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Events and News

Step Up For Stables

Spring Challenge 2021

 SFHT StepUp2021 Websitei

Fed up with lockdown fatigue and need to set yourself an exercise challenge, then Step Up for Stables this Spring! It’s a great way to get fit and lose weight ready for summer, whilst raising money for a great cause. Complete 2k, 5k, 10k steps a day or set your own walking challenge from anywhere, it’s virtual!

You can Step for Stables wherever you choose. Step outside for a springtime stroll, walk on the spot, complete step ups whilst watching TV or just set up your own walking challenge! There are endless ways to add some extra steps into your day or week. Did you know you could lose about one pound per week simply by completing an extra 10,000 steps each day.

To celebrate your fitness success and with Covid restrictions permitting we will do an END of challenge ½ marathon walk (13 miles) on Sunday 23rd May from Southbourne to Sandbanks Beach and back for those who want to take part or join us on route. This will start at 9am from Bistro on the Beach, Southbourne. We will also host a livestream half way exercise challenge (indoor power walk) with The Gym Tin on Saturday 24th April at 3pm for everyone to take part and get involved in your homes (link to follow).

Why we need your help

The Stable Family Home Trust support people with learning disabilities in Dorset & Hampshire. People with a learning disability already face extreme levels of social isolation and loneliness and have struggled throughout lockdown. The closure of their day services, loss of routine, difficulties staying in touch with family and friends and keeping active has been difficult for them which has had an impact on their mental health and well-being. At a time when lots of fundraising is still affected by the pandemic, your support is more essential than ever! Since Covid-19 the whole charity operation has had to radically change in order to survive and the care staff and fundraising team have been working incredibly hard to keep services going. We need your help to raise funds for vital client activities and by joining our challenge you can make a difference.

To set up your own fundraising page click here and select the green fundraising button or download a sponsorship form.  

However, if you would just like to donate only, please go to

Step Up For Stables is socially distanced, a great way to get fit, lose pounds and raise money. It’s a WIN/WIN!

Here are some helpful fitness tips & classes to help you along the way including diet plans from The Gym Tin - Eating For Life UK January 2021.pdf



Dragon Boat Charity Challenge 2021 - Saturday 7th August 

Enter a team and take on this challenge to become this year’s ultimate DRAGON BOAT CHAMPIONS.

Join SFHT for a fun filled day and race to support adults with learning disabilities to lead more independent lives. 

Share the experience with your colleagues & friends and use the opportunity to race against other companies and competitors. Whether you are looking for a team-building exercise, a networking opportunity, to push your competitive limits or just have a fun day out with colleagues or friends, this is how you can achieve it, whilst also raising money for a great cause.

Dragon boats for this event hold up to 17 people, 16 paddlers and 1 drummer but a team can be made up of a minimum of 13 people or a maximum of 20 people with 3 reserves. No experience is required for dragon boat racing and all equipment, instructions & safety training will be provided on the day. All you have to do is turn up.

Step 1) Fill in our registration formto secure your boat in the race. An automated email will be sent to you confirming your booking. Once you have entered all your details on our registration form, you can pay online by any major credit card.

Step 2) Share this event with colleagues, friends and family members.

Step 3) Set up a fundraising page which will encourage people to sponsor you using Give as You Live: or print out our sponsorship forms.

 **Paying by Cheque**

If you prefer to pay by Cheque, please register your team interest by emailing or call 01425 485081 / 07775 767862. 

You can send a cheque made payable to ‘Stable Family Home Trust’ to 

T Hickford, Stable Family Home Trust, The Stables, Bisterne,

Ringwood BH24 3BN.

Please note that booking online only allows payment by Credit/Debit Card.

Book early to guarantee your place!

For more details on Dragon Boat events go to

Click here for the Team Information Pack and Waiver Form

Details of event

Date: Saturday 7st August 2021

Venue: Poole Park, Dorset

Time: 10am – 3/3.30pm

Registration Fee: £390 per team consisting of 17 people - 16 paddlers and 1 drummer per boat, but a team can be made up of a minimum of 12 paddlers & 1 drummer or a maximum of 20 people which includes 3 reserves. Each team will have a minimum of 3 races per team, and a grand final race for the top qualifying teams.

