(Published 7th May 2015)
Spire Healthcare have been a wonderful supporter of On Course Foundation, having donated very generously in the past. This August, Spire have a great event at the picturesque Ganton Golf Club and would like to invite members of the public to play at the club’s Open Day. The championship course is the setting for what looks set to be a truly memorable event in honour of On Course Foundation. If you would like more information on the day this August 17th, please take a look at www.gantongolfclub.com.
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(Published 5th May 2015)
On Course Foundation recently joined forces with their sister organisation in the United States to bring the benefits of golf to even more deserving beneficiaries. Led by our Operations Manager Alex Woolston, On Course Foundation delivered a week long programme of golf skills tuition and employment activities to ten UK and ten US Members of the charity, at the Marriot Grande Vista Resort in Orlando.
The trip marks the seventh time the Foundation has taken Members to Orlando for Warm Weather Training, secure in knowledge that the warm climate actively facilitates the mobility and coordination of those Members with physical injuries, and helps provide a wonderfully welcoming environment for those suffering with mental injuries. With the help of golf professionals in Orlando, the trip provided individuals with intensive coaching, as well as the opportunity to learn more about the many employment prospects in the golf industry, which are open to everyone. Employment highlights, and indeed insights, included a tour of the Golf Channel studios, club fitting by Marriott and an in-depth look at greenkeeping.
All of those in attendance had a truly great time, made all the better by a unique experience to visit Bay Hill to meet On Course Foundation Patron, Arnold Palmer. Through events such as this, On Course Foundation is proud convey to both potential beneficiaries and supporters that not only does golf really open doors, but ultimately helps set Members on the road to recovery.
On Course Foundation is incredibly grateful to those supporters who made the trip possible. If you would like to see just how much golf promotes recovery, take a look at this short feature by the Golf Channel: http://www.golfchannel.com/media/morning-drive-simpson-cup/
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(Published 13th April 2015)
During the first week of April the On Course Foundation team made their way down to China Fleet Golf & Country Club. As part of our second Away Day, On Course Foundation Ambassadors from the South West region were invited along to see the progress that we are making in our fifth year, whilst also understanding our future. Our Marketing Intern, Sophie Paterson, was also in attendance over the two days; here she gives her account of the activities:
“I joined On Course Foundation a little over three months ago as Intern during my year out from university. I decided to take the unconventional gap year between my first and second year in order to help support my disabled brother. Once he was well, I knew that I wanted to get involved in something worthwhile. On Course Foundation (OCF) was the perfect fit. My personal life had enabled me to empathise with those with disabilities, and more importantly understand that being wounded, injured or sick need not prevent someone from doing something fun or meaningful. OCF is excellent proof of this; not only does it help Servicemen, women and veterans recover through the unique level playing field that golf provides, it then offers them the opportunity to build on and transfer their skills learnt in the military to employment within the golf industry.
It was not until the Team Away Day that I truly appreciated how great the charity and the work it does, is. The two days consisted of team building, presentations and a little bit of golf. Among the attendees were OCF staff, including a few new faces each offering a fresh set of eyes, and three of our Ambassadors. While my attempt at playing golf was entertaining, the true highlight was seeing the enthusiasm of the Ambassadors discussing the successes of OCF in the past and their hopes for the charity in the future.
After the lovely journey down to Cornwall – made even more so with the lunch provided by our Office & Activities Manager, Anne – we got straight into the swing of things at the wonderful China Fleet Golf & Country Club. Our golf knowledge was immediately put to test with a golf quiz and golf related team-building exercises. The competitive spirit was definitely in the air and made even more evident when we all took to the Driving Range and Golf Simulator later that evening. Our Ambassadors, Dave, Nigel, Paul and Greig, showed us their ever improving golf skills with Nigel impressively managing to score the highest points on the Driving Range.
Back in the conference room we were treated to a brief history of the facilities by David O’Sullivan, China Fleet’s CEO. OCF’s heads of department also offered up a mini bio of their roles, making sure that everyone was fully aware of the current projects at hand. While only a small office – although, it’s growing as I write this! – it is easy for people to forget how all of the roles, from marketing and fundraising to events and activities, are interwoven at every turn. The Ambassadors were also given a behind-the-scenes look at what the staff at OCF have to do in order to deliver the life changing events and support that the beneficiaries receive.
The following day consisted of further presentations in which we all gained a better understanding of the mechanisms that allow OCF to function. I was involved in creating and delivering the marketing presentation. While we – the Marketing Manager, Hemma, and I – highlighted the importance of consistent branding, a large part of our presentation was on reaching target audiences that we currently do not pursue. The rest of the team were given character profiles (illustrated with my excellent stick men) and asked to explore how we would reach them and what messaging would be used. One particular activity involved them sharing what On Course Foundation meant to them. Easily the comment that stood out was an Ambassador, Paul’s, declaration that ‘OCF put a fire back in my belly.’ This vivid image really does show the passion with which the Ambassadors feel towards OCF and the work it does.
