The Bosdet Foundation has agreed to lease Brig-y-Don House from Brightly Charity. Bosdet will utilise the house to run Camp Bosdet and other holiday programmes for disadvantaged children, as it did with the Island Scout Centre last year. But with this five-year agreement, Bosdet will be able to expand the programme beyond the main summer holidays to offer opportunities for local schools and respite-type breaks. Bosdet is also very keen to develop further its links with other children's charities on how we can make the best use of Brig-y-Don House to benefit our Island's children.
Bosdet intends to move rapidly to offer a starter programme this Easter and then will grow the programme over the summer.
Bosdet will be investing £250,000 into Brig-y-Don each year as a ring-fenced sub-group working closely with others so that where possible we can increase this sum and do more at the House for children. All the money for Bosdet comes from the profits of Les Ormes that it wholly owns.
In the last two year, Bosdet has made best use of many local young adults who are undertaking training as teachers, or other related degrees, offering them the chance to work at Camp Bosdet –not only training them but also giving them experience and the opportunity to give back to their Island. Bosdet will also be seeking local volunteers to assist our programmes be it educational or activity based at the House.
Alan La Pavoux, the Bosdet Foundation charity manager who instigated Camp Bosdet over the last two years, will lead at Brig-y-Don. ‘We are determined to offer the very highest standards of care, food, experiences, and fun for the children who attend.
‘As with all major social events, there is long-term impact on individuals. With the global pandemic we have seen the suspension of normal social activity along with the usual opportunities for children to play and learn in all its forms. Camp Bosdet has shown the positive impact coming together to experience new opportunities can have on the mental and physical well-being of the children attending. There is substantial evidence to show that the more opportunities children have the better outcomes they gave in later life. Recently I was driving behind two horse riders they appeared to be mother and daughter. It was wonderous to watch the interaction, learning and love between them. It struck me that so many children do not have this opportunity, so many families rely on two incomes just to meet their basic needs and the time they have together is limited. Giving all children the opportunity to grow and share with caring adults, even if it is for just one week is a goal worth having.’
Brig-y-Don was set up by Mr & Mrs Trevor Matthews who bought the land in 1925 to help children of poor health. This also developed into holiday breaks for disadvantaged children. And since then, in various forms, it has been there to support children. The Bosdet Foundation is very proud to carry the baton of Mr and Mrs Matthews in the coming years as it links so closely with our own founder, George Bisson.
Roger Trower, the Chairman of the Bosdet Foundation said, ‘The Bosdet Foundation is very excited to make best use of Brig-y-Don House working with Brightly in the years ahead for the good of our Island children. The last two years have raised many issues for children, and we are determined to quickly do our bit within the community to support them. This is a true example of Jersey as a community coming together.’
Mike Graham, General Manager of the Bosdet Foundation and of CEO Les Ormes said, ‘Every customer who comes to Les Ormes is effectively supporting our Island children so that we can invest in programmes such as Camp Bosdet at Brig-Y-Don. For us, as a team, it just makes the whole work environment so much more than a job and a feeling that we are an integral part of this Island community.’
Deputy Susie Pinel, Chair of Brightly (previously Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity) said, ‘We are delighted that the Bosdet Foundation will be making such great use of Brig-y-Don House. Like Brightly they aim to work in collaboration with others to ensure long-term benefits and positive changes in our community and like us recognise that one of the best ways to do this is by working with children and their families. We are really pleased that the much-loved building will have a new lease of life and that so many young people who need support will be benefitting from the facility in accordance with the purposes for which Brig-y- Don House was given and as our supporters past, present and future would wish.'
Steve Jewell, Managing Director of Romerils said, ‘When the Bosdet Foundation team contacted us to see if we could help with the refurbishment of this property for Camp Bosdet, it was such an easy “yes”. This is an amazing venture, and you can see how many of our Island’s children are going to benefit and have such an enjoyable time. And at Romerils, we’re proud to have helped so this can be achieved.’