This beautiful part of Somerset is not only where Thatchers Cider is located, it’s our home. Four generations of Thatchers living and working in this community, where many of our staff also live too.
So naturally, we want to support good causes that make life better here. That’s what led to the creation of the Thatchers Foundation, with a donation from the family kick-starting an ongoing programme of fundraising to support worthy local causes.
Launched in 2016 the Thatchers Foundation is a completely independent charity. Our trustees are Martin Thatcher, Anne Thatcher, Philip Smith, Mike Williamson, Andrew Farron and Kelli Coxhead – drawn from the Thatcher family, Thatchers Cider and the local community.
Over the years we’ve awarded a large number of financial grants – however much of the support given also comes through the donation of time and physical help.
Here’s some of the good causes we’ve supported so far!
Ride Mendips Pump Track
We’ve supported the brand new Ride Mendips Pump Track in Cheddar with a donation of £2,500 towards its development. The volunteer group creates opportunities for people of all ages in Somerset to get into cycling, skateboarding, scootering and other wheeled sports.
The cycle/pump track in Sharpham Road will benefit young people in the area, providing an amazing, all-weather facility to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle in a safe environment.
BARTON CAMP, WINSCOMBE
Barton Camp is a residential activity centre for children, run by Bristol Children’s Help Society. Situated in the Somerset countryside, on the outskirts of Winscombe, it’s one of the longest running residential adventure camps for children in the country.
The Bristol Children’s Help Society subsidises camp stays to ensure young people with any form of disadvantage can experience outdoor adventure.
The Thatchers Foundation has made a £50,000 donation to Barton Camp, allowing much needed refurbishment work and improvements to take place at the centre over the coming months.
Adding to the already fantastic life experiences at Barton Camp, new play and activity equipment will be purchased with the donation, including sturdy football goalposts; the swing area will be renovated; new posts and signage will be produced for a fascinating and informative nature walk, as well as for an orienteering course. To secure the safety of the children around the swimming pool area, an upgrade to the surrounds with a new non-slip material will be carried out.
Barton Camp is a fully accessible 101 bed residential centre; schools, youth groups and children’s charities all enjoy stays at the camp, as do family groups and other organisations.
Axe Valley Men’s Shed
A donation from the Thatchers Foundation will be making a big difference to the Axe Valley Men’s Shed, and the development of its future home at Shortlands on the outskirts of Axbridge.
The organisation offers a unique service to its local community, a valued place for members to pursue practical interests, as well as building social connections and friendships, and importantly supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
At Shortlands, a sensory and accessible garden is planned, as well as landscaping and new outdoor activities. Our donation will also help the group continue its arts and crafts activities at its current home in Cheddar with an external tutor; and expand its workshop facility and model railway club, as well as its computer hub and IT literacy classes.
Winscombe and Sandford Millennium Green
The Winscombe and Sandford Millennium Green was created in the year 2000 as part of a Countryside Commission initiative to establish open spaces across the UK. As part of our local community, this has grown into a much-valued open space that we know and love.
The area is heavily wooded and has become not just a popular meeting point for locals, but a welcome break for cyclists and walkers.
However, the Trustees have been having to face the huge impact of Ash Die Back disease. With some 250 trees that are already, or are likely to become infected, the volunteer group is having to take action and will be using a donation from The Thatchers Foundation to carry out essential safety work, for the benefit of everyone who enjoys this beautiful space.
THE REACH OPPORTUNITY CENTRE
The Thatchers Foundation supported the fundraising efforts of the Reach Opportunity Centre in Weare for new kitchen facilities.
The grant will help this important local organisation which supports young adults with learning difficulties learn important life skills and gain self-confidence. And a lot of that is cooked up in the kitchen.
Anne Thatcher said, “The centre carries out inspirational work, and it’s clear the young adults benefit enormously in many different ways”.
“We’ve had some amazing success stories with the young people using the skills they’ve developed here to go on to jobs and apprenticeships in the local community … We’re very appreciative of the donation from the Thatchers Foundation which is a real boost to our fundraising”. Jill Swingler, Joint Founder of Reach Opportunity Centre
Click here to find out more about The Reach Opportunity Centre: ABOUT US | reach (reachcentre.org.uk).
