Farmers Weekly delivers ride-on toys to children in need

With Christmas fast approaching, the Farmers Weekly Machinery team hit the road to deliver ride-on tractors to children’s charities across the country.

Special thanks goes to Massey Ferguson, New Holland, Fendt, John Deere and JCB for their generous support.

See also: When, how and why farming charities Rabi and FCN can help you

Sebastian’s Action Trust

With thanks to John Deere

Sebastian’s Action Trust children enjoying a ride

The charity is named after Sebastian Gates, who came up with the idea of establishing a retreat for seriously ill children and their families just before he lost his battle with rare form of childhood cancer at the age of nine.

Sebastian’s Action Trust has created the UK’s only purpose-built facility to offer respite holidays to children from birth to 19 with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, providing them and their families with a place to relax, recharge and have fun.

It aims to deliver 100 family respite breaks, 40 crisis breaks and 500 family day visits to the house built on Sebastian’s vision.

It’s called The Bluebells and is in the Hampshire village of North Waltham, and the charity is currently developing a new facility in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

For more information and to donate, call 01344 622500 or 01256 391854.


With thanks to JCB

Based in Braintree, Essex, Parc was founded in 1995 by a group of parents of disabled children who were frustrated by the lack of play opportunities and care in the local area.

It is a short break centre for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, and also helps provide support to their wider family. Group sizes are limited to low numbers in order to give each child the best experience on their visit.

The voluntary management of Parc is made up of parents and carers who all have disabled children and therefore have an acute awareness of the environment that will best help their visitors.

For more information and to donate, email or call 01376 528999.

Home-Start Harwich

With thanks to New Holland 

Home Start supports families

Providing one of the few support outlets for children and families in Harwich, Home-Start has been running for 24 years and is funded solely by the National Lottery and Virgin Money.

Wendy Taylor heads the organisation, which offers a range of services including help for new families in the area, as well as those suffering with bereavement, money worries and isolation issues.

It also supports for the families of the armed forces and parents with disabled children.

Regular classes are run throughout the week for under-fives in the rented hall and a helpful outdoor space nearby offers children the chance to be at one with nature, including trees, old tractor tyres and a willow den.

There are 270 families registered with the charity. Pantomimes, days out and regular tailored support is all part of the package.

For more information and to donate, email or call 01255 556230.

Honeypot Children’s Charity

With thanks to Fendt

Honeypot Children’s Charity provides respite breaks and support to young carers, some of who are as young as five years old.

Although still children, these boys and girls find themselves in a full-time caring role, helping to give medication, carry out household chores and assist with personal care.

Honeypot’s Pen y Bryn centre opened in mid-Wales in 2016 and provides a much-needed break for carers between the ages of five and 12.

Groups of up to 13 children are collected from their homes in the Honeypot minibus and taken to the centre for a short break from their responsibilities.

They take part in a range of activities such as swimming, riding bikes and go-karts, trampolining, building dens in the forest and going on bug hunts. Breaks run throughout the school holidays and every weekend, giving these children a chance to play, have fun and make friends.

Pen y Bryn provides breaks for children living in Wales, the West Midlands and the North West. The charity also has a centre in the New Forest, Hampshire, which helps children from London and the Home Counties.

For more information and to donate, call 01686 622773

Hope House

With thanks to Massey Ferguson

Hope House cares for babies, children and young people who have life-threatening conditions and are not expected to live beyond 25 years of age. 

The charity is named after baby Hope Peachey, who died in Birmingham Children’s Hospital aged just 10 months old, and it provides a respite care service for more than 750 families who are caring for a terminally ill child.

This gives parents a much-needed break from their daily caring routine, but allows them to stay on site while their child is being looked after.

Siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends are welcomed too, and they’re encouraged to make themselves at home, relax and join in activities.

Families are also able to bring their sick child to Hope House while they go away for a break or spend time with healthy brothers and sisters. Support is offered to families who have already lost a child, too.

Hope House is based near Oswestry, Shropshire and together with its sister Tŷ Gobaith hospice near Conwy, provides support to children and families living in Shropshire, Cheshire, mid- and North Wales.

More information and to donate or call 01691 671671.

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