and kings and queens.

We then had a lovely walk-through St James Park which everyone enjoyed.

We also stopped off near Buckingham Palace for everyone to jump out of the coach and take some pictures.

Then it was off to the Natural History Museum which is breathtaking. So much to see you’d need all day. Being the summer holidays, it was busy but still enjoyable although very hot. Incredible exhibits everywhere you looked.

We all boarded the coach home at 4 pm tired but very happy. Our Ukrainian friends all said what a brilliant and beautiful day they’d had. Hopefully, we took their minds off the horror of what was happening in their homeland for a few hours, all the smiles and laughter certainly suggested that. A huge thank you to the Ruby & Will George Trust for funding this day trip.



Glory to Ukraine

Wantage C of E Primary School Citizen Awards

I was very proud and privileged to be invited to my old primary school this afternoon representing the Ray Collins Charitable Trust a partner in the King Alfred Academy Citizen Awards to hand out over 100 Citizen Award certificates and badges. The recipients of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards had worked extremely hard to achieve their awards. Helping others, Making a Difference, Being kind, Raising funds, and stepping outside of your comfort zone is a large part of the awards. It was a real pleasure to see so many talented and joyful students rewarded for all their endeavors.

Well done to Wantage CE and King Alfred’s Academy for such a great initiative.

Wantage Carnival 2023

On Sunday June 4th the Wantage Carnival took place in the Market Place. A fantastic day bathed in beautiful sunshine.

A huge thank you to all the bands, The White Lakes, Growler, Horizon, Mother Girth, and the always fantastic Oxfordshire Rock Choir- for a brilliant and energetic performance. Also thanks to JT Productions for the PA system. The Wantage Silver Band for leading the parade and a wonderful performance, Grove Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, and the Rock Choir for taking part in the parade. Unfortunately, a couple of groups had to pull out last minute but hopefully, we will have more community groups next year marching along.

All the traders and community groups had a great day and thank you to the thousands of people who attended, smiled, sang, danced, and had fun all day long. It was a truly wonderful atmosphere all day.

We also had our lovely new Mayor Cllr Angela Dunford open the event.

We were approached by dozens of people complimenting the event, the music, the funfair and stalls, and most of all the amazing atmosphere – it was Wantage at its best.All the trustees and volunteers worked for months and some spent 14hrs at the event making sure all went well and everyone was kept safe. No event is ever perfect and our costs (like everything and everyone else) have risen again this year with the event costing over £5,000 to put on.

We always hope to make a profit and every pound we raise will go back into the community and to helping those most in need.

Thank you to all for helping us to keep“making a real difference in our community”We are hoping to run four day trips this summer…. two for disadvantaged families, one for those living in isolation, and one for Ukrainian families living within our community.Without your support, we are unable to continue the work for our community, if you are able to please Donate – it is greatly appreciated by all.

Some photos of the day below….

Coronation of King Charles III

What an amazing Coronation Tea we all had this afternoon. Over 50 guests enjoyed a selection of sandwiches, and quiches including the coronation quiche, sausage rolls, veggies rolls, cheese scones, cream teas, trifles, various cakes and more…
Guests took turns having their picture taken with our knitted Crown, sceptre and orb and all thoroughly enjoyed it.
18 volunteers decorated the hall with bunting, flags, banners, balloons and flowers from Charlton Park Garden Centre (Sarah Varney) pots painted superbly by students at Millbrook Primary School making the whole hall red, white & blue and looking very patriotic.
Each guest went home with a special coronation mug made by Snob & Lock in Wantage and beautiful coronation cupcakes from L&S Cakes in East Hanney.
A fun-filled afternoon watching the return to the palace and fly past plus all the wonderful music added to the atmosphere.
Several parish councillors popped in to help serve and speak to the guests. Wantage MP David Johnston also popped in and chatted with our guests who were pleased to see him.
A huge thank you to the Cornerstone Cafe for such exceptional food which was devoured by all our guests. Thank you to Grove Parish Council for funding the meal and everything else. A very big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers for making this such a special event on a historic day.

Easter 2023

This Easter we were delighted to host 50 local deserving residents.

