Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hollybush House Fete - Combat Stress

Afternoon Everyone

Isn't this weather we are having in the UK simply gorgeous ... I hope you have been out soaking up the rays this weekend. We have certainly been making the most of it here in Ayr.
Yesterday we went along to the annual fete at Hollybush House which is part of Combat Stress, the UK's leading charity that specialises in the treatment and support of British Armed Forces Veterans who have mental health problems. I have a personal association with Hollybush House because one of my brothers, Douglas, has stayed there periodically over the last two years. Douglas was involved in military action in the 1960s, aged only 18, and although what he saw and endured affected him greatly at the time, he got on with his life and all seemed well. However, a few years ago he became ill and started suffering flashbacks and panic attacks - after all these years he was found to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His short stays at Hollybush House have helped him cope and I am very grateful to Combat Stress so just had to go along to the fete and help support this wonderful organisation. Here are some of the photos of the day.
I thought I'd stumbled into a bikers' convention but it was just the the Provost (similar position to a Mayor) of East Ayrshire, Jim Todd, that's him in the leathers and his chain of office, and his biker mates who work hard to raise funds for Hollybush House - you can see them presenting a cheque for £1200 bottom left. Provost Todd is himself a veteran who has seen action.
Soldiers, both serving and veterans were there to entertain and help raise awareness. The Shetland ponies are mascots of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The one nearest in the photo, Cruachan, has an impressive array of medals :)
Here's me getting up close and personal with Molly the Barn Owl - she is absolutely gorgeous and happy to let me stroke her downy chest feathers. I was told what the other bird was but now cannot remember - hopefully one of you will be able to tell me.
The musical entertainment - it wouldn't be Scottish without a piper and an accordionist - the singer is Nicola (Nika) Cassells, a modern classical singer from Ayr with a very pretty voice.
And because it was so hot, this was one of the most popular fun things for the children to participate in - even the ones getting soaked enjoyed themselves thoroughly, in fact they happily volunteered :)
Finally, a stroll through the grounds on our way home past buttercup meadows and bluebell woods.

It was a lovely, fun day, made all the better because of the brilliant weather.  And because of the sunshine, there's been very little going on in the craft room ... well, actually, nothing has been going on there at all, and I'm not complaining. After the winter/spring we've had, I wouldn't dare :)

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend wherever you are.

Take care, and when the sun goes down, happy crafting,


  1. HollyBush House is indeed a remarkable place Elizabeth. Its helped so many young and old soldiers to get back to some sort of normality in their life. Looks as if everyone is having a really nice time and lots of events to take part in as well. Hugs Rita xx

  2. Looks like a fabulous day for a wonderful cause.

  3. Always enjoy seeing your trip pictures, and these were no exception. Just popped over to say Big Congrats on winning the Ryn water stamp. Was so happy to see a familiar name show in the Pixie Post. You'll love that stamp. Hugs

  4. What a wonderful day for a fabulous cause! xx

  5. Lovely photographs and a beautiful place :o)
    Jackie xx

  6. What a great day out Elizabeth you look like you really enjoyed it and to see the Barn owl and touch it is brilliant fab photos too x

  7. Looks as if a good time was had by all, lovely sunny day and such a worthy cause to support.
    Thanks for sharing Elizabeth.
    Hugs, Neet xx

  8. HollyBush House sounds a much needed and encouraging place! Loved the pictures, thanks for showing us.

  9. What a great day it looks and the provost looks such a character! Shame FS didn't arrive in tie to attend with you!
    Jo x


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