Nothing compares to hearing their own personal journey with the Foundation. The two days away provided me with a surge in energy when I returned to the office. Knowing that I was contributing to a charity that literally changes people’s lives in a tremendously positive way, was an incredibly rewarding feeling. One of the greatest attributes OCF has is that it remains in contact with its beneficiaries, reminding us all that they are at the centre of what we do. The rest of the team too, gained really constructive feedback and have a clear focus as OCF approaches its 5th Anniversary this summer. Those that support the Foundation should know that the charity is in incredibly talented and passionate hands, and at the heart of it all are the beneficiaries”.
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(Published 10th April 2015)
On Course Foundation is gearing up to celebrate our 5th Anniversary this summer, with a celebratory event being hosted at the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club. Over the last five years we have helped set over 400 individuals on the path to recovery, through golf events and employment. As the only services golf charity, we will be joined by a select number of companies, individuals and deserving beneficiaries, at the historic venue on September 16th 2015.
As the place where On Course Foundation first started its journey five years ago, and one of the finest golf courses in the country, Royal Wimbledon Golf Club serves as a perfect venue for such a prestigious event. John Simpson, founder of On Course Foundation, piloted the initiative on the famous practice green back in 2009, making the location incredibly poignant. Since then, Royal Wimbledon, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary, has been one of the charity’s biggest supporters: hosting training events with London Personnel Recovery Unit, fundraising dinners and even work experience placements and employment for the Foundation’s wounded, injured and sick beneficiaries. John Simpson acknowledges and thanks them for their help: “I’m so very grateful to Royal Wimbledon for all of their support since our journey began. With their help, we’ve been able to promote the great benefits that golf can bring.”
The R&A are one of many proud supporters of On Course Foundation and Chief Executive Peter Dawson praises the charity’s aims and values: “the work that On Course Foundation does is incredible. We are inspired by the spirit of their Members and encourage others to support them”. For those that attend the Royal Wimbledon Anniversary Event, there will be a chance to meet the charity’s beneficiaries, proudly called members, and see first-hand how golf has been able to get them back on course. The event includes a shotgun start, putting competitions, lunch and drinks reception, prize giving and an auction.
While the event is a fantastic opportunity to fundraise, allowing us to provide more events to cater for the growing number of Members, the day is truly about celebrating what has been achieved in the past five years, thanking those who have offered support, and looking forward to what great work can be accomplished in the future. Since 2010 we have helped over 400 wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans through golf and are well on course to become the largest golf charity in the UK by 2020.
On the day, supporters will have the chance to see how their help and kind donations contributes to the rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen, women and veterans. The atmosphere will undoubtedly be welcoming and positive, as everyone celebrates our tremendous first five.
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(Published 7th April 2015)
Tony Boyd, one of our many proud Ambassadors, took up the challenge set in January to raise funds from a single £5. Catterick Golf Club was the setting for Tony, as he set about galvanising the support of the 15 golfers in attendance.
Pictured here with fellow Ambassador Garry McNulty, Tony stated, “the event was a great success and I am planning to hold an event at Catterick annually.”
We’re so very grateful to Tony for all of his efforts in raising a fantastic amount of money for us through what looked like a great day out.
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(Published 2nd April 2015)
On Course Foundation Member, former soldier Brian Rollinson, is just one southern Ambassador for the charity, in a network that spans the country.
Brian, who suffers from Chronic PTSD but was only diagnosed last year by Combat Stress, was introduced to On Course Foundation by another veteran in 2014. Since attending events and undergoing treatment we were proud to ask him to become an Ambassador for the south.
Brian said: “Being offered the role as an Ambassador for the southern region is amazing. I’m now in a position to promote and show how the charity has helped me, I’m so humble to be a part of a team who recognize my passion and dedication. There are a lot service men and woman currently based or living in Wiltshire, who would benefit from the charity.”
His role, alongside his peers, includes attending, organising and speaking at fundraising and charity events, along with raising awareness of the charity and acting as a role model for new members. Brian remarks, “Golf is a powerful aid to recovery and the charity has given me the opportunity to start building my self-confidence and to improve my physical and mental strength.”
Read the full story here: http://goo.gl/P0e5K7
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(Published 27th March 2015)
On Course Foundation is reaching its 5th Anniversary in the summer of 2015, and in order to meet the needs of their growing number of beneficiaries, we aim to hold more Golf Skills & Employment Events in 2015 than ever before. These three day events follow on from our Introductory Golf Events, and aim to build on golf techniques and knowledge, as well as offering an opportunity for the injured, wounded and sick Service personnel and veterans to enquire about, and prepare for, jobs in the golf industry.
The final week of March saw one such event: the picturesque Whitefields Golf Course played host to the charity’s first Golf Skills and Employment Event of 2015. Luckily for the twenty four attendees, the sun was shining and the weather remained glorious over the three days – a rare treat in England, let alone in March.