Each enjoyed a fantastic Roast Beef dinner with all the trimmings, two cakes for dessert’s, tea, coffee, and non-alcoholic alternatives, plus they all took home two stunning cupcakes and two Easter eggs each. Five meals were delivered to guests unable to attend.

The guests were also treated to a wonderful music performance by Howard Hill playing some well know old tunes.

Fifteen lucky guests took home the wonderful table flower decorations.

All the guests were blown away when they found out the flower pots were painted and provided with the Easter cards handmade by the students at Millbrook Primary School.

On Good Friday fourteen volunteers delivered over 200 Easter eggs to local deserving families.

Fifteen volunteers turned up at the Down To Earth Cafe @ The Old Stables Stirling’s Close to set up for the elderly & vulnerable dinner guests.

A massive thank you for the beautiful flower decorations by Charlton Park Garden Centre Sarah Varney, flower pots painted and decorated by students from Millbrook Primary School, crockery and cutlery supplied by King Alfred’s Academy plus chocolate treats from Waitrose Wantage, and Easter eggs from Sainsbury’s Wantage.

Thank you also to Wates Construction for their Easter egg donations, wonderful cupcakes from Liane @L&S Cupcakes, and Kate owner of Down to Earth Cafe for allowing us to use her premises, a truly fantastic community effort for our lovely guests to enjoy a wonderful day.

It had been a long and tiring weekend but all the Trustees and volunteers were happy to have helped 275 people enjoy a fantastic Easter.


New Trustees Join RCCT

We are all excited to announce three new Trustees have joined the Trust.
Regular volunteers Lisa Smith and Tanja Salter have helped us for many years and Teresa Burns joined us as our new treasurer.
We are delighted to welcome our new trustees new faces, new voices, and new ideas. We are all looking forward to carrying on working hard to raise funds, help local people and continue making a real difference in our community.
If you can find ways to give people hope then there’s an opportunity for something good to happen. Good people don’t set out to be a leader, they set out to make a difference because it’s never about the role, always about the goal.

Character & Citizenship Award at MBK

We were delighted to be involved with the Character & Citizenship Award at MBK.
The first Character and Citizenship Award Ceremony took place at Millbrook last week, with children being the first pupils within the Vale Academy Trust to gain this prestigious accolade!
The Vale Academy Trust launched its Character and Citizenship Award scheme across its six primary schools last summer, with the support of community partners: the Ray Collins Charitable Trust, the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Thames Valley Police, Wantage Town Council and Williams Racing. The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Mrs Marjorie Glasgow, B.E.M. is the scheme’s Patron.
To mark this special occasion, we invited Ray Collins from the Ray Collins Charitable Trust into the school to present the 15 pupils with their silver awards. Ray, a former King Alfred’s pupil, explained: “When our Trust was asked to be one of the partners of the Vale Academy Trust’s Citizen Awards, we were immensely proud to be involved.”
“Seeing first-hand the joy and pride on the pupils’ faces when receiving their awards was just wonderful and then hearing about what they had achieved in order to attain their awards was very uplifting. In line with what lies behind the award’s ethos, it was lovely to see that kindness, caring, helping, and encouraging others were at the heart of this.”
“I also heard about children being courageous and being encouraged to step out of their comfort zones by giving talks to classmates, fundraising, and joining clubs both in and outside of school. The self-confidence gained from these experiences will stay with them and benefit them throughout their lives. I look forward to presenting many more of these awards in the future!”
Our children were so excited to receive their awards and were delighted that Ray could be there to present them. Ray thoroughly endorsed the message that being kind and caring for your community is something that we value highly and is achievable by all. Our pupils were utterly inspired by his life story and came away ‘buzzing’ with enthusiasm!!!
Ray also stayed on to meet with some children who shared their citizenship award booklets with him & discussed how they found the scheme! Our children told Ray that they have loved working towards their character and citizenship targets, with Luke commenting, “it’s really great to see everything that we get the chance to do, and ticking off my targets makes me feel really proud.” And Lucas added, “I like it because it helps you remember all that you actually do at school!”
Ray then showed the children his charity’s “Queens Award for Voluntary Service” certificate from Queen Elizabeth II, presented to him in 2021 by the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. The award was presented for all their hard work and good deeds in the community and it’s signed by the Queen – it certainly inspired our pupils!

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