Some of the team of força charity volunteers

Lymington charity raises £6,000 to help local people affected by cancer

Lymington charity raises £6,000 to help local people affected by cancer. 

Força - Strength Against Cancer would like to thank all who supported their silent disco, silent auction, raffle and cake sale.

Forca Silent Disco team

On Friday 28th April, Lymington-based charity Força - Strength Against Cancer held a silent disco evening at Lymington Town Sailing Club. During the weeks leading up to the event, the charity launched a silent auction and raffle, with a cake and raffle ticket sale in Lymington on 22nd April. 

A grand total of £6,000 was raised; all the money will help to fund the charity’s projects which help people in Hampshire and Dorset who are living with or affected by cancer. 

Chair of Trustees, Frauke Taylor, said: “Thank you to everyone who has helped us to raise this fantastic amount. £6,000 is the equivalent of 95 Support bras PLUS 1,000 Nourish meals.”

Tanya Baddeley, Trustee, said: “We would like to thank all the local businesses that donated items for our auction and raffle; our Silent Auction had 18 lots ranging from luxury spa days to gorgeous works of art, whilst our Raffle had 40 fabulous prizes. All the businesses have received publicity on our social media and website.”

Run by a team of volunteers, Força is dedicated to raising funds to provide help for local people receiving cancer treatment, and to raise awareness of how lifestyle and diet can help and support those living with cancer. 

Strength, Nourish and Support by força 

Strength…by força provides practical help for individuals experiencing difficulties living with cancer, such as contributions to childcare costs, cleaning and items that ease living with cancer.

Since 2016 the Nourish…by força project has funded the provision of healthy, nutritious meals for people undergoing cancer treatment (and their families) at Lymington New Forest Hospital and for Day Centre users at Oakhaven Hospice. This practical support means that patients don't need to think about cooking or what to eat when they are having treatment.

And since 2019 the Support…by força project has funded and supplied supportive compression bras to women who have undergone a mastectomy at two local hospitals.

More information about the charity can be found at and by following Força on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In the coming months, the team are planning another event and also the opportunity for businesses to sponsor the Nourish project. Businesses interested in sponsorship should get in touch with the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Ambrose Buoys launch their boat Ambrosia in Lymington

Lymington brothers rowing the Atlantic to beat their Dad's record

Lymington brothers rowing the Atlantic to beat their Dad's record

The "Ambrose Buoys" are raising money for Tusk whilst fulfilling a bet made years ago!

In December 2022, three brothers from the New Forest will be rowing the entire breadth of the Atlantic Ocean - 3,000 miles - in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They will be the first children of an Atlantic rower to compete with their father’s time and at the same time will be raising funds for well-regarded conservation charity Tusk.

Hugo AmbroseLouis Ambrose (26), Felix Ambrose (25) and Finn Ambrose (23), whose team name for the challenge is the “Ambrose Buoys”, have been inspired to row the Atlantic since 2003 when their father, Hugo Ambrose, competed in the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race (as the event was then called). The Ambrose brothers appreciate a challenge and relish the opportunity to beat their father's time. Hugo crossed the Atlantic in 59 days in a far less aerodynamic wooden boat - and now his three sons aim to do it in just 40 days!

Young Ambrose Buoys“Hearing stories about the endeavour, witnessing first-hand the toll it took and experiencing the atmosphere at the finish line has done little to quell our curiosity. In fact, as children, we were so confident that we would not only take on the challenge but also surpass our father’s time of 59 days, that we made a bet with him… for £5!”, says Felix.

The boys grew up in Lymington, attended Hordle Walhampton School and were regulars at Salterns Sailing Club and Lymington Cricket Club. Although the trio now work and study in London they regularly return home and can often be spotted at the Lymington Sea Water Baths, which their father manages. This week they are delighted to have launched their boat, “Ambrosia”, which is currently at Lymington Town Sailing Club.

