Pancakes for Ocean Stars

Pancake day (Shrove Tuesday) was a beautiful crisp Spring morning that fell in half term this year.

OceanStars :: Tuesday 10th March 2015 :: This Story

The Pre school group therefore were not meeting so it was an opportunity not to be overlooked to hold a Pancake and coffee morning in the Methodist church .

As usual we sent out publicity , uncertain of the response... ...

However, we should not have had any concerns over what the outcome would be -we had a superb turnout of folk who were most generous not only in their giving but in their patient waiting for their pancake! We were VERY busy having to make fresh batter mixture even though we had a reserve mix made up! We do apologise if you were one of those who had to wait - lessons were learned, so thank you for your understanding!


Ready for PancakesPancake helper
Once again we are made aware that the finances for the work of Ocean Stars is being provided - we just need to be open and available and we shall learn of the difference it makes to young lives.  We give thanks for the hope and joy we can share with them.

Pancake guestsMore batter needed

Newsletter

Our December Newsletter is now available - Download it here

OceanStars :: Thursday 22nd January 2015 :: This Story

Download the full Newsletter

Ocean Stars Trust will be 10 years old on the 26 January 2015. Over the last 10 years OST has worked tirelessly to rebuild shat-tered lives of children and families in Sri Lanka. When I look back over the last decade I am left with a feeling of awe and wonderment at how Ocean Stars has evolved and how so many people in the UK, Sri Lanka and the world have been brought together to work to make a difference to the lives of so many people in Sri Lanka. A strength of Ocean Stars is the emphasis it puts on relationships and in what now has become an Ocean Stars family. People who become involved with Ocean Stars in what ever capacity al-ways comment on how much they feel loved and cared for, and how their lives have been en-riched by the people they meet. “People have so little but they give us so much”, is often said by visitors to OST projects.

Sponsorship schemes are an aspect of our work that really makes an impact on families. When I see UK sponsors meet their sponsor child and witness the warmth and gratitude ex-pressed to them I realise the true value of the work we do. If £10 per month will help a young person pass exams and go onto University or work then we have rebuilt a shattered life and given a family hope for the future. A whole generation of children have grown up with support from UK sponsors. I would like to thank all our sponsors - some of you have been with us for 10 years - for your continued sup-port for our work. We are always looking for sponsors, so if you feel you are able to donate £10 per month please get in touch with us using the contact infor-mation above.

OST enables children in rural com-munities to access pre-school education—this is a major part of our work. We work with 16 pre- schools in the north and east of Sri Lanka and reach out to more than 600 children. Bringing laughter and a morning of creative activities, songs, bubbles, parachutes, the Hokey-Cokey, has become routine for team who visit our playgroups annually.

I would like to wish you all a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year 2015.

10th anniversary of the Tsunami

A service of remembrance for the 10th anniversary of the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2014.

OceanStars :: Thursday 22nd January 2015 :: This Story

Tree Flowers

Ocean Stars Trust Trustees Dilanee and Maureen attended a Remembrance Service for the victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami 2004. It took place around the tree Prunus Autumnalis which was planted at North Camp Methodist Church for the victims of the Tsunami. Rev David Jebb who was Minister at the church at the time of the Tsunami lost 12 members of his family

 Tsunami Memorial ServiceTsunami Memorial Service

This plant was chosen because it blossoms in December coinciding with the anniversary of the Tsunami which hit Sri Lanka’s shore 10 years ago.

Download the service sheet.

Tsunami Memorial ServiceTsunami Memorial Service

Tsunami Memorial Service

Grim Challenge

On the 7th December

OceanStars :: Thursday 22nd January 2015 :: This Story

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A small group of us braved the cold and wet to complete the 8 mile off road Grim Challenge across some army land in Aldershot. The first two miles were an easy jog then we encountered hills, mud and deep, freezing water which some people threw themselves in! Later we came across logs, tyres and more deep water which we waded through, it was all good fun, if not a bit chilly but a great way to raise a bit of money!

