The OVT March Newsletter

It’s finally here and this month it is crammed with everything we have been doing in the community!

From taking part in awareness days to raising money in all sorts of different ways, we bring to you our monthly Newsletter. Looking back at March you can see what we have been involved with, as well as what we have planned for April.


February Newsletter

A path to independence

This month is all about getting onto a path to independence.

We all want independence, from finding work opportunities to cooking our own meals.

Read all about how our local community have supported us this month, how our residents are getting on and how the paths to independence make a huge difference to adults with learning disabilities.

Click here to read the newsletter!

The CEO Blog


Well February certainly announced its self with an icy blast that saw many of us deep in snow.  Our staff and residents responded with their customary warmth and energy, many walked in to work and stayed later to lend a hand and there were terrific combined efforts digging paths, clearing snow and lighting warm fires.

The evenings are beginning to get lighter and there are bulbs coming through in all of our gardens which gives the promise of spring and there certainly is a lot of activity across the Trust.  Our team of marathon runners are all busy with both their training and their fundraising, ready for the main event on 28th April; if you would like to support them then please click here: Sponsor a Runner 

Northcroft residents are continuing with their steps challenge which is helping them to prepare for taking part in the Thames Challenge later this year, where a group will walk for approximately 14 miles.

In Community and Day Services, the new cookery group is busy cooking up a storm which includes some seasonal soups and there are already plans to support Comic Relief in March.  In readiness for a new growing season the community gardening team have acquired a new van, thanks to a generous donation from Epoch Wealth Management .

At East Court, the final touches to the new studio, which Life With Arts donated to us last year, are being completed and this will provide a great space for us to use in a variety of ways as we continue to develop our activities.

So regardless of the frosty start February looks set to be a month full of energy, warmth and creativity.

January 2019 Newsletter

Here’s the front page of our latest Newsletter.

This month we look back at 2018 and celebrate all the good bits!

Find out about all our plans for 2019 and join us in supporting adults with learning disabilities to live life to the full

Click the button below to read all our news 

CEO Blog: January 2019

It is a year to the day that I first took up my post at Orchard Vale Trust and as I drove to work today I reflected on the past 12 months.

As always my drive across the Mendips was beautiful, today saw a bright frosty morning which had all the crispness and freshness that you could ask for at the beginning of a new year.  Last year my head was full of questions and a sense of stepping into something new, today I was focussed on what needed to happen and also a real sense of excitement about the year to come.

Now Orchard Vale Trust is not the name of an organisation that is new to me, it is about people, their names, their stories, their hopes and their ambitions and 2019 is about ensuring that everyone who is part of the Trust achieves everything that they wish to.

As for our latest Trust news…

East Court now welcomes Julie Lilly as the new Manager and I know that we all wish her every success in this new role. Northcroft will be busy planning their varied range of activities and there is already talk of another sponsored walk following on from the success of last year.  St Chads and Ferndale welcome 3 new members of their staff teams who will no doubt support another exciting year of activity.  In Community and Day Services the gardening team are already planning for the year ahead both in the garden at East Court and the support which is offered to local communities.

For me personally, 2019 is a year when I hope to achieve a personal ambition and run the London Marathon to raise funds for OVT.  My Christmas presents were very much focused on helping me to achieve this goal with new trainers, new running leggings and a FitBit and it is now down to me to ensure that I do the training.

Whatever 2019 holds in store for you, we hope that you have a happy and enjoyable New Year.

CEO Blog: Merry Christmas!

The excitement around Christmas is palpable and everywhere I look Christmas celebrations are underway!  The variety and number of Christmas jumpers that can be seen on a daily basis is awe inspiring in its self and reflects the cheerful atmosphere.

In every one of our homes Christmas celebrations are being organised and Ferndale has already hosted its Christmas dinner which was well received, whilst residents and individuals from Day Services held a carol service in Wookey.  On Friday 14th Northcroft will be enjoying Christmas fayre in abundance and then on December 15th friends, families, residents and staff will come together for a whole trust celebration.

As well as joining together in celebration, there has been a lot going on at Orchard Vale Trust this month.  The group who work in the garden have been busy making wooden reindeer of all sizes, whilst craft groups have been busy making a range of decorations.  At the Orchard Café at Wynford House in Yeovil the services of Tony and his team have been in high demand with Christmas parties and the annual Somerset CCG Santa Run.  We must say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the Santa Run, Christopher Absolon our Chair of Trustees started the festive runners off, and the proceeds of the race have been kindly donated to Orchard Vale Trust.

The beautiful work that our craft groups produce is now on sale in the Emporium at Crispin Hall in Street, the items have proved very popular and we have had some lovely feedback from customers about the items they have bought.

So as the year draws to a close, we need to both look back and forward. In that spirit we will be saying a fond farewell to Lesley Kent, the manager of East Court, and thanking her for everything that she has done over the years to make East Court the wonderful place that it is.  We also welcome Julie Lilly as the new manager of East Court and wish her well in her new role from January.

From everyone at Orchard Vale Trust, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Orchard Vale Trust November Newsletter

It’s finally here – A glimpse into our world at Orchard Vale Trust

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Orchard Vale Trust November Blog

Orchard Vale Trust has been a hive of activity over the last few weeks!

As with previous years East Court opened to visitors during Somerset Art Weeks and the feedback on the arts and crafts created was extremely positive, with many visitors taking the opportunity to buy one of the many beautiful items created by the individuals who attend the workshops during the year.  There were some new events this year, including refreshments in the marquee on the lawn on the first Saturday of the Art Weeks.

Not to be out done, East Court then hosted a barbecue for residents, families and friends which culminated in a group drumming session with Mendip All Drummers, staff and residents took up the invitation to have a go at the drumming themselves.

3 Northcroft Residents raised over £2,000 completing the Thames Path Challenge which involved walking 14 miles, which is an impressive feat!  The Community Gardening Project has also had considerable success.  The aim of the project is to provide gardening services to those who need some help in the community and whilst there is no charge for the service many of our client were so pleased with the end result that they made a generous donation.  The Gardening Project is also supported by the Wedmore Community Power Co-operative who donated £2,000 to purchase some much-needed equipment.

The charity Life With Arts donated a beautiful new wooden building which now nestles in the wooded area at East Court.  We are currently putting the finishing touches to the decorations before we move in.  The new building provides a space that can be used by individuals and some of our Day Services groups and we would like to say a massive thank you to Life With Arts for the very generous gift.

We are just coming to the end of a bountiful harvest, the apples have been various and plentiful and there were an abundance of pumpkins and squashes – enough for Halloween decorations and some delicious wholesome soups, some of which found there way to the new Orchard Café in Yeovil, which opened at Wynford House at the beginning of October.

We are always pleased to welcome new staff and sorry to say goodbye to those who are moving on and the final note for this month must go to Gerald Andrews who is retiring from Orchard Vale Trust after 27 years – we wish Gerald well with whatever the future holds.

Our Orchard Newsletter!

We have a brand new monthly newsletter called The Orchard News!

Keep up to date with all of our amazing activities, see what our incredible residents and Day Service users are up to, and how we partner with some of the most wonderful businesses in Somerset.

This months edition is the first of many and captures an insight to what this summer held for us.

Download the newsletter here or sign up to our mailing list below to receive a monthly copy!


Orchard Vale Trust.
East Court, Doctors Hill, Wookey, Wells, Somerset. BA5 1AR.

Tel: 01749 671706


Registered Charity No. 326940

Company No. 1946592