"The World's Toughest Rowing Challenge" 

The Ambrose Buoys will set off across the second largest ocean in the world from La Gomera and row the 3,000 miles to Antigua unaccompanied. The brothers will be rowing day and night, swapping around the clock on two-hour shifts to race their father’s time, taking it in turns between the three of them to row, eat, sleep and carry out essential boat maintenance. The journey is likely to take between 5 and 8 weeks of continuous rowing and will test the brothers' psychological and physical strength. 

The Ambrose BuoysThis premier event in ocean rowing, dubbed 'The World’s Toughest Row’, is the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance, with up to thirty teams competing from around the world. Throughout the crossing, the brothers will be at the mercy of the elements, potential hurricanes, capsizes, giant waves, equipment failure, the passage of large vessels, big marine life, seasickness and injury. 

Louis, who has been nominated skipper by his younger brothers, says, “We are three ambitious brothers who have always enjoyed challenging ourselves. The length of time that this is going to take makes it unique, it’s just as much psychological as it is physiological and as a result, we are tailoring our preparation accordingly.”

During the crossing, it is expected that Louis, Felix and Finn will gradually starve as they expend more calories than they consume. They are likely to lose 20% of their body mass and will need to consume 7,000 calories a day. The brothers will rely entirely on solar panels to power a water maker which provides them with vital drinking water together with freshwater for rehydrating freeze-dried meals.

Felix said, “Being close in age we have frequently played team sports and worked together. Yet although we argue less now than we did as children, we are aware this will be sorely tested during the challenge!

Rowing to raise much-needed funds for Tusk

Tusk Logo MASTERLouis, Felix and Finn aim to raise £200,000 for the charity, Tusk, which for over thirty years has been supporting progressive conservation action across Africa, tackling poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict.

We were all in agreement about supporting Tusk. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has not only created a huge challenge for conservation, but has highlighted how connected we are to the natural world, and illustrated just how delicate that web is,” says Finn, explaining why the brothers chose Tusk as their nominated charity.

“From the oceans we sail on, through the habitats that provide the air we breathe, to the estimated 10 million plant and animal species that share our planet, there has never been a more crucial time to fight for the protection of all life on earth. In Africa, one of the most biodiverse areas on our planet, the relentless impact of the pandemic threatens to undo decades of conservation progress."

"All three of us are passionate about wildlife and whilst working in Kenya I witnessed first-hand the challenges facing the people and wildlife. The collapse in tourism and economies has seriously affected rural livelihoods and conservation efforts. Large scale redundancies of wildlife rangers, community liaison teams and other project staff have led to reports of an upsurge in illegal bushmeat hunting, and fears of an imminently approaching international poaching crisis.”

Bear Grylls, the patron of Tusk, said, “The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge pushes its entrants to the absolute limit of their physical and mental endurance. As a proud patron of Tusk, I have huge admiration for the Ambrose brothers who are not only taking on the biggest adventure of their lives but following in their father’s footsteps and raising money for an incredible cause.

Support the Ambrose Buoys on their journey!

Launch in LymingtonThere are a number of ways in which businesses and individuals in the New Forest can support Louis, Felix and Finn.

The Ambrose Buoys are looking for corporate partners and business sponsors to join them on their epic journey, helping initially to fund the important equipment needed to participate in the challenge. Businesses are being offered a range of partnership packages, including advertising space on the boat, coverage on their website and features on their social media. There will also be extensive media coverage to a global audience by the dedicated Atlantic Challenge team in the lead-up, during the challenge and after their arrival in Antigua. 

The brothers also welcome sponsorship to help them get set for their voyage and have recently posted a kit list on their website, with items ranging from mugs and a compass to a life raft and a para-anchor! 

For more information please visit the Ambrose Buoys’ website or contact via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To help the Ambrose Buoys raise the much-needed funds for Tusk, they have a donation fundraising page at

Follow the Ambrose Buoys on @ambrosebuoys on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

autism awareness

World Autism Awareness Week 29 March - 4 April 2021

World Autism Awareness Week 29 March - 4 April 2021

1 in every 100 UK school children is autistic

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autism awarenessWorld Autism Awareness Week takes place during the week 29 March to 4 April 2021 and the National Autistic Society is bringing us a few sobering thoughts. 

