We are immensely proud to host The Fiona Barker Memorial Fund. Fiona was tragically killed in a car accident in 2006. Her commitment and passion for the countryside meant that she was a great supporter of our work.
Following Fiona’s death her family established a fund to help connect children, teachers and parents with the countryside around them. At the end of 2012, nearly £52,000 had been raised by the fund. A proportion of this has been used to enable over 12,000 children from 330 schools across the country to take part in our Estate Days.
We are delighted to have fulfilled Fiona’s wishes and have attended the Hatfield House Country Show for the last four years and will do so again this year, something that would not have been possible without the support of her Memorial Fund. We are also very pleased that two new Estate Days have been established; one on the Hatfield Park Estate in Hertfordshire and one on the Cranborne Estate in Dorset. This has given us an opportunity to promote our work to a wider audience, helping teachers, pupils and families to gain a greater understanding of the key issues involved in proper management and care of the countryside.
Another charity whose invaluable work Fiona supported was the Kids Company, a south London based charity, founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. It provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people. The relationship that we have built up with Kids Company has been so rewarding, and with the help of Fiona’s fund over the past few years, 400 children have been able to attend our annual Countryside Live event in Lee Valley, Hackney, East London. This unforgettable experience is one that the children will never forget.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder and Director of Kids Company said; “For many children, going on a trip to the countryside is the first time they have been away from the concrete jungle of the inner city. Many have only experienced nature through watching TV and are often amazed when they come up close to it and feel what it is like in real life. Kids Company is very appreciative to the Fiona Barker Memorial Fund for making it possible for our young people to be able to experience the countryside and rural culture”.
Fiona’s family is delighted to have formed a permanent link between Countryside Learning and the Kids Company and looks forward to continuing support via the Memorial Fund in future years.
If you would like to make a donation to the fund, please make your cheque payable to “Countryside Learning, Fiona Barker Fund”, and send it to:
Mr Gary Richardson, Countryside Learning, PO Box 8,
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 5YJ
Tel: 01422 885566
Countryside Learning own 29 woodland sites across the country and we have donated one in Fiona’s memory, at East Haddon in Northamptonshire.