Charity farm retreat near Kenilworth in need of funding for survival through winter months

Kate and Simon Morris who run the charity, Spencer's Retreat
Kate and Simon Morris who run the charity, Spencer's Retreat

Spencer's Retreat, a farm for children with special needs and their families, is in desperate need for funding to operate their charity through the upcoming winter months.

The charity, a six-acre property set back from the main road in Berkswell about five miles north of Kenilworth, provides just that with a place for children to have fun outside with a variety of rescue animals.

Spencer's Retreat

Spencer's Retreat

Simon and Kate Morris, who manage the property, have two children on the autism spectrum and the couple’s vision for the retreat is: “The heart of our vision is to provide children with special needs and their families a safe space to unwind, explore and learn, reducing anxiety and creating positive experiences.”

But the charity needs help in order for them to help others.

Kate said: “As a small charity we rely solely on donations to cover our running costs and to put on events for our families.

“During the winter months when grazing is sparse our feeding costs increase as do our bedding costs for the animals.”

A pig at the Spencer's Retreat farm

A pig at the Spencer's Retreat farm

The animals on the property include two kune pigs, three saddleback pigs, four pygmy goats, Reggie the goat and Freckles the sheep.

They also have some rare breed Manx sheep, which Simon said there are only 800 left in all of the UK.

The retreat property also has a natural play area made up of logs, a slide and trampoline.

They’ve also converted four stables into a relaxing indoor sitting and lounge-like area, with an outdoor sitting area and sandpit for children

The converted stables lounge area also includes an area with space for the children to adjust to the new environment over a few games, Lego and even a few musical instruments.

Kate added: “It’s about creating a positive experience for the whole family, including the siblings as well. It’s about making a support network for people.”

The charity has a Just Giving page with £25 raised toward a £5,000 target goal.

Anyone interested in volunteering can see the Spencer's Retreat website or the Facebook page for more information.

The Leamington and Balsall Singers with Midland Voices are putting on two concerts to help the charity.

The Balsall Singers will perform their charity concert called 'Music of the Night' at the Heart of England School in Gypsy Lane of Balsall Common at 7.45pm on Saturday November 9.

The Leamington Singers will perform a second similar charity concert at Myton High School in Myton Road of Warwick at 7.30pm on Saturday November 23. Tickets for both concerts cost £10 and £5 for children.

Kate added: “Our retreat is at the end of a farm track and in the winter requires maintenance. Sometimes the track becomes impassable when the weather of particularly wet as it turns to mud.

“The concerts that Midlands Voices are doing would raise much needed funds to get us through the winter and to repair and maintain the track so that our events can go ahead.

“These events are our lifeline and without them the charity wouldn’t exist. It’s really important to us that the retreat is accessible all year round for the families that benefit from it’s therapeutic nature.”