Charity launches £70k land purchase bid

Harvest Moon Festival
Out of the rain -  Watched by charity trustee, Ria Farncombe, left, and Norfolk Composter's Poppy Elston, games organiser Harriet Mann, second right, enjoys a game with young players, from left, Coral Bradberry, Millie Rose-Beadle and Max Johnson
Harvest Moon Festival Out of the rain - Watched by charity trustee, Ria Farncombe, left, and Norfolk Composter's Poppy Elston, games organiser Harriet Mann, second right, enjoys a game with young players, from left, Coral Bradberry, Millie Rose-Beadle and Max Johnson

A West Norfolk-based charity has launched an appeal to raise tens of thousands of pounds to secure a home of its own.

The plan was outlined by officials from A Change of Scene for Animals and Children during a major fundraising event in Burnham Market at the weekend.

The charity currently rents several areas of land in the area and needs to raise £70,000 to buy its own land.

A site in the area has been identified and an online fundraising page has been set up for the project.

Manager and founder member Pauline Daisley-Brown said that, although the owners of the lands they currently use have been consistently supportive of their work, the concern that they may need those fields back in the future was holding the charity back.

She said: “We want to stay in the area. What this would do is secure the charity’s future by being able to put down permanent infrastructure.

“Once we do that, we can increase our provision for young people.”

The charity, which is based in nearby Burnham Thorpe, offers sanctuary for rescued animals and support for young people in need of a break from their daily lives.

It already needs to raise around £10,000 a year, through events, donations and entries to a monthly draw, to cover its regular costs.

One of the events that helps to meet that need is the fifth annual Harvest Moon Festival, which the charity stages at the Burnham Breck campsite on Saturday.

The site was colourfully lit up with rainbows that spectacularly encircled the nearby Burnham Overy Tower windmill.

However, the rain clouds were less kind and for the first time since the festival’s inception in 2013, the programme was slightly shortened by the conditions.

But Ms Daisley-Brown said: “The festival was full of fun and music despite the blustery weather.”

The festival was also backed by a number of local businesses, including Norfolk Master Composters who provide fertilising help for the charity’s allotment, and Deepdale Games who specialise in indoor board games.

Groups that are supported by the charity can include young carers, those who need work placement experience and young people who are coping with injury, loss of a parent or who have no settled home.

The organisation is currently helping to provide a change of scene for young adults with learning disabilities from Fakenham.

All are able to enjoy an open-air rural environment. They are able to learn husbandry skills by working with a range of animals or by helping on an allotment.

Like the children the animals have been rescued from a less than perfect life. Residents include a pony without a caring owner that was attacked by dogs, an abandoned young donkey and injured ducks and geese.

Ms Daisley-Brown said: “We provide sanctuary for both animals and the children who visit us.”

Details of all the charity’s activities can be obtained by emailing cosfcaa@gmail.com.

To donate to the land campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/achangeofsceneforchildren.