First did you know that one in every 100 UK school children is autistic and, without the right support, school can be a confusing and difficult place?

It's also a moment to consider that the coronavirus pandemic has been particularly tough for many autistic people and their families. Services have closed and many people have been left stranded. The ever-changing guidelines and restrictions can be confusing to understand and extremely difficult to implement for autistic people with high support needs.

Thanks to supporters, the National Autistic Society has been able to campaign to ensure autistic people's needs are taken into account by governments across the UK in these challenging times. Autistic people have been included in mask exemptions and have been given more opportunities to exercise.

Online resources have been developed for autistic people and the number of online social groups increased. There is still  much to do and the society desperately needs help to continue this vital work.

Join World Autism Awareness Week and help improve understanding of autism 

Find out more on the National Autistic Society website.  

Including:  Autism in the workplace and a revealing Autism Awareness Quiz.

People in and beside bus

New Forest Silverlinks partners MHA to help older people

Silverlinks local charity which supports older residents teams up with MHA Communities

Local New Forest charity Silverlinks is delighted to announce that is now working together with the MHA Communities New Forest scheme.

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Silverlinks, supporting older residents in Lymington, Milford and New Milton

people in and beside busSilverlinks has been supporting older residents in the Lymington, Milford and New Milton areas for the past 4 years. Trained volunteers visit clients aged 65 or over at home, giving information and support. Typical enquiries range from low income, utility bills, family matters, housing issues, form filling, social contact or any other worry or anxiety. The service is impartial and confidential.

Volunteer manager Celia Burgess said ‘This is a very exciting development for Silverlinks. We are keen to expand our service to other areas in the New Forest and this is an ideal opportunity to support more people of the older generation.

Sitting at home worrying doesn't help: MHA Communities does!

In our experience people in this age group often sit at home and worry about problems because they don’t know who they can trust for an objective opinion and practical help.

MHA Communities New Forest helps to tackle loneliness and isolation in people over 60, offering a range of solutions to help them to remain as active members in their local communities, so by working together we can offer a more relevant and co-ordinated service to older people in the area.’

MHA Communities New Forest Manager Katie Rickman said ‘ Historically we have often signposted some of our members to Silverlinks when they have required some additional support. So we are really looking forward to working with Celia and her team of volunteers.’

Photograph is of a pre Covid trip to Bournemouth.

More support for Silverlinks is always needed

Silverlinks can only operate with the help of financial contributions from organisations and individuals. It is most grateful for the recent donation of £1,000 from Hampshire County Councillor Michael White. Other funders include Lymington and Pennington Town Council, Barker Mill Foundation and Cooper Dean Foundation.

If you would like to get involved please contact Celia Burgess email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MHA is Methodist Homes Association

MHA (Methodist Homes Association) is the UK’s largest charity care provider, which enables people to live later life well. Through 90 specialist care homes, 70 thriving retirement living and 62 vibrant community groups and befriending, MHA inspires the best care and wellbeing at every stage of later life. With over 75 years’ experience it puts people at its heart in its homes and schemes across Britain. All donations and any surplus is invested into the services provided for its18,500 residents and members. MHA has over 7,000 dedicated colleagues, supported by over 4,000 generous volunteers.

urgent appeal

Unwanted laptops and iPads required for New Forest junior schools

Unwanted New Forest laptops and iPads still needed

Lots of laptops have been donated already but more are still needed for local junior schools

Urgent Appeal Laptop iPadRecap of the scheme: local junior schools still need laptops and iPads for pupils who don't have them for home schooling; meanwhile many of us have no longer needed laptops and iPads, hanging around and creating dusty clutter in our homes. So the idea was conceived, by Lymington Rotary and Lymington Community Centre, to 

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Please donate your unwanted laptops and iPads for home schooling for local Junior Schools.

So please donate your unwanted laptops and iPads - together with their chargers please! - to this brilliantly sensible as well as deserving cause!

Deliver to Lymington Community Centre, New Street, Lymington, SO41 9BQ, at any of these times:

  • Monday 9am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 9am to 12noon
  • Friday 9am to 12noon

All items donated will be professionally wiped of data and refurbished before being given to pupils.