THE GREAT WESTERN AIR AMBULANCE CHARITY
The Thatchers Foundation helped to fund potentially three lifesaving missions for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
On average the cost of each mission is £1,750 and the charity needs to raise £3m a year to function.
Anne Thatcher said, “This is a lifesaving service and none of us knows if we’ll ever be called on to use it. But if we do, with the required funding, we’ll all have peace of mind that its there for everybody, right across our region”.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Thatchers Foundation. We receive no day-to-day Government funding, so are reliant on the local community and grant-givers to run our lifesaving missions”. Kate Baldwin, Trust and Grants Coordinator Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
Click here to find out more about the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity: Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
The Gilcraft Den
A donation of £5k to the 3rd Weston Super Mare Scout Group will be helping keep the Scout Group dry in future. Their scout hut – The Gilcraft Den – is in desperate need of a new roof, and we’ve been very pleased to help support their own very impressive fundraising of £55k to date.
The Scout Group has been at the heart of their local community for over 100 years, during which time they’ve seen hundreds of young people pass through the group. The Gilcraft Den is also a much-used facility for many other local community groups.
With the building in real need of a new roof to keep the Scouts safe and dry, the fundraisers are aiming for a total of £100k which will also cover the installation of double glazing and wall insulation to help reduce their carbon footprint and provide a Scout Hut to be proud of.
We wish the Scout Group the very best of luck with their renovations!
Young pupils at Westhaven School in Uphill, Weston-super-Mare were so excited when a delivery of new play equipment arrived, purchased thanks to a donation by The Thatchers Foundation.
The pupils, who all have complex barriers to learning, have been out enjoying their new trikes and other play and sensory kit, as well as a lovely wooden bench that now has pride of place in the playground. Here, the Early Learning pupils are able to sit and read, chat, or simply watch what’s going on around them.
Staff at Westhaven School applied to The Thatchers Foundation for a grant and have said what a big difference the new equipment has already made to the young pupils’ enjoyment of playtime.
Westhaven School welcomes pupils from 4-18 years old, into a caring, nurturing environment where everyone strives to be the very best they can be.
Click here to find out more about Westhaven School: Home | Westhaven School
Ever increasing demands for the services of Weston Foodbank has led to them taking ownership of a new delivery van, purchased with help from The Thatchers Foundation.
The van will be used by Foodbank staff to collect donated food from local supermarkets, helping them cope with the growth of food poverty in North Somerset.
The Thatchers Foundation gave a contribution of just over £7000 towards the purchase of the new van, as well as having the vehicle sign-written for the Foodbank.
Weston Foodbank has been providing emergency food supplies for families and individuals in North Somerset for the past 11 years, and over that period has seen the need rise significantly. In fact, in the last financial year, the volunteers distributed over 85 tons of food.
And in the first six months of the current year, it supported 4200 people and saw an increase of nearly 50% in demand last year.
STRAWBERRY LINE CYCLE HIRE PROJECT
The Strawberry Line Café in Yatton, Somerset is a not-for-profit organisation that trains and employs adults with learning disabilities. The café has been open for 9 years and is a valued part of the community; used by locals, walkers, cyclists and more.
The team have recently set up a new cycle hire project at Yatton train station to allow people to hire bikes to ride along the strawberry line and through the Somerset countryside.
Click here to find out more about the Strawberry Line Cycles project: Bike Hire Somerset. Rent adult, kids & adaptive bicycles online (strawberrycycles.com)
ARK at Egwood CIC
Community Interest Company ARK at Egwood has received a donation from The Thatchers Foundation to help in the important task of ensuring their car park area is fully accessible to all.
ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) is an inter-generational, therapeutic day facility at Egwood, on the outskirts of Merriott in Somerset. It offers a range of activities, experiences and support services to improve health and wellbeing, and for gaining new skills, by providing meaningful and worthwhile experiences. All land-based, food and flower production, animal husbandry, hedge laying and dry stone walling are just a few of the activities available for people with differing needs and ages. In fact, the youngest is 9 and the oldest 72.
