Category Archives: Friends of Pinewood

Pinewood Virtual Christmas Fair

christmas fair 8

Our fantastic, festive Christmas Fair moves online this year due to Covid-19.

We really hope that you will help us support our wonderful stallholders, who have had a really tough year, by joining us at the ‘Virtual’ Christmas Fair – do all your Christmas shopping in one place and support local small businesses at the same time.

Please click here to download the full list of this year’s would-be stallholders.

Happy Shopping!

Friends of Pinewood Charities 2020-21

Ginger 2 re-size

After much debate and discussion amongst the children in Pre-Prep and each of the houses in the Prep School, the following local charities have been chosen to be supported by Friends of Pinewood this year:

Pre-Prep – Trindledown Farm (National Animal Welfare Trust) and sponsorship of ‘Ginger’ the Guide Dog

Farnborough – Threshold (Swindon’s Homeless Charity)

Melchet – Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue

Motcombe – Restore (an Oxfordshire based mental health charity) and The Harbour Project (a Swindon based charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers)

Postbridge – Faringdon Foodbank run by Churches Together in Faringdon

Donations to Local Charities

House charities

As a school we are keen to support charities local to us, and we were delighted to be able to present each of our 5 chosen charities with £1500 recently.

The charities (Swindon Night Shelter, Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Pennyhooks Farm Trust, Threshold, and Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre) were chosen by the children in Pre-Prep and the four houses in the Prep School, and we are very grateful to the entire Pinewood community for their support at last year’s Friends of Pinewood events, which enabled us to make these donations.

Our charities for this year will be announced shortly.

Pre-Prep with charity certificate Oct 20

Bonfire Night

Bonfire 27

An enormous thank you to Friends of Pinewood, and to all the Pinewood parents and staff who supported us and helped to make such a wonderful Bonfire Night on Friday; the rain held off and there was a wonderful atmosphere. We are thrilled to announce that we raised £6,260. This is an incredible amount of money and will enable us to make generous donations to our chosen charities this year: Swindon Night Shelter, Pennyhooks Farm Trust, Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Threshold, and Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Each of the school houses along with Pre-Prep has chosen a charity for FOP to support this year, please click here to read more about the charities we have chosen.

To view more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.

Friends of Pinewood Charities 2019/20

Pinewood General Oct 15 050

In a change to previous years Friends of Pinewood asked the pupils to choose the charities they would like FOP to support this year; they were encouraged to stay local, and so each house in the Prep School, plus the whole of Pre-Prep have selected their own charities to benefit from FOP donations. We are delighted to announce that the children have chosen the following charities to support this academic year:

Postbridge  – Swindon Night Shelter

Swindon Night Shelter seeks to serve those who are homeless, vulnerable and struggling in our area. They run a Night Shelter every Friday night for anyone who is homeless, where they offer a hot meal, a chance to shower and a bed for the night. There’s an opportunity to relax, chat, receive advice about help and support in the week. They also work closely with the other services in Swindon to provide signposting and support for their guests throughout the week. In addition they run a day centre for those who are homeless, vulnerable and struggling in the Swindon area, as well as working with local supermarkets and other businesses in Swindon, to collect and distribute charitable surplus to those who need and can use it.

Motcombe – Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary

The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary admits & rehomes around 500 animals every year. Since opening in 1967, they have proudly managed to help over 26,000 animals find their forever home. At any one time, they have around 50 dogs, 70 cats and kittens, plus a number of rabbits. They also care for their permanent guests of goats and a horse called Ben. They were founded to be inclusive, understanding and a place where any animal was welcome. Many of their animals come from difficult backgrounds; some arrive with acute behavioural needs and some have immediate medical needs. They deal with each case individually and start by earning their trust and understanding their needs. They will never put a healthy animal down and work to find each one a forever home; where this is not possible, the Sanctuary becomes their home and staff and volunteers give them as close to a pet’s life as possible.

Melchet – Pennyhooks Farm Trust

Pennyhooks Farm Trust provides a unique experience for young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum: a meaningful, working life on a beautiful, small, organic beef farm, situated on the Oxfordshire and Wiltshire border. Pennyhooks welcomes 50 children and young adults with ASC every week. Some attend weekly, others daily, depending on their needs. All are offered many opportunities to develop social and working skills. Skills such as being part of a team, listening to and following instructions, practising and persevering, through learning a wide range of practical skills and work based activities in animal care, conservation, horticulture, woodwork, rural crafts, baking and more. Our students are given the opportunity both to develop specialisms in particular areas of interest or aptitude and to try new activities and skills.