Fundraising Target: As this is a fundraising event we ask if you can raise a minimum of £40/£50 per person in sponsorship which you can do so by setting up your own page  or download our sponsorship forms. We just try to encourage everyone to do their best to make the day as worthwhile as possible

What you can expect on the day

  • Registration is 10am and races start 10.30am. You will be given an allocated registration time before the event for time efficiency.

  • Each team is allocated with their own 3 x 3 plot where your team will be based. You can bring your own branded gazebo, tent, pop up banners and decorate your plot as you wish. If you want to make the day more fun you can perhaps think of a fancy dress theme for your boat and dress up accordingly! Or you do have an option to purchase a sturdy erected gazebo on your pitch at a cost of £100.

  • Each team will have a minimum of 3 rounds of racing. Before your first race each team will receive a comprehensive safety briefing with a highly trained DBE helm, going through the different paddle strokes and procedures. The fastest 4 teams will then race in the final at 3pm, the winner of which will receive an engraved glass trophy and first place gold medals and the teams in 2nd and 3rd place will receive silver and bronze medals respectively.

  • Throughout the day - There is something for everyone and plenty going on in between races including food and drink on sale or you can bring a picnic, professional commentary with PA system and music, adult challenges and plenty of kids activities including inflatable assault course, bouncy castle, football shoot out, children’s rides and hook a duck.

  • Spectators - Dragon boat racing is also a popular spectator sport, so bring along friends, family and colleagues to cheer on your team as watching the races is fun.



For more information please contact Tracey Hickford at

How to create your fundraising page: 

  1. Go to an account or sign in if they already have one
  2. Under organised event select ‘create page’ 


  1. IN the event name type dragon and select the event Stable Family Home Trust Dragon Boat Charity Challenge. Then complete the form to create your fundraising page.





The Stable Family Home Trust provides a full range of services to support adults with learning disabilities in Hampshire and Dorset to lead fulfilled and active lives, focusing on increased independence. The learning disabilities of our clients are many and we provide support to 129 clients, 54 of whom reside in our nine supported living homes which are located in Southbourne and Christchurch and one residential home in Ringwood.


The financial impact of the coronavirus has been significant for us as a charity and we have lost around £345,000 since the start of the pandemic. Since the temporary closure of our Aspire Day Services, additional staffing costs and loss of vital fundraising streams it has been a struggle, and our amazing staff and fundraising team who keep the charity going have been working incredibly hard to replace this income. With the vaccine rollout well underway, the future looks brighter but we still need your help raising funds.


Download the Brochure here! 


Tuesday 4th May – Open for Bids

If you would like to take part in our online auction, the auction site will be open for bids from the 4th May This means you can start your bids early then sit back with some bubbly and observe or raise your bid on the night!

Saturday 8th May 7pm - Livestream Auction

The Real Deal….

Join us for the livestreamed auction from 7pm to 8.30pm on our SFHT Facebook page. Dress up or Dress Down…. Cup of tea or Glass of Bubbly! The evening will be hosted by Paul Kinvig whose job it is to increase the bids and get competition going between bidders, there will be music from the lovely Turkish Soprano singer Poppy Neame with a speech from our CEO, Colin Waters and a few videos on our services. To bid or raise your bid on the night go to


For those of you who would rather send in your bids by post or cannot make the live event please fill in this bidding sheet and return to Tracey Hickford by 30th April at The Stable Family Home Trust, The Stables, Bisterne, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 3BN or email  If your bid is successful, we will then contact you for your payment details and arrange the collection of your auction item.

Any help you are able to give with this auction will make a huge difference to the lives of the wonderful clients with learning disabilities that call the Stable Family Home Trust their home.

Thank you

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We need your help!

As Christmas approaches, we ask that you remember the people with learning disabilities that we support at the Stable Family Home Trust.  This year, more than any other, we need your help!

2020 has been an unusual and difficult time, presenting many challenges for us all with the emergence of Covid-19.  This has been felt even more acutely by the 129 adults we support, 55 of whom live in our supported living homes and are totally reliant on our services. 