For more information email Rachel at Lymington Community Centre: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Update 10 March. Laptops are now being delivered to local schools

Three local groups have been working together, The Rotary Club of Lymington, IT Friends and the Lymington Community Association and their aim is to make sure that each local school child in Primary or Junior education has a device at home that they can use to complete their schoolwork.

Different local IT companies have been amazingly generous with their time and this week James Peacock and Max Stone at Peacock Computers Lymington Ltd have wiped and refurbished the laptops which have been donated at the Lymington Community Centre and prepared them free of charge for the children to be able to use at home and in class.

Up to last Wednesday, 30 laptops and 10 IPads, have been delivered to Peacock Computers Lymington from the Community Centre for them to prepare them ready to dispatch to local schools. We hope that these will supply at least the current home-schooling needs. 

Previously IT Friends delivered over 35 devices to Pennington Church of England Junior School.

St Josephs SchoolOn behalf of Lymington Community Centre and Lymington Rotary, Barbara Murphy presented refurbished laptops to Head Teacher Katherine Jones at Beaulieu Village Primary School and Head Teacher Ellie Prince at Our Lady and St Joseph Catholic Primary School. 

If any of the laptops or devices are not useable, Peacock Computers Lymington are wiping them and giving them to the Society of St James who dismantle them and re-use bits and are helping vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, problems with alcohol and substance use and other complex needs to change their lives.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the people who have donated to this urgent cause.   More laptops are still needed by our local school children.

Laptops can be dropped of at the Lymington Community Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9.00am - 1.00pm.

Please spread this message far and wide!

Please share this article with your friends - we are sure there are lots of old laptops and iPads lurking in home cupboards waiting to be sent on to a deserving new home!

Thank you so much for your support!

New Street, Lymington, SO41 9BQ

Supported by Rotary Club of Lymington and Lymington Community Association


Oakhaven Nurses and Professor Paul Dobson, Chairman receive Thank You cake donated by Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Mosimann’s

The Year of the Nurse: Oakhaven Hospice and a Mosimanns cake

2020 was the "Year of the Nurse" 

Oakhaven Hospice is presented with a fabulous Mosimann’s cake from Royal Lymington Yacht Club, to mark the enormous efforts of Oakhaven's nursing and caring teams

Oakhaven Nurses and Professor Paul Dobson, Chairman receive Thank You cake donated by Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Mosimann’sEd Note: The way things have panned out it now seems a pretty strange coincidence in some ways, that 2020 should have been designated in advance as the Year of the Nurse. And nursing staff everywhere have all faced a year of unprecedented challenge.

Oakhaven Hospice: end of life nursing care, counselling and support 

Oakhaven Hospice helps people who are facing the prospect of the end of life. Within the hospice and in homes across the New Forest, Totton and Waterside community it provides, free of charge, expert specialist nursing care, counselling and support to patients and their families at the most difficult time of lives.

A cake made by the new Mosimann’s team at RLymYC was presented to the nursing team to mark "Year of the Nurse" which coincides with this most challenging year for nurses everywhere.

Andrew Ryde, Chief Executive of Oakhaven Hospice explains: “We are incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful team of specialist Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Carers and many other support staff and volunteers, all of whom make Oakhaven a calm, caring, friendly and professional haven for patients facing the end of life.”

“This year, more than ever, we’d like to thank our team who have worked tirelessly to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst finding ways to cope with a national shortage of PPE and Covid-19 tests and scrupulously following ever-changing expert advice, they have all the while continued to provide the high levels of specialist care and support needed by patients and their loved ones.”

The Oakhaven team have worked tirelessly all year

Mosimann’s chef Nick Hebditch and Daniel Thorpe present a cake to Oakhaven nurses, Suzanne Jones and Jane Leonard, to thank the team for their hard work and celebrate 2020 Year of the Nurse.”The hospice nurses have continued to support patients and their families throughout the pandemic whether that is out in the community or in the hospice itself. This has been an incredibly challenging year for all clinicians providing care, but it is very appropriate that 2020 is the official year of the nurse and gives us all an opportunity to recognise the amazing work they do. Oakhaven is very pleased that the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Mosimann's have so generously provided this cake in recognition of their nurses and other carers.