The Golf Skills & Employment Events also feature one-on-one employment interviews, a chance to learn about opportunities in the golf industry from industry professionals, as well as golf tuition and development of the game led by dedicated Advanced PGA Teaching Professionals. “We’re really excited to be able to build on the skills and techniques that the members have already begun to learn at previous events,” Alex Woolston, Operation Manager, states. “I keep in contact with the men and women who attend our events, and to see their progress is phenomenal; many had not even considered playing golf before. Discussing, and potentially preparing them for roles in the golfing industry is also incredibly rewarding.”
More than that though, Alex adds, is “seeing the Service personnel and veterans regain some of what they thought they had lost.” Members of the On Course Foundation are able to feel a tremendous sense of camaraderie and teamwork when playing golf as Tom Stimpson, who was attending his first Golf Skills & Employment Event, agreed: “it was a fresh start, and the whole event has been very rewarding”. Whatever the calibre of the golfer, they once again belong to something and are able to exercise their competitive nature. Golf, although for many of our members, not a sport they had played or even considered prior to their injury, becomes an exercise in both their mental and physical recovery. It offers a unique platform, due to the handicap system, where players of all skills and backgrounds can compete healthily and on a level playing field.
To track the progress, both in their golfing ability, and in their preparation for employment, we have recently launched a logbook called ‘Pathway to Golf.’ For six of the twenty four attendees at Whitefields Golf Club, it was their first event and thus the beginning of their journey. Tom commented that he would “absolutely recommend OCF… the welcome, friendship and tuition has been so very beneficial to me, and I hope to be part of the OCF’s future. The sport is perfect in recovery for all manner of injuries”.
On Course Foundation is grateful for all of the support and donations that have been given, and will greatly welcome any more, as it tries to reach more deserving beneficiaries and aid them on their road to recovery. There are many ways that people can aid the charity. Our website offers some great suggestions, from fundraising events to taking OCF on as a Captain’s Charity, donating via text to using ‘give as you live’. Alternatively, if you’d like to offer employment opportunities or work placements, then contact us at 020 8334 3010 or email email@example.com
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(Published 20th March 2015)
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2015. As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we know that this year will be a busy, eventful and most rewarding year.
Three months into this seminal year and we have already had a number of exciting new developments with the launch of our Ambassador Initiative and a successful first Winter Skills. To meet the needs of our WIS beneficiaries, we’ll be running more events in 2015 than ever before, and are looking to extend the events season with more Warm Weather and Winter Skills activity to fully support our beneficiaries throughout the year. Dedicated steps have also been taken so that beneficiaries can track their progress, both on and off the golf course, through our newly designed Pathway to Golf. We hope that these great strides will help empower even more of our beneficiaries and give them the skills and confidence to succeed in life outside of the Services. (more…)
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(Published 3rd March 2015)
This year marks the 5th Anniversary of On Course Foundation and the 150th Anniversary of Royal Wimbledon Golf Club.
We are proud to offer a select number of companies and individuals the opportunity to join us in celebrating these occasions by attending a very special golf day on September 16th 2015.
As a venue, Royal Wimbledon not only represents one of the finest golf courses in the country, but it is also the place where On Course Foundation first started its journey. John Simpson, the Founder of the charity and long serving Member of the Club, first piloted our initiative on the famous practice green back in 2009.
We are delighted to hold such a wonderful event at the Club. If you would like to attend, either as an individual or team, we’d love to celebrate on a day filled with golf, lunch and prestigious auction items. You’ll not only have the chance to meet the charity’s incredible beneficiaries but will also see first hand how golf has been able to get them back on course.
If you’d like more information, please contact Mark Kemp on 07720 809 509, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Published 26th February 2015)
Paul Swain is a proud Member of On Course Foundation and Afghan War veteran, who lost part of one arm & suffered serious injuries in an explosion in Helmand Province. Paul has used golf as his main rehabilitation, winning competitions in America and in Britain, and was the inspirational guest speaker at the farewell dinner of Robert Hardie, Branston Golf Club’s retiring captain.
Following extensive treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey Paul rekindled a childhood love of golf with our help. A former staff sergeant with 9th./12th. Lancers, Paul commented on the importance of golf in his rehabilitation: ‘Having lost the job I loved, half of one arm and the companionship of mates in the Army I’ve been very fortunate to join the On Course Foundation and compete in golf on a level playing field making new friends and enjoying the wonderful game of golf’ ‘That and the public acceptance of what I do has given me a new purpose in life’ he added.
‘Having enjoyed a day’s hospitality at Branston Golf & Country Club with its amazingly friendly Clubhouse, pool, gym & superb looking courses and magnificent golf facilities I’m convinced it’s one of the finest and most successful club’s in the Midlands and I’ll be coming back to play here’ said Paul.
We’re incredibly grateful to all at Branston Golf & Country Club for their support, and for making Paul feel so welcome.
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