Our services not only help our clients to enhance their personal development and life skills but they provide a vital lifeline in combatting loneliness.  Our services provide that essential social connection, much needed routine and sense of purpose, vital for the wellbeing and mental health of our clients.  

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many of our day services such as Gifted and Aspire have had to temporarily close in order to keep our clients and staff safe.  In fact, our whole charity operation has had to radically change in order to survive, so we can maintain homes for our clients, whilst providing emergency alternative accommodation for those needing to self-isolate, including our staff.  All this, plus the loss of vital fundraising streams from flagship events, has had an enormous financial impact on us as a charity. 

The combination of winter, another national lockdown and more Covid restrictions, this really is an SOS for your support! If you can make this holiday season memorable, happy and cheerful for our clients by donating to our Christmas Appeal this would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some examples of how your donations can help during lockdown and throughout the Covid pandemic;

  • Activities to keep people entertained during lockdown can range from £20 to £500.
  • Increased care staff costs due to having to keep each staff member at one service area only, no mixing. 40 hours per week costs £475 per staff member.
  • Additional staff costs when a member of staff isolates for 2 weeks and is covered by a bank staff member, therefore doubling the salary - £950

We want our charity and services to thrive and rise above these difficult times so we can continue to be there for the wonderful people we support and our staff who have all worked so diligently over this pandemic and continue to go above and beyond – what better way to celebrate this Christmas by giving a gift to the people of the Stable Family Home Trust.

‘Cheer the Deer’ Virtual 5k Fun Run/Walk, Sunday 13th December 10.30am (banner attached)

Kindly sponsored by Martin & Co, Preston Redman Solicitors & Cedar Vets

We are all in need of a bit of Christmas cheer this year, so grab your antlers & join in the fun.

SFHT are organising a 5k virtual Reindeer Run on Sunday 13th December to raise vital funds towards their Covid Christmas Appeal.

You can run, walk, skip or jog your 5K challenge wherever you want, in the park, at the beach or whilst walking your dog, which will be a fun and safe experience for all the family (please adhere to social distancing and government guidelines when taking part).

All you have to do is register online and everybody who enters will receive a set of reindeer antlers with flashing red nose plus a gold reindeer medal once you have completed the event

£8 entry per person

Warm up - 10am Facebook live with The Gym Tin

Starts - 10.30am (can be completed anytime throughout the day)

SFHT provides life changing services for adults with learning disabilities as well as for their families. The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be a huge challenge, in terms of keeping our clients and staff safe and ensuring that we sustain as little financial impact as possible through the temporary closure of our day services and the substantial increase in staff care costs.

In these challenging times, we need your help more than ever and this is an SOS for your support whilst having some festive fun!

‘London to Paris’ Virtual Cycle Challenge – December (banner attached)

Christmas is coming and volunteers Martin Stachini and Tony Owen are back in the saddle raising funds for our Christmas Appeal. Where are they off to this time?

Well, they will be crossing the English channel and completing the 'London to Paris' virtual cycle challenge covering around 300 miles between now and Christmas.

Be sure to follow their daily cycle journey as they share photos and hilarious blogs along the way or even get involved yourselves!

If you can help support their fundraising page and donate even the price of a cup of coffee and croissant this would be greatly appreciated as they cycle London to Paris to raise vital funds towards our Covid Christmas Appeal. Good luck Martin & Tony!

‘12 Days of FITmas’ SFHT Virtual Christmas Party, Saturday 19th December 3pm (banner to follow)

As we cannot hold our annual Christmas Fayre we will be hosting a virtual Christmas party instead for all clients, staff and supporters to join in with and celebrate the festive season in style! This will be opened with a speech from Colin Waters at 3pm, where we will be joined with our friends Rob & Jenny from The Gym Tin, who will put us through a fun FITmas exercise class (including chair based exercises and mat-based exercises), a Christmas quiz round, a raffle, then finished with a good old Christmas sing-a-long with carols from the lovely Sara Harris.

Virtual festive activities start at 3pm and will be filmed live on Facebook and via Zoom from The Stables for everyone to join in with.

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The Stable Family Home Trust - Private company limited by guarantee. Registered in England & Wales No. 4421606. Charity No: 1093672