Rose Walford, one of Oakhaven's clinical nurse specialists working as part of the community nursing team for the hospice, said “We are so proud to be able to make a difference for our patients. Without the support of Oakhaven Hospice they would struggle to manage in their own homes; with our ability to take our nursing care to them, they are able to stay where they feel most comfortable: at home.”

All with great spirit and a smile

“Reacting to guidelines and implementing change was a daily occurrence for our whole team, all of whom ‘took it in their stride’ and did so with great spirit and a smile,” said Jenny Butler, Ward Manager at the hospice.

“It is important to remember that it was not just the care staff, nurses and doctors who had to learn a new way to go about their work, but facilities, housekeeping, and the kitchen staff too.

“Although this year has had its fair share of sadness, shock, anger and ‘bewilderment’ it has also shown us all how lucky we are to work in such a caring community - and remembering such this has kept the spirit and smiles flowing. We are truly grateful that at a time of great personal challenge for all, we have remained in our community’s hearts and minds.”

Thank you to all who have helped Oakhaven in this difficult year

Thank you cake for Oakhaven Hospice baked by Nick Hebditch of Mosimann’s at Royal Lymington Yacht ClubOakhaven Hospice is thankful for businesses and individuals throughout the New Forest, Waterside and Totton community who donated much-needed PPE when it was scarce, delivered homemade masks for staff and hearts for patients and their loved ones. Pictures, treats and messages of support have also been very gratefully received.

“Oakhaven Hospice is very close to our members’ hearts and we hope that this small gesture of a cake made by our new restaurant partners, Mosimann’s, will thank everyone for the hard work they have put in during this, the most difficult of years,” said Roger Garlick, Commodore of Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

2020 has been a tough year financially for Oakhaven Hospice. Only 14% of Oakhaven Hospice’s costs are provided by the NHS. The rest has to be covered by other means, such as donations, legacies, the charity’s shops and of course fundraising. The Covid pandemic has hit Oakhaven hard, with charity shops closed and fundraising events cancelled or curtailed.

How you can help Oakhaven

There are a number of ways that we can help Oakhaven Hospice in 2021.

Oakhaven Giving is Oakhaven Hospice’s new regular giving initiative. If every adult across the New Forest, Totton and Waterside community each gives the cost of a cup of coffee, just once a month, together we will provide the entire annual needs of our hospice. Together we’re stronger so let’s help each other! For more information visit

If you would prefer to make a donation or leave a gift in your Will, visit the website, where you can also find out being a volunteer for the hospice, perhaps as a member of the Hospice Neighbours team or for an Oakhaven shop.

If you are (or you know someone who is) looking for someone to talk to or need practical help, such as gardening, dog walking or shopping, call the Oakhaven Wellbeing team at the Coates Centre on 01590 677198.

Read on below! But before you do so, just in case you don't already receive our Weekly What's On e-newsletter do sign up to receive it on Friday mornings, beginning again from 8 January!

Light Up a Life with Oakhaven - the Christmas tree outside Moore & Blatch Lymington

Oakhaven Hospice 2021 message of thanks for readers

"2021 was made so much easier by you!"

Oakhaven Hospice reflects on another challenging year 

Ed Note: This is a personal message to you all written by Melanie Stone, Head of Fundraising at Oakhaven Hospice. Melanie feels that Oakhaven has done a lot of "asking" this year, and would like to focus for Christmas on thanking and appreciating you all for the support of so many generous people across the New Forest community.

It so happens I also knew Charlotte (see story below) and know her family well too - in fact her wonderful son Tom and I were the London Marathon runners for Oakhaven the following year.

Nearly everybody reading this will have his or her own connection of some kind with Oakhaven. Which makes it all the more personal when we're able to play our small parts in helping the hospice continue its much needed work. Here though, Melanie truly wants simply to thank you.

Family Fun Day 2021"As we near the end of 2021 we reflect back on what has been another challenging year for the Hospice.

