The Roof is On!
The new roof is now fully in place with LED lighting installed and an extension framework and roof for Phase 1b is in place at the stable end. It is a wonderful achievement and means that the primary objective has been achieved to keep the school open and running.
Phase 1b is to build the internal structure in the extension to include a new hay barn, viewing gallery with a disabled access ramp as well as steps and a new office. There have been some changes to the original plan to reduce costs and speed up the work, the office being one of these objectives. I have been able to get copies of the architectural drawings for the extension. The extension has been increased in size; The viewing gallery will include additional features so that it can function as an indoor office for those who work and volunteer. This will be hugely welcome in the winter months when previously the only available space was the tack room, cold and very expensive to heat. The viewing gallery will offer a warm environment for parents and volunteers and will be fitted with one-way glass so that the school can be observed without the students having concerns about anyone who might be watching. This in turn will boost their confidence as they progress.
Enough funds have now been received so that the work can begin on Phase 1b although we need to press on with fundraising to get the work completed in time for Christmas and the cold weather at the top of the hill. Although the views may be inspiring even in winter, the wind is not.
Because the roof is complete, I will be looking at modifying the project title and objectives as they stand. Watch this space!
Our Rotary District Governor, Allan Smith, and Assistant District Governor, Linda Lawson, were able to visit Broadlands on 27th September to see what has been achieved so far. They were both really inspired by the success as they watched 3 new students on their first ride. We were also able to speak in detail with Nigel Hoppitt, the Governor of the Board of Trustees at Broadlands, who is an immense source of information about the facilities and what they achieve for the students. I also spent a little time giving Rowan a cuddle. Her top half was a gift from our local Rotary when it was first founded and is now proving to be a particularly effective horse in assisting with therapy, particularly for those who have suffered trauma.
Here we are, at the beginning of July. I visited Broadlands on Friday, collected some photographs from Suzanne and took a few of my own, so now I can provide the rebuild story so far, with illustrations!
First, though, let me show you George. During the rebuild, he looked out of his stable to be faced by one of the workmen's vans. This was understandably confusing, but he has seen a lot of action since the start of the work. I suspect he heaved a sigh and decided that this was harmless.
After scraping away the old surface, the crew needed to lay down a solid secure surface on which the vehicles that would be used to remove the old roof would rest. The resulting pile of material was heaped on a giant tarpaulin after the old surface had been taken away. You can see the old moss-covered asbestos roof in the background.
Next is the lift, hoisting one of the workmen wearing protective gear, ready to begin removal. This removal had to go slowly to ensure full safety. Then a new steel framework was erected to replace the old one which, although strong enough to hold up the old roof, was showing significant signs of age.
To guard the new frame, workmen now needed to paint it; a slow and laborious but essential stage.
And finally, the new roof is on, although just the riding area. Preparation has started for the new hay barn and viewing gallery although we do need more funds to finish this work along with the wheelchair accessible viewing gallery. In the meantime, once the new lights have been erected in the new roof, the school itself will shortly be ready for use, just in time for the Open Day on Saturday, 7th July.
Great news. Broadlands RDA has now raised enough money for Phase 1a, removing the asbestos and the ground beneath, recladding the roof and gables and adding 'hit and miss' boarding to the haybarn end, installing the new steel structure for the viewing gallery and hay barn. We also have enough to complete the new lighting and replace the fencing but these need to be agreed.
A meeting has taken place with the asbestos removal company in the last few days and now we await an updated quote before placing the order with them, their onsite time is appx 1.5 weeks. We also have a suitable quote for the roofing and steelwork for the covered school and extension, their onsite time is expected to be 14 days. Once the asbestos quote is back we will agree on the dates and get underway.
All of the above means that we should be able to complete enough of the work in the next few weeks while much of the beneficiaries activity can be conducted in the fields nearby without too much worry about the weather.
We still need funds but the most essential work can go ahead.
Thank you for your continued support.
Four Marks and Medstead Rotary
Service Above Self
The initial Accelerator Program with GlobalGiving ran from 28th November 2017 until 31st December. We knew we had to raise at least £4,000 from a minimum of 40 individual donors. I thank you all for your incredible support. Including Gift Aid, we raised more than £8,000 from more than 150 donors in those 33 days. It is a marvellous achievement, but we still need to carry on.
I have changed the funding focus on our GlobalGiving web page because we need to concentrate hard on the roof replacement. Whatever our vision, this must come first.
I am not asking you for more donations unless you feel you can, but to tell others about this incredible facility and what it can do for what is an amazing community of volunteers, beneficiaries, parents and teachers as well as the supporting staff. This community is like a big family, providing companionship and support for each other.
One of the necessary things I heard about yesterday, was a need for more ponies and horses, mature and in good health. I heard that some people have perfectly healthy horses that they can no longer support and there are not enough buyers to take them on. If you know of anyone who could help with such a horse, please contact Broadlands RDA through their website or Rotary in Four Marks and Medstead to let us know. The horses are the other part of this amazing community. They learn an instinct for caring for their disabled or troubled riders. They are calm and supportive and I have seen how much they are loved and how much they give in return.
Please don’t forget our cause. It means a great deal to all of us.
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