We are immensely proud to host The Fiona Barker Memorial Fund. Fiona was tragically killed in a car accident in 2006. Her commitment and passion for the countryside meant that she was a great supporter of our work.
Following Fiona’s death her family established a fund to help connect children, teachers and parents with the countryside around them. Currently, over £55,000 has been raised by the fund. A proportion of this has been used to enable almost 13,000 children from 350 schools across the country to take part in our Countryside Classroom Programme.
Thanks to Fiona’s Memorial Fund, we have been able to establish three new Estate Days; one on the Hatfield Park Estate in Hertfordshire; one on the Cranborne Estate in Dorset and the third at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent. This has given us an opportunity to promote our work to a wider audience, helping teachers, pupils and families to gain a greater understanding of the key issues involved in proper management and care of the countryside.
Fiona was particularly keen to engage with some of the most disadvantaged children in our cities. Working with other charities dealing directly with children specifically from South London the fund has helped almost 900 children to attend our annual Countryside Live event in Lee Valley, Hackney, East London. This unforgettable experience is one that the children will never forget and has had a significant impact on their skills set and their educational attainment.
Fiona’s family is delighted to have formed a permanent link between Countryside Learning and the children, parents and teachers from schools who need access to these life changing opportunities the most. We look forward to building on these links over the years ahead and to making a tangible difference to the lives of young people across the country.
If you would like to make a donation to the fund, please do so via our Virgin Money Giving page or make a cheque payable to “Countryside Learning, Fiona Barker Fund”, and send it to:
Mr Gary Richardson, Countryside Learning, PO Box 8,
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 5YJ
Tel: 01422 885566
If you are a UK tax payer Gift Aid is one of the simplest and most effective ways of giving to charity. It is a scheme introduced by HM Revenue & Customs, which allows us to reclaim the basic rate tax you pay as a UK taxpayer. It means that for every £1 you donate Countryside Learning can claim an extra 25p of tax, at no extra cost to you. All that is required from you is a one-off declaration, please download the form. For more information about Gift Aid please click here.
Countryside Learning own 29 woodland sites across the country and we have donated one in Fiona’s memory, at East Haddon in Northamptonshire.
One of our Trustees, Claire Barker, literally got on her bike to do the 45 mile cycle fundraising event “Palace to Palace” on Sunday 2nd, October 2016 in support of the Prince’s Trust and the Fiona Barker Memorial Fund (in support of Countryside Learning). The Barker family set up the Fiona Barker Memorial Fund in her name to support the work of Countryside Learning, which was Fiona’s favourite charity. Since then Claire and her family have raised thousands of pounds to support the work we do.
Claire formed Team FAB (Fiona Ann Barker) with her close friends, the Cassidy family, to take part in this challenging, but we are assured enjoyable event! Gary Richardson, Chief Executive of Countryside Learning said ” Yet again, Fiona’s friends and family have come together to support our work engaging and inspiring children about the British Countryside. Fiona would have been 45 in November 2016 and to cycle 45 miles in her memory and raise money for her favourite causes was a perfect if exhausting way to do that! £2,700 was raised by these amazing people and as always we will use their generosity to ensure Fiona’s passions and memory live on for many years to come helping the next generation of children appreciate and enjoy the world that the countryside has to offer them.”