We all hoped that this year would see a return to normality as restrictions eased. Life began to be more social as we once again mixed with friends and family. We returned carefully to the workplace and took on the challenges of adapting to new ways of working.

In March we launched our urgent care appeal, featuring Graeme, Liz and Arthur Gant. Liz generously allowed us to tell the story of her family’s experiences at Oakhaven and the support that Graeme received during his illness - and how Liz and Arthur were also enveloped in the care we provide.

Our community rallied around us and the response was overwhelming, our post was full of donations and messages of support and thanks to one generous donation we have been able to purchase 2 more of the bariatric beds that made such a difference to Graeme's end of life.

The first "in person" events since the start of the pandemic finally able to happen

As summer arrived we were able to support our community events, a memorial football event at St Mary’s, give talks and reconnect with our supporters, as well as hosting our first ‘in person’ event since the start of the pandemic.

It was fantastic to be back at Barton on Sea Golf club for our annual golf day.

Events were rearranged and in September we welcomed people back to the Hospice for our Family Fun day, it was so good to have the grounds filled with smiling faces and there was a wonderful atmosphere as the afternoon went on.

Autumn saw our community take on more fundraising as the London ‘virtual’ Marathon took place in early October and our very own events fundraiser Alicia, took on 26.2 miles from her home in Bournemouth finishing her run here at the Hospice.

We never stop providing care to families facing end of life

One thing that has never changed is that the hospice has continued to provide care to families facing end of life in our community, the clinical team have been tireless in their commitment to ensure that those needing support continued to receive it, it has been a challenging time navigating the ever changing landscape and they have done so with compassion and understanding.

There has been the necessity to work in different ways, utilising technology to ensure contact is maintained but throughout it all the patient has been at the very centre of everything we do. Thank goodness for that technology!

The sadness of having to cancel indoor events this Christmas

And now as we move toward Christmas we took the difficult decision to cancel our indoor events as with the rising concern over the Omicron variant we wanted to ensure that our community remained safe and well over the festive period.

Light up a Life online with us if you're able to

Our much loved Light up a Life was unable to go ahead and we have had recorded a short service that will be available on our website this Friday at 5pm for you to watch and remember those no longer with us.

Light up a Life is when we remember loved ones; Sally's story may well bring tears to your eyes but reflects the care and compassion that Oakhaven bring to those during the most difficult of times and how this carries forward in the memories of those left behind. Click here for pdf for easier reading.

Light up a Life 2021

This is very much the ethos of Oakhaven, we want our community, volunteers, staff and those we care for to keep safe and well.

Especially this Christmas as we hope that families and friends will be able to come together to spend time and enjoy the festivities.  

Thank you to you our community

We have remained strong over the last two years because of you our community and we cannot thank you enough for all you have done to ensure that we are here touching lives across our New Forest, Waterside and Totton communities.

Oakhaven wishes you a safe and happy Christmas and hope that 2022 will be a time of emerging normality for us all.

Thank you!"


Ed note

Melanie's message was written as purely a thank you, but some of you reading this might feel you want to do something, and so we are including mention of a new way in which we can all help. Charities generally are suffering as there seem to be fewer truly philanthropic wealthy people in the world, and the balance is shifting: more people giving a little, will be one of the ways forward. Oakhaven Giving is Oakhaven Hospice’s regular giving initiative.This is quite a thought: if every adult across the New Forest, Totton and Waterside community were each to give the cost of a cup of coffee, just once a month, they would provide the entire annual needs of our hospice. For more information visit

And finally...

If you don't already receive our Weekly What's On e-newsletter do sign up to receive it on Friday mornings


100 Local Women “Supported” by Lymington Força charity

100 Local Women “Supported” by Lymington charity

Força Strength Against Cancer provide support bras to local women post-mastectomy

One hundred local women have now benefitted from the “Support” initiative by New Forest based charity, Força – Strength Against Cancer. Launched in August 2019, Support by Força directly assists women who have undergone a mastectomy.

Forca SupportForça - Strength Against Cancer, working with the Princess Anne Hospital, offers specialist post-mastectomy support bras free of charge to anyone having mastectomy surgery in Southampton, Hampshire.

