NEWS FROM BRANTHAM

Walking Challenge For Disabled Riding Group

Tuesday, April 9, 19.00

A group which offers therapeutic horse-riding sessions to people with disabilities from the Ipswich area is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an ambitious fundraising walk and run. 

Ipswich RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) Group was started in 1989 and one of those who helped found the group, Mary Woods from Copdock, is still involved in running one of the twice-weekly sessions today, assisted by around 30 other volunteers.

The group is based at Bentley Riding School near Ipswich and offers riding sessions for up to eight adults and up to ten children every week in term-time.  But in order for the service to continue it needs to raise around £6,000 every year. Next month it’s holding a sponsored walk and fun run, which it hopes will become an annual event.

Noah’s Challenge on Saturday May 18 is a chance to explore some of the beautiful countryside in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around Brantham and East Bergholt, close to Bentley Riding School, while also raising money for a worthy local cause.  Participants will start at The Ark in Brantham and visit three other locations all named after animals, having a card stamped at each checkpoint.  They will then return to The Ark with their ‘animals’.

Mary commented:  “I’m so proud that the group has reached its 30thanniversary. We have helped scores of riders in that time and the difference horse-riding has made to some of their lives is an incredibly rewarding thing to be part of.  Fundraising is critical to our group’s survival so I hope as many people as possible will sign up to this event to allow our work to continue.”

The full distance of the walk, which is largely off-road taking in the River Stour, woodland, countryside paths and fields is 12 miles but participants who do not wish to walk that far can arrange to leave a car at a checkpoint and walk a shorter distance.  Although the route is not suitable for buggies, children may walk with an adult and dogs are also welcome.  All finishers will receive a goody bag and there will also be a prize draw for all participants.  A further draw will be held for all who raise more than £30 in sponsorship.  Entries close on May 6 and a form is available on the RDA Ipswich Group Facebook page or by emailing NoahsChallengeRDA@gmail.com.

Ipswich RDA Trustee Clare Phillips, from Brantham, who is co-ordinating the walk said:  “The pubs that are acting as our checkpoints including The Bull at Brantham and The Hare and Hounds at East Bergholt have been so welcoming and encouraging and we have also had support from sponsors including East End Butchers in East Bergholt, and two big stores in Ipswich – Go Outdoors and Tesco.  It’s promising to be a really fun day with some great prizes to be won too.

“The event will benefit such a worthwhile cause - every week we see how much riding means to our riders and to see the joy on their faces, especially those who do not communicate verbally, is just lovely.”

Noah’s Challenge is just £3 per person to enter if participants commit to raising a minimum amount of sponsorship or £12 (adults) and £8 (children) for those who wish to take part without seeking sponsorship.  All money raised goes direct to Ipswich RDA Group.

Picture caption: A young rider taking part in a recent Ipswich RDA session, picture courtesy of Ipswich RDA Group. (Copyright Ipswich RDA Group) 

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Ram-Raiders Target Store

Tuesday, December 11, 07.00

Thieves have again targeted the Co-op store at Brantham. 

Police responder to calls from neighbours of the shop in Acacia Court at around 12.40am this morning but the ram-raiders took off before police arrived.

A police spokesman confirmed the ram-raiders had been unsuccessful and added: “Witnesses suggest a silver estate car was used.

“There is an indication this car suffered from rear end damage.”

Elsewhere, raiders damaged a door to a shop at Stoke Park, and made off with goods, while and there was also another failed attempt on a Co-op in Stowmarket

If you know anything that could assist officers in their investigation, or have seen the silver estate car described, call police on 101 quoting crime reference CAD 15.

*The Premier store and Post Office in Shotley was hit in October when thieves escaped with cigarettes and alcohol.

 * More headlines here...

Armed Police Called To Robbery At Co-op

UPDATED: Friday, 16.00

Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery at a convenience shop in Brantham. 

The incident occurred at around 5.45pm yesterday afternoon, Thursday 22 November, at the Co-op in Acacia Court.

Two men entered the store who were both wearing hooded tops with the hoods up and the draw strings pulled tight, partly obscuring their faces.

One of the men stayed by the door and the other approached the till. This man placed a meat cleaver down on the counter and demanded that the member of staff open the till.

He then went behind the counter and removed money from two tills and stole two bottles of spirits. The two suspects then left the premises.

The male member of staff was not harmed during this incident.

The suspect who approached the till is described as white, aged in his late 30s to early 40s, 5ft 10in tall, of stocky build and with grey stubble. He was wearing a light-grey coloured hooded top, blue jogging bottoms and wearing black gloves.

The second suspect is described as white, aged in his 20s, 6ft tall and of slim build. He was wearing a dark-coloured hooded top and a balaclava which covered his mouth area.

Any witnesses, or anyone with information about this incident, is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House on 101 quoting reference 67639/18. Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, November 22, 2100

Armed police were among officers called to an alleged armed robbery at the Co-op shop in Brantham this evening. 

Two robbers, oneallegedly armed with a meat cleaver, threatened staff at the store in Acacia Court, Blenheim Close, at around 17.30, before making off. It is understood no-one was hurt in the incident although a couple of people were shaken up.

Customers and staff were locked in the shop for  short while as police swarmed to the area.

A forensics vehicle was also spotted as police investigated the incident.

More to follow... 

Most Active Accolade For Village

Thursday, November 8, 08.00

Brantham has been named Suffolk's Most Active Large Village. 

Judges highlighted the village's wide range and levels of sports and activities available for all as it scooped the title for the second time in five years.

Activities offer vary from Zumba and Irish dancing classes in the village hall, to a new trim trail and an annual five-mile run, to regular local walking groups, a social cycling group and formal cricket, bowls and football clubs, the later boasting 11 junior teams.

Brantham Parish councillor Clare Phillips, (pictured with Cllr McCraw in helmet, at the awards ceremony in Elmswell) said: “Brantham would not have won this award without the hard work that many in the community put into organising sports and different activities – both formally and informally. It’s great for our village to be recognised in this way and we certainly don’t intend to stand still as we head into 2019.”

Even Brantham's district councillor, Alastair MccCaw plays his part by cycling between meetings, keeping in touch with residents and encouraged everyone of all ages to stay active.

‘’It doesn’t need to be an organised activity, but it must be regular," said Cllr McCraw. "My choice is cycling, but exercise of any sort is beneficial to most people.’’

 Brantham's success follows Shotley winning in the same category last year, as the peninsula continues to take the lead in health and fitness well being and promoting activities for locals and visitors alike.

The awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Association of Local Councils. Their purpose is to recognise and celebrate communities in Suffolk that are going the extra mile to encourage their residents to be active.

Despite being Suffolk’s smallest town, with a population of just over 2,000 people, Clare was victorious in the Most Active Town category, with a little bit of help from Shotley's Walkers Are Welcome group.

Judges pointed to three key recent developments as key to their success in the competition – the establishment of parkrun, which attracts between 100 and 130 runners every week, gaining national ‘Walkers are Welcome’ accreditation and opening-up of the local school swimming pool to the community.  

Sally Longmate, Chief Executive of Suffolk Association of Local Council’s, added “I would like to congratulate this year’s winners. They demonstrate wonderfully the huge contribution that town and parish councils make to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of communities across the length and breadth of Suffolk.”

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