Saturday, 16 December 2017

Animal attractions aid charity

ENDANGERED species were on show at a farm and garden open day in Kidmore End as it raised more than

ENDANGERED species were on show at a farm and garden open day in Kidmore End as it raised more than £3,000 for a cause close to the owners’ hearts.

Sarah and John Hall welcomed about 800 visitors to Chalkhouse Green Farm on July 21 to support Soundabout, a charity that provides music for communication and learning development for children with profound disabilities.

Animals on show included the Suffolk Punch horse, which is rarer than the giant panda, Great British white cattle and Berkshire pigs.

Children rode donkeys and ponies, played on the lawn tennis court and had a dip in the swimming pool. Families also toured parts of the 70-acre farm in vintage tractor and trailer rides throughout the day.

A percheron horse called Annabell that used to be on the farm until last year returned for a demonstration and talk by Richard Brinscombe.

Mrs Hall said: “At the gardens I go to there aren’t any children there so we try to have a really fun children’s day.

“It’s for anyone who has children and they can come to swim, play tennis or just lie in the sun and have a day out away from the chores of life.

“It provides education as well with all the notices I put up and the demonstrations. I love them to see what position in history this farm has because what they see now has been built up for years.”

The couple, who have owned the farm for 40 years, set up Soundabout in memory of their son Thomas, who died aged 16 in 2002. He had multiple disabilities, including autism, and his parents discovered he could only communicate through music.

Mrs Hall said: “We decided that more children could benefit beside Thomas. Music meant so much to him that we wanted it to work for other children as well. It’s lovely that it’s been such a success.” The charity is now linked with Helen and Douglas House and now reaches 4,000 children each year.

It has recently launched Sounds of Intent, an internet package that measures a child’s musical development.

Mrs Hall said: “It’s what we’ve wanted for a long time because we all need proof to show how people get something out of it.”

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