The Support bras, made by Macom, are specially designed for use after a mastectomy, and work much like compression socks, helping promote circulation for a better recovery. They are also designed to promote comfort and are super easy to put on. Best of all - they are great to use as exercise bras afterwards.

“We are delighted to have been able to help one hundred women in our local community at such a difficult time in their lives,” said Donna Gittins, a Trustee of the Força – Strength Against Cancer charity.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated to Força. Your generosity enables us to continue our Support and Nourish programmes, helping those in our community who are living with cancer.

“We are now raising funds to be able to extend the Support initiative further and hope soon to be in a position to provide support bras to women undergoing mastectomy surgery at other hospitals in Dorset and Hampshire.”

Forca Support bra by MacromThe Força team receives some lovely letters of thanks from those who have received a bra. For some, support arrives following their second surgery and they tell how previously they found it hard to find a suitably supportive bra.

“Thank you so, so much for the Macom bra, which I have worn for the first time today. It has brought me comfort not just because it is really comfortable to wear, but also because Força is helping me at such a tough time in my life. Thank you,” shared one grateful recipient.

If you would like to request a support bra, please contact the Força team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

forca strength against cancer logoLike many charities, Força’s fundraising activities have been curtailed this year due to the pandemic. The team, consisting of local volunteers, have been busy in recent weeks preparing several fundraising initiatives, including slogan T-shirts and "Festivi-Tea" which make great Christmas gifts, a special Christmas silent auction for a spa day at Lime Wood, and organising an interactive online ‘Christmas Carols with Força’ celebration. Find out full details on their website:


Christmas Tree Festival 2019

St Thomas Church Lymington Christmas Tree Festival 2020


This year's Christmas Tree Festival in St Thomas Church Lymington has sadly been cancelled because there will not be time after Lockdown for set up.

See virtual tour of last year's Festival below!

Lymington Christmas Tree Festival 2019 Since its inception in 2015 in aid of the St Thomas Cupola Appeal, the beautiful and astmospheric Christmas Tree Festival in St Thomas Church has gone from strength to strength, each year attracting a growing number of trees and visitors. A highlight has always been the official opening carol singing by the Robin Choir from Lymington Infant School, which also always bring tears to many eyes.

How it works is that the Friends of St Thomas Church led by Chair Daphne Johnson buy in a number of Christmas trees in a variety of sizes, for which they also supply the lights. Each tree is "sponsored" by a local business or organisation ranging from local solicitors, estate agents and marine businesses to community and church organisations and charities. Each pays to participate according to the size of the tree. Each also has the opportunity in the Festival Programme to explain what its organisation does 

Then staff and volunteers of the relevant business and organisations decorate their individual trees to a theme they choose, which results in an enormous range of beautifully decorated trees of various shapes and sizes, all with the same lighting so at the same time producing a wonderfully harmonious effect. (It's also usually a very friendly sociable affair, the tree dressing part before the Festival Proper.)

And then the Festival opens, and whilst it is on various local choral and other musical performances take place, and volunteers from the Church sell Christmas cards and a range of extremely well priced Christmas decorations made by volunteers.

And then through the long weekend whilst the trees are on display visitors arrive, and make their donations and wander around enjoying the sights and the scents of this marvellous and slightly surreal spectacle. 

And at the end, the trees are either collected by their "owners" or are sold with the funds going to the Church, to people who have pledged during the course of the weekend to buy them - so many trees still resplendent in their decorations then go on to grace a home or hospital until and through Christmas. 

This year's festival, Friday 4 - Tuesday 8 December, as COVID-safe as possible HAS NOW SADLY HAD TO BE CANCELLED

The Friends of St Thomas Church Committee hopes to hold an alternative event, later, in St.Thomas Church.

"Live" virtual tour below of the 2019 pre-Covid Festival will have to fill the sad gap for now!


Contact the Church Office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Gill Maunder, Parish Administrator, St Thomas Church, St Thomas Street, Lymington, SO41 9ND Telephone: 01590 676194 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


schoolchildren around table with cake

Macmillan Coffee Mornings in the New Forest September 2020

New Forest coffee and cake for Macmillan!