Grim challenge for Ocean Stars Trust

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All packed and ready to go!

In less than 48 hours the Calthorpe Park School group will be leaving rainy England for (hopefully) a sunny Sri Lanka!

OceanStars :: Wednesday 22nd October 2014 :: This Story

Keep up with all their news and thoughts at:

http://oceanstarsteam2014.blogspot.co.uk/

The Barefoot Experience

Walking with Philip, the OST response...

OceanStars :: Sunday 7th September 2014 :: This Story

be-the-step.jpgbarefootThe Barefoot Billion experience...it has certainly been one! Having spent many a day trying to find Philip in various parts of the country, walking with him through both thick mud & rain & glorious sunshine, having helped to clean & tape up his injuries, having watched & listened to him reciting poetry along the way (Glastonbury Abbey, Stanton Harcourt Manor, Oxford, Hay on Wye) & having seen him light up a school hall full of children with his words at the end of a hard day's walking, it felt only right to be there in Wales for the final few steps of the 1000 miles - such an incredible undertaking! We walked barefoot with Philip on one day & it was only too clear how challenging it was, having to watch every step & be aware of every kind of surface along the way (we didn't last long!)

Barefoot Philip The final day on Anglesey (9th August) proved to be sunny & warm & filled with laughter. As Philip walked the final few steps across the Menai Bridge to cross the finish line, everyone was filled with a sense of elation on his behalf. When he set out on his challenge on April 22nd I think many of us had our doubts whether he could actually complete the full distance & spend four months walking but how wrong we were. He seemed to become stronger as the walk progressed, inspired by poetry & the cause close to his heart – raising awareness & money for the barefoot billion children around the world.

It was an honour & a pleasure to be a small part of Philip's adventure & to be there at the end to witness him achieve his goal, surrounded by family & friends.

Jo Barton (Ost trustee)

It began in the centre of London, Somerset House.  Philip headed off towards Westminster Bridge followed by a troupe of children.  Early barefoot steps, lots of energy....but just a hint of nervous tension.  There was a long road ahead.

A few days later he began his barefoot trek in earnest, leaving Land's End in Cornwall.  The early days were very difficult.  Rough, stony paths, snakes in the grass, gout!!  By the time we joined him towards the end of May he had reached Glastonbury.  I remember that first evening well – he was tired, his feet were blistered; every step was painful.  I did wonder  if he would make it. However, I hadn't properly reckoned on just what passion, inner strength Philip could and would call upon.  A couple of days later as we walked with him, literally pulling our boot clad feet from the mud in Wiltshire, I saw evidence of his deep resolve to make this journey.  His feet were cut and the plasters, which had been applied to try and give his skin some protection, were failing miserably to do their job.  But he just kept going. His pace was slow as he hauled himself up muddy banks and then slithered downwards.  We ended that day in Wells cathedral, sitting together in silence, reflecting on our day and remembering the Barefoot Billion whose plight Philip constantly sought to highlight.  It was at that point, as Dilanee noted so well, that there was a sense that we were part of something much bigger than ourselves. Something which stretched beyond our immediate world and linked us again to our children in Sri Lanka and the millions elsewhere who live barefoot and in poverty.

barefoot summer In subsequent weeks Philip gained strength. He became fitter, his feet hardened, the weather improved.  We enjoyed great days hiking with him through Avebury, along the Thames towpath into Oxford and around Tetbury. We listened as he engaged and inspired schoolchildren with the Barefoot message during their Friday afternoon assembly.  And we sat with him in the sunshine at Stanton Harcourt, his family home, and listened as he recited some of his own poems. He shared with us memories from his childhood, recalling the influence and inspiration of family members who encouraged him to grow and become the fire poet that he is today.

It all ended when he crossed the Menai Bridge into Anglesey, Wales. A walk of a thousand miles barefoot complete.  We celebrated in a pub garden – he was exhausted, a stone lighter  but relieved and delighted.  Job done!!  The 'Barefoot' message had been carried across the country.  He spoke briefly, encouraging us all to continue to 'Bthe step' on behalf of the Barefoot community across our world. And he thanked us. I'm not quite sure why for our thanks are due to him for allowing us to join with him and be part of the 'Barefoot' experience.