Farnborough – Threshold

Threshold is a local, independent charity which provides short, medium and long term accommodation to single, homeless people in Swindon. The charity provides a Street Outreach Service, offering support and advice to single homeless individuals and to those threatened with homelessness, and 3 general needs supported accommodation resettlement schemes. Each year over 750 people access their services for advice, support, advocacy or accommodation.

Pre-Prep – Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre

Oak & Furrows aims to provide care for wild animals in need, so that they can be returned to the wild fit and healthy for a second chance. They operate a 24 hour Wildlife Rescue Service, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Annually the centre takes in over 3,000 wildlife casualties and receives between 6 and 7,000 telephone calls for help and advice, all this achieved by a dedicated team of people comprising of staff, volunteers, friends and supporters, without whom it would not be possible.

In addition to the above charities, we continue to have strong links with Bishopstone Primary School, and we sponsor animals at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and a young student in India through World Vision, as well as donating to ongoing projects at Pinewood (such as the new Outdoor Classroom).

Friends of Pinewood would like to thank the whole Pinewood community for your ongoing support at the events we hold – we couldn’t do it without  you! We look forward to seeing you at Bonfire Night on Friday 1st November!

New Outdoor Classroom!

Outdoor classroom

If you go down to the woods today …

… you’ll find Pinewood’s new outdoor classroom!

Have you discovered Pinewood’s new outdoor classroom? Funded by Friends of Pinewood, it’s hidden away in a magical copse of trees at the very bottom of the playing fields.

Nettles have been cleared, the tree canopy made safe, tons of woodchip laid and an enchanted learning area created. Complete with composting loos, a firepit, benches, bug hotels, and even hand-made bunting, the area is protected by a huge parachute, strung from the trees so it can be used in all weathers.

As many of the building materials as possible are recycled from the woods and grounds of Pinewood, and the composting loos have been constructed with discarded pallets from the building site in the main school.

We couldn’t have done it without the expertise of Johno and Becky Kimberley, and Rob Tyler, who run the Cotswold Forest School near South Cerney. We brought them in to advise us on location and then to create and construct the site. It is their passion and creativity that has transformed this once-forgotten copse into a beautiful outdoor classroom that all of our children will benefit from for years to come.

Huge thanks go to Friends of Pinewood for funding this exciting new area for the school, and also to Phil Overson, Adam and the rest of the Pinewood grounds team for their support, generosity and manpower throughout.

The outdoor classroom will be officially opened just before Half Term. Do take the time to walk down there and see it for yourself!

Friends of Pinewood Summer Afternoon

FOP Summer 52

An enormous thank you to Friends of Pinewood and all the volunteers who helped them on the day, for such a successful and fun Summer Afternoon last Friday. We are thrilled to announce that the event raised £2900! This is a tremendous amount and, as well as being put to good use within the school, will also help us make generous contributions to our chosen charities this year: Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Pennyhooks Farm Trust, Julia’s House and Wiltshire Treehouse.

For more photos from the event, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Friends of Pinewood Clothes Sale

FOP Clothes Sale

A HUGE thank you to Friends of Pinewood for organising the brilliant clothes sale last Thursday and Friday – what a fun way to shop for new clothes over a glass of champagne and canapés or a cup of coffee and a chat with friends! Thank you to everyone who donated clothes and to all those who came and supported FOP at the event.

We are thrilled to announce that the clothes sale raised £2300 – all of which will be donated to Helen & Douglas House, who provide hospice care for babies, children and young people in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

Friends of Pinewood Clothes Sale

FOP Clothes Sale

It’s time to update your wardrobe over a glass of fizz or a cup of coffee!

The FOP Clothes Sale Preview takes place on Thursday 16th May from 6.30-8.30pm. Tickets in advance only: £10 (to include fizz, canapés and your chance to grab the best bargains!) Tickets can be bought by paying £10 into the FOP bank account using your name as the reference: A/c number 01536185; sort code 30-13-35.

The main sale takes place from 8.30am-12.30pm on Friday 17th May. £5 on the door (to include coffee, cake and a chat!)

Venue: The Old Manor, The Square, Aldbourne, SN8 2DU

For more details, please click here.

Friends of Pinewood Quiz Night

3d small people - lying on a question mark

A HUGE thank you to Friends of Pinewood and to our Quiz Master, Mr Benbow, for organising such a fun evening on Friday, and well done to the ‘Gin Bunnies’ who came first in the quiz!

We are thrilled to announce that we raised the record sum of just under £3000, which will go towards projects within the school, as well as a donation to our chosen charities this year: Wiltshire Treehouse, The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Pennyhooks Farm Trust and Julia’s House.