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The Friday Blog

Twenty - A Good Age 

Friday, April 18, 2014 7:47:50 AM

What was your best year? How would you describe it? What were the essential ingredients for you?

For me it was a year full of hope and promise. A year of glorious freedom, enjoying the closeness of chosen friends and family, discovering the music that has accompanied my life, getting to know who I was and how I wanted my life to be, and getting my own wheels.

Anniversaries are a good excuse to look back, and are a good time to look forward. This week has given me an excuse to indulge in both.

Team Brandon at the Frenchay 10k runBrandon Trust’s 20th anniversary year hit the ground running last weekend at the Frenchay 10k; our Fundraising team really getting into their stride with the enthusiastic support of a team of runners. Brandon is embracing its status as a charity to raise the funds that will make a difference in the lives of people we support.

As well as generously donating funds, people are freely giving their time and talents through our new Volunteer Buddy scheme. Launched in recent weeks in London, it is growing fast and will soon be wherever Brandon is.

On Tuesday a striking exhibition of photographs opened at The Watershed in Bristol, telling Twenty stories of people overcoming obstacles and grasping the opportunity to live life to the full.

Twenty Exhibition launch event

It looks like Twenty is going to be a very good age for Brandon. I suspect that Brandon, like many of the people I work with, has its best years still to come.

Jon Minall
Director of Operations


Friday, April 11, 2014 7:57:10 AM

One of the 20 images that included in the #20Brandon exhibitionFrom next Wednesday, you will be able to see something all of us at Brandon Trust are particularly excited about. We’re staging a photographic exhibition documenting and celebrating 20 years of positive and freeing change for people with learning disabilities and autism. The exhibition will be held at the Watershed, in the heart of Bristol city centre. It’s free to all and runs from Wednesday 16th to Monday 21st April, from 10am to 10pm each day.

‘20’ will feature the inspirational stories of a number of people we support, people whose lives are now significantly better following the many changes that we’ve seen over the last 20 years. The stories most certainly have that personal touch. The imagery is stunning and quite breathtaking.

The exhibition also kicks off this year’s birthday celebrations, as Bristol-born Brandon Trust turns 20. There will be lots going on this year. Keep your ear to the ground so you don’t miss any of our events. In the meantime, come along to the Watershed to see just how things have changed and how the lives of many people with learning disabilities and autism have improved.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lucy Hurst-Brown
Chief Executive

New Financial Year, Fresh Focus 

Friday, April 04, 2014 7:55:00 AM

Brandon Trust Fundraising team practice for the July Bake Off2014/15 is the year that Brandon Trust leaves behind it’s teenage years and turns the grand old age of 20. We’ve got loads of exciting plans for the year ahead and would love it if you can join us in celebrating our birthday in style!

Before we look ahead, we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has kindly supported us in 2013/14. You have helped Brandon Trust achieve so much in the last 12 months and we are extremely grateful to all our volunteers, donors, event participants, community groups, corporates, staff, and everyone else who has supported us!

Your generous support has brought happiness and control to the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism. Thank you for helping to make a huge difference in peoples’ lives.

We’ve set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £1 million for Brandon Trust’s 20th birthday year, and we’d really appreciate your support. To join our celebrations and for more information on how to get involved in this special year, please contact Emma on 0117 906 2920 or email  

The photograph shows the team putting in some cake baking practice ahead of July’s Bake off for Brandon!

The Fundraising Team

Award Winning Elm Tree Farm 

Friday, March 28, 2014 8:59:03 AM

Proudly showing off our new flag

Let me introduce the new addition to Bristol’s Elm Tree Farm; our flag pole displaying our new flag.

The flag is now flying high and proud in the sky and is the first thing that visitors to the farm will see, whether they’re popping in to drop someone off, buying a few fresh free-range eggs or a bunch of flowers.

The Gold Pennant award winning flag was presented by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at the end of last year for ‘the Greater Fishponds Area’ collective work in making our local neighbourhood rich and colourful with all things floral.

Alongside this accolade, Elm Tree Farm also achieved a level 5 outstanding mark.

The RHS said: “What a wonderful enterprise. The whole establishment is a great credit to Brandon Trust. We were very impressed with the way everyone is engaged on various projects.”

Needless to say, we’re all very pleased.

Keily Elvin
Project Coordinator

An Exciting Year Ahead 

Friday, March 21, 2014 9:00:21 AM

Brandon Trust 20 ExhibitionFor the past 15 years I’ve worked in social care, starting out as a support worker and moving into more senior roles, overseeing community day service teams in Bristol and the surrounding area. In 2012 I decided a new challenge was due. Wanting to stay with Brandon I successfully applied for a role in the communications team.

I have such a varied week. It’s always interesting. One of the jobs I’m currently working on is particularly exciting.

2014 sees Brandon move into its twentieth year therefore, I'm planning the launch event for these celebrations, an exhibition, called ’20’. The exhibition will be held at the Watershed in Bristol city centre, and will run from Tuesday 15th April until Monday 21st April. The exhibition will document 20 years of positive and freeing change within disability care and Brandon Trust. It’s open to the public and free to enter, so why not pop along, take it all in, see how many people’s lives have changed, and leave us your thoughts in the comments book.

Matt Boyle
Communications Coordinator

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