Seckford Foundation has donated £1,170 towards a defibrillator on the Woodbridge riverside for the local community, in co-operation with Woodbridge Riverside Trust.
The life-saving device has been installed at the river end of The Longshed, on Whisstocks Place in Woodbridge. Funding for the unit was provided by the Seckford Foundation and East Suffolk District Council, with Woodbridge Riverside Trust funding the cabinet.
Woodbridge is one of the most recent Suffolk towns to receive a public defibrillator, and the unit’s location at The Longshed makes it convenient for the community, in a prominent, high-footfall area.
Clive Schlee, Chair of the Seckford Foundation, said:
“I am delighted that the Seckford Foundation has been able to support the community of Woodbridge by providing this life-saving defibrillator.
“It is important to the Foundation that we do all that we can to assist and work with our local community. Whilst we hope that there will be no need to call the device into action, it is a valuable safeguard for our town, in case the worst should ever happen.”
Bryan Knibbs, Chairman of Woodbridge Riverside Trust, adds: ” The Woodbridge riverside Trust is delighted to be able to install a defibrillator at the Longshed with financial help from the Seckford Foundation.”
The Longshed is a maritime heritage initiative at the heart of the Woodbridge community, dedicated to the region’s outstanding maritime heritage and riverside environment. It is home to an exciting range of events and long-term projects, from boat-building and tapestry-making, to festivals, exhibitions and performances.
To find out more about the Woodbridge Riverside Trust, go to www.woodbridgeriversidetrust.org/Read More
Students and staff at Woodbridge School are celebrating outstanding results in A-Level examinations this summer, with 64% of students achieving at least one A grade and 39% achieving at least one A*.
Of the 91 students that sat A-level exams at Woodbridge School this year, 87% achieved A*-C grades and over a quarter secured at least three A or A* grades. The average UCAS points achieved were 360, which is equivalent to three A grades.
Three quarters of all papers sat received at least a B grade, 45% were marked at an A grade or higher, and one fifth received an A*, making this the school’s best year for over a decade. The average points per candidate across the whole year worked out at the equivalent of better than three A grades per candidate.
Three students (pictured left) are thrilled to be heading to Oxbridge universities in September. Becky Garnett, who achieved 3 A*s, is off to Worcester College, Oxford, to follow her passion for Biology. Eva Hilger, who achieved two A*s and one A, who will be studying French and Beginners Russian at Somerville College, Oxford, and Fraser Mckee, who achieved one A* and two As, will be studying Law at Downing College, Cambridge.
Becky Garnett said: “It’s a big relief and a big weight off our shoulders. It’s nice to know all the hard work has paid off!”
Ella Hooper (pictured right in the production of ‘Father Time’ taken at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), obtained four A*s at A-level but has rejected her offer of a place at Oxford University to study Classical Archaeology and Ancient History in favour of an offer from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Neil Tetley, Headmaster of Woodbridge School, said: “The students should be justifiably proud of their outstanding achievements and we wish them all well in their chosen university and career paths.
“Sixth formers at Woodbridge School thrive academically and personally through working hard but also throwing themselves into sport, drama, music or one of the many other activities here which support their self-development as confident, independent and well balanced young adults. As well as congratulating the students I’d like to thank the teachers and sixth form support team who have dedicated themselves to helping these students flourish.”Read More
A team of six students from Beccles Free School in Suffolk are second best in the world, after an outstanding performance representing England at the RoboCup CoSpace Robotics World Championships, the world’s largest robot competition, held last week in Hefei, China.
The RoboCup Junior league, which attracts hundreds of primary and secondary schools globally, develops students’ abilities to write computer code, programme robots, analyse the effectiveness of different search strategies and develop mathematical and problem solving skills. Students at the World Championships programmed robots to pick up objects, avoid traps and drop off loads in a designated area.
Nigel Youngman, Headteacher at Beccles Free School, said: “The students’ phenomenal success, coming second in the world no less, is a testament to the hard work of so many people. The students themselves have been tremendous ambassadors for the school, and for the country. They have been learning mandarin and making new friends with students from across the globe.
“If it wasn’t for the huge generosity of the Free School’s parents, students, local businesses, charities and many kind individuals in the local community, this trip would never have happened. What’s exciting now will be how the RoboCup team share their knowledge and experience with other students, helping them to discover the magic of programming and robotics.”