Durlston Court School, Royal British Legion and Colten Care among those raising funds for Macmillan Cancer in the New Forest

Macmillan Coffee Mornings have become a bit of an annual institution for the final Friday in September. A number of fundraising coffee mornings took place in the New Forest last week and raised much needed funds for this important charity. Whilst Covid continues to dominate health news and we hear that "normal" examinations and procedures have been missed with a potential knock effect on future cancer deaths, the work of the Macmillan nurses seems set to become even more vital. We've been sent some heart warming reports accompanied by lovely photos so we thought it would be nice to share with you in a special feature.  It's wonderful how adaptable and creative everybody has been in the face of social distancing and other Covid related rules!

schoolchildren around table with cakeDurlston Prep School raises £357 for Macmillan Cancer

Every year, pupils, parents and staff at Durlston Court Prep School usually get together to support the Macmillan Coffee Morning. This year, like so many events, this couldn’t take place. The current situation, however didn’t stop the Durlston Family!

Chef Sally Rogers generously made a cupcake for every child (and some spare for staff!) for them to enjoy within their class bubbles. Pre-Prep children were thrilled with their tea party. Pupils brought in their change to donate to this worthy cause and raised £357. Headmaster, Richard May, commented, “we are a family school and usually have a full calendar of family and community events so it was great to be able to continue our fundraising efforts;  Sally’s cupcakes certainly put a smile on everyone’s faces.  Even through lockdown we continued with regular ‘Durlston Family’ events such as a virtual theatre trip, weekly disco and a Durlston camp-out where everybody camped in their garden or house on the same evening. Durlston is a supportive family and we have many more plans to continue with as many events and fund raising activities as we can – albeit in adapted COVID safe way.”

Golden tickets at Colten Care

Residents and staff at Colten Care’s 21 care homes put a Willy Wonka-style twist on their support for the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. As well as raising hundreds of cuppas, they enjoyed a gentle contest to see who would bite into a secret ‘Golden Cup Cake’ containing a layer of edible gold leaf through the middle.

Chefs at each home prepared the disguised treats as part of the array of cakes and pastries they made and served at the annual charity fundraiser. The 21 residents who ‘found the gold’ at their particular coffee mornings have been entered into a draw to win £250 of shopping vouchers, with Colten Care donating the same amount to Macmillan on their behalf.

As well as the cup cake contest, fun on the day included many individual initiatives to add to the total raised.

people in a care home

Chris would "do anything" to raise money for Macmillan!

At Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, gardener Chris Marsh underwent a sponsored leg wax as residents cheered him on. “Oh my goodness he was brave,” said resident Audrey Wainwright. “It was easy for us to sit back and laugh, but he did so well. It was really fun.”  

Jane Bunker, Companionship Team Leader, who performed the ‘waxing’, said: “Chris gritted his teeth but he took it all in the right spirit.

“I had asked him earlier about ideas for Macmillian and he said he would do anything to raise money – so we took him at his word. He’s a lovely guy and we had such good fun.”

At Court Lodge in Lymington, there was an ‘eat a doughnut without licking your lips’ challenge while at Abbott Barton in Winchester, Healthcare Assistant Judith Pain raised more than £200 towards a sponsored head shave. 

Overall, the 21 care homes along with staff at Colten’s Ringwood head office raised £2,000 this year despite the fact that Covid restrictions meant families and community visitors were unable to attend the individual coffee mornings. 

Royal British LegionRoyal British Legion and Laura

And finally, Royal British Legion Club in Lymington held a coffee morning at the British Legion Hall for which Laura of La Vie En Cake made delectable cakes and over £200 was raised. All concerned were very pleased!

Mamillan's annual coffee fundraiser turns 30 this year

The annual coffee fundraiser, which turned 30 this year, is dedicated to bringing people together over a cuppa to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. 

According to the charity, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every 90 seconds.

Proceeds from the coffee morning help to provide them with emotional, financial and clinical support.

For more information on Macmillan Cancer Support, visit


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