Brackenfield Headteacher, Mrs. Pat Sowa with David Shaftoe from Open Country
Brackenfield Headteacher, Mrs. Pat Sowa with David Shaftoe from Open Country

Brackenfield School team up with” Open Country” as their Charity of the Year

21 January 2016

Brackenfield School have announced their charity of the year will be Harrogate based, Open Country, a local charity that seeks to enable anyone with any disability to access the countryside. Open Country achieve this through a variety of countryside activities and the provision of information, training and advice. They provide accessible transport and teams of trained volunteers to offer assistance as necessary.

During a fascinating assembly to the school, David Shaftoe from Open Country spoke in detail about the worthwhile work the charity carries out in supporting disabled people to enjoy the countryside, from straightforward day trips into the country and conservation work to more extreme activities such as abseiling.

Needing an annual income of £150,000, Open Country relies on the generosity of donations to continue to provide such a valuable role. Brackenfield will be fundraising to support the purchase of Open Country’s new minibus, Star of Hope, central to fulfilling the aims of the charity.

Headteacher, Pat Sowa said:

We are delighted to be supporting Open Country this year which is such a wonderful local charity. The children were extremely enthused by the talk this morning and are raring to go with many lovely ideas for fundraising.

It is wonderful that their fundraising for Open Country will go towards a practical new minibus which they will be able to see when it is delivered.

Principal, Anthony Comerford is also delighted that Open Country has been chosen as Brackenfield’s Charity of the Year.

Anthony Comerford said:

To support a local charity that carries out such worthwhile work is a great partnership. Although we will continue to fund raise for a wide range of other causes throughout the year, as our Charity of the Year, Open Country will benefit greatly from collections at our major events in addition to the children’s own ideas.

I seem to recall last year our pupils could pay to stick our Head of Games to the wall! We are looking forward to seeing the new minibus!

For further information on Open Country please visit

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