We were very pleased to donate £4,700 to ARK to help make their carpark wheelchair friendly, enlarging and resurfacing it. “Your support has not only given us more room for people to safely park, and enhanced the area so it is now more suitable for people of all abilities, but it also makes the first impression of ARK so much nicer” they said. “It has made the world of difference to us”.
The Freewheelers serve the NHS and communities across Somerset, Bristol, Bath, West Wiltshire, and South Gloucestershire. Their services are provided free of charge and are funded entirely by public donation and sponsorship. They transport blood, pathology & microbiology specimens, patient notes, X-rays, breast milk, and other medical supplies plus deliver every night to two local Air Ambulance bases. In 2019, they made over 6,000 deliveries, riding more than 170,000 miles.
Freewheelers EVS is run entirely by volunteers and The Foundation were delighted to support them with funds to continue running one of their bikes for 6 months – within which it would cover 12,500 miles saving hundreds of lives. Click here to find out more about The Freewheelers: Freewheelers EVS – Freewheelers EVS Blood Bikes .
The Samaritans Weston-super-mare & North Somerset volunteers have been helping people in the Weston Super Mare and North Somerset area for more than 40 years. Part of the South West region of Samaritans, their branch covers a large area including Weston Super Mare, Blagdon, Burnham on Sea, Clevedon, Portishead and Wedmore. Volunteers at the branch respond to calls and emails from people locally and across the country. In 2019 volunteers at our branch answered 14,025 phone calls, over 1,016 emails and more than 900 text messages from people experiencing emotional distress.
The Foundation were delighted to support the branch with funds for individual headsets for volunteers when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Click here to find out more about the The Samaritans: Samaritans | Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy | Here to listen
THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS SOMERSET
The Wildlife Trusts Somerset are committed to working with the people of Somerset to help recover our natural world and halt the decline in the number and type of species in the county. Connecting local people with the amazing natural world in Somerset is therefore an essential part of their conservation work.
The Foundation have worked with the trust to help them maintain the health of the woodlands under their protection across the county to create a more sustainable future for wildlife and people. Click here to find out more about the The Wildlifes Trusts Somerset: Home | Somerset Wildlife Trust
The Thatchers Foundation welcomes applications for single grants that would make a real difference to organisations, groups or individuals within four specific areas: Health, Social or Economic Disadvantage, Education or Environment.
If you are an individual or organisation resident in the UK, you can apply to the Foundation for a grant by filling in an online application form or downloading and application form and returning it to the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our terms and conditions first – thank you.
Terms and Conditions
PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE FILLING IN YOUR APPLICATION TO THE THATCHERS FOUNDATION. HAVING READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, IF YOU CONSIDER YOUR APPLICATION MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FOUNDATION PLEASE FILL OUT AND RETURN AN APPLICATION FORM.
- The Thatchers Charitable Foundation is established for general charitable purposes for the benefit of the general public.
- It has a particular focus on people living or working within Somerset, and in particular within Sandford, Winscombe and adjoining villages.
- It invites applications for grants of support falling within one of the four categories:
- Social or economic disadvantage
- Applicants must be resident in the UK
- The Foundation will not consider applications for grants from:
- Charities registered outside of the UK
- Political parties
- People living outside of the UK
- Grants are generally made up of single payments. However, where appropriate, grants for period of longer than one year may be considered.
- If a grant is made of more than £5,000, the recipient is required to provide a follow-up report within 10 months of receiving the grant.
- All grants are made at the discretion of the Trustees.
- Upon request, recipients of grants must be willing to be available for photography and partake in media/publicity/marketing materials.
- Applicants that have been awarded a grant, or have been unsuccessful in their application, may not re-apply within 12 months.
- All applicants must complete an application form. There is no deadline for applications and all will be acknowledged. Applications will be reviewed by the Trustees. All successful applicants will be notified in writing.
- To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, applicants are required to consent to the use of personal data supplied by them in the processing and review of their application: this includes assurance by the applicant that personal data about any other individual is supplied to the Foundation with their consent.
Charity Reg No. 1161391 Thatchers Foundation, Sandford, BS25 5RA
Download an application form
Complete our Online Application Form