Later this year, the Beccles Free School students will start a programme where they’ll be visiting primary schools across Suffolk to inspire the younger generation and share their coding and robotics expertise.Read More
A special commemorative plaque was unveiled in Woodbridge on Wednesday 10 June by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, in celebration of 500 years since the birth of the town’s famous benefactor, Thomas Seckford, in 1515. The Duchess’ visit was planned by The Seckford Foundation who, through their provision of education and care of the young and elderly in the community, carries forward the legacy of Thomas Seckford today.
The Duchess unveiled the plaque alongside the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Euston, at Thomas Seckford’s tomb in St Mary’s Church on Church Street in the town.
Roger Finbow, Chairman of The Seckford Foundation, said: “We were honoured to receive a visit from The Duchess of Gloucester, and pleased that Her Royal Highness was able to see all the great work that is ongoing at each organisation within The Seckford Foundation today, as well as our plans to carry the legacy forward for generations to come.
“Thomas Seckford has had an enduring impact on Woodbridge and across Suffolk, and his legacy is as powerful today as it has ever been. We are delighted that the great man has been recognised further with this special visit from The Duchess and the unveiling of the commemorative plaque.”
During Her Royal Highness’ visit, The Duchess met with representatives from The Seckford Almshouses and Jubilee House care home in Woodbridge, including 94-year-old Almshouse resident Patrick Warren, who was recently presented with the Ushakov medal by Therese Coffey MP for his involvement in the Arctic convoys during World War Two. The Duchess also met six young students from the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust and was presented with a posy by Phoebe Bell, aged 11, from The Abbey at Woodbridge School.
Also during Her Royal Highness’ visit, awards were presented to Joley Williams and Melissa Postma, who both recently completed the Seckford Springboard programme and have since gone on to achieve full-time paid employment. Seckford Springboard enables young people aged 25 and under to access education, employment and training through apprenticeships, mentoring or grants. Joley, who completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery, is now working alongside chefs at Beccles Free School, Woodbridge School and The Seckford Almshouses. Melissa, who gained qualifications in ICT and Business Administration, now works in the HR department at Willis in Ipswich.
The unveiling of the commemorative plaque is one in a series of special celebratory events throughout the year in recognition of the 500th anniversary of Thomas Seckford.Read More
94 year-old Patrick Warren, a resident at The Seckford Almshouses in Woodbridge, has finally received further recognition for his efforts in World War Two with a special medal presentation that took place on Friday 29 May. Patrick was presented with the Ushakov medal by Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, during a coffee morning event at Jubilee House, the Seckford Foundation’s residential care home.
The Ushakov medal is awarded to sailors who were part of the Arctic convoys during World War Two; a campaign to help transport crucial supplies to the Soviet Union in northern Russia. Described by Winston Churchill as the “worst journey in the world”, the convoys sailed through blinding snow storms and darkness whilst under attack from German U-boats and fighter planes. More than 3,000 men died during the campaign and, by May 1945, the Arctic route had claimed 104 merchant and 16 military vessels.
Due to a rule by the Foreign Office which did not allow British soldiers to receive a foreign medal for an act which happened more than five years ago, the Arctic convoy veterans didn’t receive any recognition for their bravery during the War until 2013, when the rule was broken and President Putin presented the first medals during a visit to London. Patrick, who said not a day goes by without a thought for his wartime days, says he is delighted to receive the Ushakov medal after a long-awaited 70 years.
Patrick joined the Royal Navy in April 1940 at age 19 and, after completing his training at Shotley in Suffolk, he joined the Mediterranean Fleet aboard HMS Foxhound along with 150 crew members. He was involved in many Atlantic convoys until the ship became damaged in an attack and had to go in for repair. When Patrick returned to duty on the HMS Foxhound he was issued with “winter woollies” and, in that moment, he knew what his next journey would be.
As the journey often resulted in the loss of ships and crew, most crews only undertook one Arctic convoy each. Patrick continued to serve aboard various convoys across the world, including to North Africa, Japan and Malta. Patrick also recalls taking a swim in the Mediterranean sea as a celebration on VE day as his ship was between Gibraltar and Malta. In 1946 Patrick left the Royal Navy and returned to his home in Suffolk with his wife, where he has lived and worked ever since.
