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Bowyers' Charity Committee Treloar School visit 12th November 2007

Peter Seaton the Deputy Master writes:

Tom Snow, who is in charge of the Livery fundraising activity at Treloar, invited the Reverend John Hayton and Peter Seaton to visit the Treloar college on Monday 12th November 2007, to witness the archery lesson that took place in the afternoon, using the new equipment the Bowyers Charity Fund provided in October 2007.

First, some background to the Treloar Trust:-

This was set up by Lord Mayor Treloar in 1908, for severely disabledChildren, and the Bowyers have made a grant to the trust every year since it was first formed. The school is located at Alton in Hampshire, and comprises the school that has 130 students, which takes children from 5 to 17 years of age, and the college, which is located on a site 1 mile from the school, has 175 students, aged from 17 to 21. Both the school and the college are 90% residential and total staff at both sites is 750.

Most of the funding to pay the fees for the students attending the school Is provided by local authorities, and surprisingly only 20%of the funding comes from the City of London Livery movement. The funding from the City of London Livery does make a difference. It allows for massive innovation in terms o being able to utilise any student muscle movement in terms of driving their wheelchair and operating IT equipment etc., it is a remarkable Institution in their pursuit of excellence for severly disabled youngsters.

When David Brewer was Lord Mayor, Treloar was his chosen charity. His circa of £2m, is being used towards the building of a new hall of residence, which will have 34 units, which is costing in total circa £3.6m, and building works started in April 2007, and the venture should be completed by September 2008.

The purpose of the visit to Treloar was to witness the use of the archery equipment, for which we provided funds. We attended an archery class, which started at 2.00 pm in the afternoon and went on until 3.30 pm, in which there were students in wheelchairs, and there were some who were able to stand to participate. All the bows being used were compound bows, and one of the bows was fixed to a permanent stand, on which a wheelchair could be run and the student only had to pull back the string to use a special trigger device for release of the string, as they had very little strength in their arms. Some of the new bows they have purchased are specially short bows, as this is an attempt to arrange for redrafting of the rules for archery participation in the Paralympics games. Currently, the regulations do not allow the bow, or the bow string, to touch the participant's wheelchair, and thus with shorter length bows this can be overcome, but the rules and regulations with the GNAS have to be changed. There are various clubs redrafting the rules, and they are also collating results of competitions with the shortened bows to show that it is a realistic competition piece of equipment, in the hope of having the revised rules accepted at International level.

We were also taken the to Sparsholt college, which is approximately 300 yards from the college, where they have built a new sports hall, which is used for archery on Saturday morning's with the 4 Marks Club, the Sparsholt college and the Treloar college. It allows them to have the full 24 yard indoor archery practice, then again, we have provided some of the equipment for this venture.

Both John Hayton and myself consider that the contribution, which we have made, does make a difference, and the remarks that we received from the carers and from the students themselves, clearly showed their appreciation.

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