A bit about our charity of the year during 2012

In 2012 Worcester music festival raised £6000 for New Hope.

New Hope respite centre for children with disabilities and complex healthcare needs was chosen as our charity of the year for 2012 after long and careful deliberation by the WMF committee.

What eventually swung it for the centre in Worcester’s Ronkswood was the fact that, on top of being a hugely invaluable service for families, it firmly believes in music as a vital form of therapy.

The woman behind New Hope is Jean Wilson, who set up the non-profit centre two years ago after struggling to find support with bringing up her own autistic daughter, Emily, who is now nine.

The day it opened, three children and their parents turned up at the door. Now, the centre provides a fun and safe environment for over 50 children who come from as far as Stratford and Birmingham, giving families a much-needed break from what can sometimes be all consuming.

Open on Saturdays and throughout the holidays, New Hope has truly become a lifeline for the community, with the children who go there ranging from 6-19 years old, having everything from ADHD and autism to Fragile X syndrome, Down’s syndrome and Rett syndrome.

Thanks to New Hope, the children experience a whole new side of life, with activities at the centre ranging from cooking and arts and crafts, to day trips for horse riding and canoeing. And, of course, music sessions, courtesy of Sean’s Music Therapy, an enthusiastic musician who wears vibrant outfits and brings extraordinary instruments.

What is incredible is that New Hope receives no government funding and relies on fundraising to survive. Which is why we are going all out to raise as much money as possible for the centre at this year’s Worcester Music Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Specifically, New Hope needs £6,000 to cover staffing costs in the summer holidays alone, so, if you see one of us Wumus out and about with a collection box at this year’s four day explosion of live, original music, please don’t turn away. Take a second to find out where the money will go.

Why support New Hope? Hear it from the horse’s mouth…

“New Hope provides an absolutely invaluable service to our community.”
Inclusion officer at Worcestershire County Council

“I am very impressed with what you have achieved, Jean. I think it’s fantastic and Worcester is very fortunate to have New Hope.”
Education officer for the West Midlands Dyspraxia Foundation

“My son had a great couple of days at New Hope again, and thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Dudley Zoo. I was particularly impressed to read about the strategies you used at bowling. The last few times we’ve been as a family, he’s only been interested in running around the amusement area and we’ve not managed to get him to do any bowling. But your staff got him to join in. Fantastic, thank you so much.”
A parent’s comments after her son went bowling with New Hope

“You do an amazing job and this must take up many hours of hard work. As you may know, I work full-time and care for my grandson three days a week. So, when I found your centre, it was more than welcome, to find something for him to do on a Saturday. A place run by staff who understand and are qualified to look after children like my grandson. There are not enough social activity clubs like yours around, hence we travel 45 minutes to bring him to you.”
A grandparent who cares for his grandson three days a week

Did you know?

  • Jean’s son, William Hughes, is the bass guitarist in Jasper In The Company Of Others, a Worcester-based, funky folk band recently signed by Sound-Hub Records and who are set to perform at the Marr’s Bar during Worcester Music Festival 2012.
  • Last year’s WMF charity was Maggs Day Centre, with WMF 2011 raising more than £7,000 to keep the Deansway lifeline for the homeless open an extra day during the winter.
  • Since Worcester Music Festival was launched five years ago, nearly £20,000 has been raised for local charities

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