Sarah Kopferschmitt, Head of Care at The Seckford Almshouses, said: “Patrick describes his wartime experience as “very exciting” and he always has many tales to tell. He has a clear recollection of many adventures, pranks he and his convoy got up to as well as the dangerous missions they undertook. He gave an outstanding and heroic service to this country during the War and we’re all thrilled to see him receive this much-deserved honour today.”
Patrick has lived at The Seckford Almshouses, on Seckford Street in Woodbridge, since moving there with his late wife many years ago.Read More
Students at Beccles Free School, on Castle Hill in Beccles, are the best in the country when it comes to computer programming a robot. They have won the honour of representing England in the World finals of the CoSpace Robotics competition, RoboCup. The group of students are now fundraising for their trip to the RoboCup International Championships, which will be held in Hefei, China, from 17th July 2015.
The students, aged between 12 and 14, defeated tough competition from primary and secondary schools across the UK at the National Championships event, held at BT Adastral Park in March 2015. Mr Don-Daniel, the robotics team lead at Beccles Free School, described the students’ performance as “amazing”, with their talent and skills receiving high praise from the judges.
Johann Don-Daniel said: “It is an outstanding achievement for the students here and we’re immensely proud to be representing England in the International Championships. We are currently fundraising for our trip to China in July and welcome any donations to enable the students to take this extraordinary trip.”
The CoSpace Robotics competition (RoboCup), is a computer coding competition, where students pair up to program robots to pick up objects, avoid traps and drop off loads in a designated area.
The competition develops the students’ ability to write computer code, programme robots, analyse the effectiveness of different search strategies and develop mathematical and problem solving skills.
The Seckford Foundation, has celebrated 500 years since the birth of its benefactor, Thomas Seckford, with a Founders Day event held on 24th May.
The Founders Day service was held at St Mary’s Church, Woodbridge and attended by over 120 people with connections to the charity. It was followed by a Reception at The Abbey, which was re-built by Thomas Seckford for his home and is now the preparatory school for Woodbridge School.
An Annual Review for 2014 (which can be found here) was published to coincide with the event which illustrates how the Foundation has carried forward Thomas Seckford’s legacy and will continue its work with a strong focus on tackling issues of rural isolation. The launch in 2014 of a new Foundation initiative, Seckford Springboard, has created new opportunities for disadvantaged young people who are not in education, training or employment, enabling them to overcome the significant barriers they may face, including rural isolation, and bridge any gap that may be in their way. Ten volunteer mentors have been trained as part of the programme to date, which also offers mentoring, apprenticeships and small grants.
The Foundation had a very successful 2014 across its four schools – Woodbridge School and three publicly funded Free Schools in Beccles, Saxmundham and Ixworth, which in total have approaching 2,000 students in full-time education.
Around 800 pupils aged from four to 18 are educated at Woodbridge School, the Foundation’s co-educational independent school which has an outstanding academic reputation as well as achievements in music, sport, art, drama and chess. The Foundation is committed to maintaining the breadth of access to the world class education, with more than 80 means-tested bursary awards given in 2014, when 87% of A level students gained all A* – C grades and 50% of papers at GCSE received an A or A*.
Young people and education have been part of the Seckford Legacy for 350 years and the Foundation continued this tradition with the introduction of the three Free Schools over the past two years, offering exceptional learning to students aged 11-16 years. Beccles and Saxmundham Free Schools opened in 2012 and both have received Ofsted reports of “Good with outstanding features.” Following their success, Ixworth Free School opened in September 2014 and will welcome Year 10s for the first time this September. The Foundation intends to grow its family of Free Schools in the future.
The Foundation’s award winning care of the elderly is centred on the Seckford Care Almshouses and Jubilee House, where it provides sheltered, very sheltered and residential accommodation and day care services, as well as small grants to aid independent living. In 2014 the Foundation Jubilee House care home manager, Cathy O’Brien, won the ‘Dignity in Care Award’ at the Great British Care Awards for the Eastern Region.
During 2014 the Foundation’s links with the wider community continued to strengthen, with a number of joint activities with local schools and £6,500 in grants awarded to local primary schools. 33 other local grants were also awarded, totaling £23,000, including £4,000 awarded to charity Just42, which supports young people facing challenging times and provides a mobile youth centre bus and £10,000 awarded to the creation of the Ipswich Town Football Club Education Programme and their primary school literacy project.