So on behalf of the Ost MoJo and all of us at Ocean Stars – Thank you Philip!!

Maureen Johnston (Ost trustee)

barefoot mo jo barefoot end

Ocean Stars Trust do 'Fitcamp'!

Last Wednesday 27th September the Ocean Stars team got sporty!

OceanStars :: Sunday 7th September 2014 :: This Story

The amazing Taurofit team, founded by Ross Potter, kindly donated one of their unique but intense outdoor fitness sessions known as 'Fitcamp' to Ocean Stars Trust.  

With a great turnout, Ross led the team in a brutal circuit session, followed by assisted squats and the infamous Taurofit 'tunnel of love'.  After a group selfie to finish the session, the team went home on a high and an amazing £95 was raised for Ocean Stars Trust.

A massive thank you to Ross Potter of Taurofit for such a great evening.

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Barefoot Finale

1000 miles barefoot – Mission complete!

OceanStars :: Tuesday 12th August 2014 :: This Story

Ocean Stars Trust #BethestepBarefoot Walk Finish Line

On the afternoon of Saturday 9th August our intrepid poet Philip Wells, @theFIREpoet, walked over the Menai Bridge into Angelsey and entered the garden of the Anglesey Arms hotel.  As he crossed the finishing line he raised his arms in celebration.  1000 miles ‘barefoot’ in aid of the 1,000,000,000 children who have to live in poverty.  It was a great moment and we were delighted to be there with him.

The end – 1,000 miles complete

At the finish with OST TeamShowing off the walking feet

Barefoot Billion - Philip keeps going……almost there!!

Philip continues his barefoot trek – to date he has covered over 955 miles of this 1000 mile challenge.

OceanStars :: Tuesday 5th August 2014 :: This Story

His feet are now like bricks and although utterly exhausted, the end is now in sight and he is pushing himself to that finish line.

Many schools across the world have joined with Barefoot Billion, including children from Nikaweratiya in north west Sri Lanka, to over support.

Barefoot billion feet
Can you spot Philip's feet?
We feel the pain - Children from Nikaweratiya school
Children from Nikaweratiya school

World record

Philip the Fire PoetOn 31st July Philip broke the world record for barefoot walking when he completed 924.66miles.  Great achievement!! However his focus remains those who live barefoot and in poverty.  And so, he keeps on going....

Presently, he is walking towards Llandulas in Wales.  The coastline and the sea are once more within view and if all continues to go well, he should cross the Menai Bridge into Angelsey, on Saturday 9th August.  You can follow him every step of the way at:

@thefirepoet @barefootbillion @oceanstarstrust
 
www.barefootbillion.com

801 miles complete... the Barefoot Poet continues his trek!

Philip Wells @theFIREpoet has now arrived in Wales as he continues his 1,000 mile trek across our country in aid of the world’s ‘Barefoot Billion’.

OceanStars :: Monday 21st July 2014 :: This Story

His feet are now toughened and for the most part he is coping well with the difficult terrain of the Welsh mountains but exhaustion is setting in.  The end is almost in sight. His biggest struggle now is to ‘Bethestep’ right to the finishing line. Highlights from the past few weeks:

Dilanee and Philip pause for a photo on Monarches Way, near Chipping Sodbury Philip performs his poetry with Virginia McKenna at Tintern Abbey

Dilanee and Philip pause for a photo
on Monarches Way, near Chipping Sodbury

exhaustion Jo with Philip at the Poetry Bookshop in Hay on Wye

Exhaustion - Jo with Philip at the Poetry Bookshop in Hay on Wye

In the next few weeks he is hoping to break the barefoot world record of 943 miles and on the 9th August arrive in Beaumaris, Anglesey,the end his 1000 mile barefoot challenge.

Each day brings further adventure so please do continue to follow and support

@oceanstarstrust @barefootbillion @thefirepoet

www.barefootbillion