Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by News Team
The annual BBQ at Steps is normally blessed with the very best weather British summer time can provide. This year was our 9th BBQ, and it was very different, we filled the garden with gazebos and tents so people could shelter from the stormy conditions, and unfortunately these were well used!!!
We had themed the BBQ this year around the Olympics and had some games planned for the children and guests to take part in, luckily the rain clouds parted around 1.30 and we were able to enjoy some welly wanging, egg and spoon racing and some very brave attempts at our assault course!!!!
The rain did return, but the day was a great success, with a brilliant turn out from all our families and social workers, along with care and education staff.
Everyone who took part in the Steps Olympics received a winners medal, with the high flyers being presented with trophies to mark the occasion, on our very own winners rostrum, the rain couldn’t beat us!!!
Sadie Dangerfield, Home Manager- Hillcrest Steps
Steps' sack race!
Posted on: June 21st, 2012 by News Team
Hillcrest is pleased to announce that two of our Oxfordshire homes; Hillcrest Steps and The Bartons, have received an Outstanding rating in their latest Ofsted Inspections.
“This is an exceptionally well managed home governed by an organisation that is totally child focused and geared to improve the outcomes for all the children it cares for.” Hillcrest Steps Ofsted Report
“Key to all of the work carried out with children and young people is the excellent ability the manager and her staff have to help them develop warm and positive relationships with staff and with each other. “ Hillcrest Steps Ofsted Report
“Young people make substantial progress in all aspects of their lives. They have improved confidence self esteem and a positive understanding of their own abilities as a result of the highly individualised support they receive.” Hillcrest The Bartons Ofsted Report
“Staff effectively support young people in the home and in their educational placements by maintaining excellent links with local colleges and challenging any barriers to learning.” Hillcrest The Bartons Ofsted Report
To find out more about our Outstanding homes go to the Homes & Schools page – Oxfordshire.
Posted on: June 21st, 2012 by News Team
Oathill Lodge girls and staff participated in a charity football match on 16th June 2012. The match was held to help support The Homeless World Cup Foundation.
The Foundation is a charity set up to support football projects based around the highly successful annual, international football tournament. It has triggered grass-roots football projects in over 70 nations working with over 40,000 players all year round.
The Foundation exists to nurture and grow these projects with the ambition to reach one million players in 75 nations with the benefits of football.
Both girls and staff played extremely well. The Lodge won the game 9 – 8. The day was such a success it inspired some of the girls to join a local girl’s football team!
Looking forward to the next game!
Tracie Lee Bennie
RCW Oathill Lodge
The Lodge Football Team!
Posted on: May 21st, 2012 by News Team
This Easter Holiday four young men and three staff from Poppy Lodge travelled over land and water to take on an activity adventure weekend with PGL on the Isle of Wight.
The centre, set in 48 acres of woodland, offered an amazing selection of 40 different activities. Before our departure date we received an itinerary that showed we would be spending a busy three days doing swimming, trapeze, matrix, ladder logic, aeroball, archery, abseiling, zip wire, giant swing and outside climbing.
Luckily the weekend package included three cooked meals per day with as much variety as the activities to choose from, everyone found something they loved.
Our most energetic boy’s favourite activity was Aeroball. This is a cross between trampolining and volleyball where you have to use your bounce to stop opponents from scoring goals, whilst trying to score some yourself.
Another young person overcame his fear of heights to scale the 40ft climbing wall using ropes and a harness which he had set up himself from scratch under the close supervision of a trained instructor.
At the end of a fantastic weekend we all agreed we had had a brilliant time. So much so, that we are planning to return soon!
Mia Payne; RCW, Poppy Lodge
Posted on: April 24th, 2012 by News Team
All the children have enjoyed a great Easter break and we have been scaring ourselves on the high ropes course at ‘Go Ape’, challenging ourselves mountain biking at Bedgebury forest and enjoying the thrills at Thorpe Park.
In the last two months we have completed our ‘international food night’ and have sampled Jamaican and Lebanese cuisines so far. The children have been excellent in helping prepare these and have completed quizzes on each cuisine, with prizes being won by all.
After two years at Sandilands one of our young people has successfully returned to her family in China. In this time the stable, safe and nurturing and therapeutic environment at Sandilands has allowed this young person to excel with her academic achievements and emotional development.
The homes staff and children will miss her greatly but wish her the best for the future.
We have been glad to receive visits from our previous children and to hear how well they have been doing and the positive mentoring they provide to the children on their visits.
Christian Palfrey, Team Manager – Hillcrest Sandilands
The Go Ape Challenge!
Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by News Team
Easter 2012 and the Norfolk locals had to lock up their most treasured possessions as the Southcombe Pirates left Steps for a week on the Broads Cruisers!
After a quick lesson for those new to the boats and a refresher for the old sea dogs (Broads veterans from 2009), the convoy snaked its way to Barton Broad for its first mooring and sleep on a boat.
Tuesday afternoon took the pirates to Wroxham (where Roy seems to own the whole town) and off to the barns to show their softer side by bottle feeding some lambs.
Wednesday was a wet and bitterly cold day, providing the perfect opportunity to find those sea legs and for the children to practise their driving skills.
With a maximum speed of 5 knots it was more like the ‘slow and the curious’ than the ‘Fast and the Furious’, although the Robinson brothers clearly thought it was a Red Bull event.
Thursday welcomed a return of the sun and a chance to shake off the cabin fever with a trip into Great Yarmouth. After a quick ride on the donkeys and a tour of seaside shops (clearing out the supplies of sticks of rock), it was down to the serious business of crazy golf.
The 18 hole pirate course was both challenging and fun, but Steve managed to retain his title. There was still time for the thrill seekers to feel the adrenalin at the fun fair finishing with a Steps battle on the dodgems.
Friday morning and the locals could relax again as we moored for the final time with no damaged boats or bones and a treasure chest overflowing with happy memories.
Steve Dumbrill; Team Manager, Hillcrest Steps
Mooring at Wroxham
The Three Amigos
Posted on: April 18th, 2012 by admin
On Friday 13th April we took our young people to the Wye Valley canoe centre near Hay on Wye. After getting kitted up and having our safety briefing we took to the water where we practised out turns. Then off we paddled!
We joined all the boats together (rafting up) and in turn the girls tried standing up and moving from one boat to the next, standing only on the edges (gunnel walking). Some of the girls were nervous at first, however, they soon built up the confidence to do it.
Time to stop for lunch and a chance to teach the girls how to skim stones on the river. They seemed to enjoy this a lot!
For the next excercise we held onto each other’s boats and worked as a team going down the river together. Most of us were lucky and managed to stay in our boats but a few ended up overboard! (it was Friday the 13th after all).
Once back at the centre we all warmed up and headed out for a well deserved dinner. A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all!
Jem Berry, Oathill Lodge
Safe on dry land!
Posted on: March 28th, 2012 by News Team
On Sunday 25th March all the children and staff at Hillcrest Steps joined thousands of other people across the country and ran a mile for Sport Relief.
This is the third year we have taken part and two of our youngsters completed 3 miles.
The stories of hardship of children from around the world really affect our young people and they were very motivated to raise as much money as possible, so they were delighted to have raised £230.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored our young people, we are very proud of them.
Sadie Dangerfield, Home Manager
Sport Relief Fun Run
Posted on: March 21st, 2012 by News Team
Charlie Longsdon has established himself as one of the most successful and respected race horse trainers in the UK, with winner ‘Paintball’ at Cheltenham and his first runner in the Grand National.
In the last year their stables have produced 44 winners from 233 runners and are going from strength to strength.
This environment is where Barton’s resident, Theo, has earned a job.
Working with the horses in the stables; cleaning, feeding and training them as well as galloping and hurtling across the Oxfordshire countryside!
Theo developed an interest in horses, which he hopes to turn into a career, when he first went on work experience aged 14. Theo has since undertaken equine studies at college, passing level 1, with level 2 to be completed shortly.
There have been opportunities to lead out horses at the Cheltenham festival (Which was recorded on the house and played back many times!) and Uttoxeter, among others. All of which have been excellent experiences for Theo.
Charlie’s team pride themselves on happy, healthy horses. Theo has benefitted from being part of this close knit team, learning many new skills.
Whilst Theo’s main work is at Charlie’s he also regularly volunteers at other yards to gain experience and work with the animals he loves.
Theo also believes that his work with horses has given him inspiration and drive to achieve a career in his chosen vocation.
Alex Dodd, The Bartons
Theo at work
Posted on: March 21st, 2012 by News Team
Following the Mayor’s visit to our new service; Hillcrest Beachlands the boys have settled in very well and are really enjoying being on the island.
They have made a real effort to make the house look nice and have made their rooms look really cozy. We are doing lots of joint activities with Hayling and Poppy Lodge and the boys are enjoying being so close to each other.
Forthcoming events that the boys are looking forward to include an inter – house football match and Go Kart Racing as well as a game of outdoor laser quest.
James Barlow, Home Manager
Hayling Island beach