Roger Finbow, Chairman of the Seckford Foundation, speaking at the Founders Day event, said: “Our charitable aims are still as relevant today as they were when Thomas Seckford walked the streets of Woodbridge.”
He added: “As a means of marking Thomas Seckford’s anniversary with something longer lasting than a few celebratory events, we have just appointed UCS to conduct a piece of research which will look at the effects of rural deprivation on young people, the extra challenges they face and what needs to happen to improve their chances in life. The findings will guide Seckford Foundation’s future strategy in addressing the needs of the disadvantaged in rural Suffolk.”
Seckford Foundation will announce further details of the research in the coming months.
For more information and to view The Seckford Foundation’s first Annual Review in full, please click here.Read More
We are delighted to announce that HRH The Duchess of Gloucester will visit the Seckford Foundation to mark the Quincentenary of Thomas Seckford’s birth. Her visit will give us the opportunity to bring Her Royal Highness up to date with the range of activities undertaken by the Foundation. She last visited the Foundation in September 2005 which was to open the refurbished AlmshousesRead More
The Woodbridge and wider Suffolk community are invited to celebrate the town’s most famous benefactor, Thomas Seckford, in an evening of music and entertainment at St Mary’s Church on Friday 15th May. The event will be the first in a series of celebrations this year to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas Seckford’s birth in 1515.
‘An Evening with Thomas Seckford’ will be hosted by the Friends of St Mary’s Church in partnership with the Seckford Foundation, Choose Woodbridge and Woodbridge Town Council. The evening will feature the story of Thomas Seckford and his enduring legacy, which continues to support a variety of causes in Woodbridge and beyond, followed by a concert of Medieval and Renaissance music from the acclaimed Colchester Waits, who will perform using ancient instruments including shawms, sackbuts and fiddles.
Nick Cottam, Chairman of The Friends of St Mary’s, said: “It should be a really entertaining evening in a building which is very much part of the Seckford legacy. Proceeds from the event will fund a commemorative plaque next to Thomas Seckford’s tomb in the church.”
Doors open for ‘An Evening with Thomas Seckford’ on 15th May at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £10 including refreshments and are available in advance from the church shop on Market Hill in Woodbridge, or on the door. Entry is free to anyone aged 18 or under.
Other events to celebrate Thomas Seckford’s 500th anniversary include a Tudor theme to the Woodbridge Carnival on Saturday 4th July which culminates in a firework display at The Abbey School; a Gala Dinner organised by the Seckford Foundation on 3rd October and The Seckford Lecture, organised by the Foundation, on 12th November.
Graham Watson, Director of The Seckford Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Friends of St Mary’s, Choose Woodbridge and Woodbridge Town Council to help mark the 500th anniversary year of the birth of Thomas Seckford. The events during the year will show how the legacy of this great man is still alive in Woodbridge and Suffolk today. This will be supported through The Seckford Foundation’s provision of education and care of the young and elderly in a variety of ways in our community, which will carry the legacy forward for future generations.”Read More
The Foundation has announced the appointment of two further trustees, Judi Newman and Jeston Na Nakhorn.
Judi has worked across the charitable and public sectors in local, national and international organisations as a fundraiser and philanthropy advisor for the past 20 years. She was previously the Development Director for the Suffolk Community Foundation, where she helped raise endowments for Suffolk worth over £7m from local benefactors and match funders. During her time at the Suffolk Community Foundation, Judi worked on a range of initiatives to raise awareness and funds for Suffolk communities, including Suffolk Dog Day, the EADT’s Surviving Winter Appeal and the 2011 “Hidden Needs” report from the University of Cambridge.
Judi is now establishing a new independent charity to improve access to renewable energy in remote communities in rural India, called the Armstrong Energy Global Foundation.
Jeston followed up a Classics degree from Bristol University with military training at RMA Sandhurst, after which he was commissioned into the Army, serving first in the Royal Logistics Corps and subsequently the Coldstream Guards. During a 17 year military career he served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, with further overseas postings in Italy and Denmark.
Upon retiring from the Army he joined J Sainsbury and is currently the manager of Sainsbury’s London Road Ipswich store.
Welcoming Judi and Jeston to the Foundation, Roger Finbow the Chairman, said
“I am delighted we have managed to recruit two such experienced and capable trustees whose skills and expertise will undoubtedly enhance and complement the already wide range of skills represented by our board of trustees”