Cuppa & Colour is back!

 The summer holidays are on, Barnaby’s is open, and so Cuppa & Colour is back! This is a great opportunity for you to relax with a delicious coffee and slice of cake, while your little ones get creative! Let them choose a drawing to complete from the options we put out for them in Barnaby’s each week. Pin their marvellous creations up on the board to win a prize! The best ones will also appear on the big screen too.

No need to book – just turn up. We look forward to welcoming you and your little ones to Barnaby’s!

Sierra Leone flood update from St.George Foundation

Philip Dean, Swanmore resident and Founder of the St.George Foundation, writes to us with an update from the horrendous flooding in Sierra Leone over the past few days. In light of this, Barnaby’s will be increasing its fundraising efforts over the coming 6 weeks. Meanwhile, please read Philips report:

Dear All,

St George Foundation has been called in to support the emergency relief effort required to take in children that have just been orphaned, separated or lost in the flooding in Freetown.  We are preparing for an emergency influx of children with immediate effect, but do not have an idea of how many children we will have to help at this moment. This is a large-scale disaster, so the numbers will be high.

There were three days of continuous torrential rain, and it has overwhelmed parts of the city with the loss of over 300 lives so far. With regard to our children and staff at the Centre, everyone is OK. Furthermore, we are not aware of any children being affected who have previously stayed with us.

We have not escaped completely though. The hillside above the Centre has suffered considerable deforestation and unofficial development recently, as a result of which a large number of rocks slid down the hill and crashed into our water reservoir. There is quite a lot of consequential damage, including to the pipework connecting the buildings. At the moment, we have no water supply. For the moment, we will have to buy in bottled water until we can fix it.

Thank you always for your concern for the children, we will update you when we know more.

With best regards


Barnaby’s customer sets sail

 Sunday will be a big day for Barnaby’s regular John Vearncombe (pictured). John has joined the Clipper Round The World Race, leaving Liverpool for 25,000 miles of ocean sailing. The 2017/18 edition of the race will be the 11th in the Clipper Race series, during which around 700 crew members will take part in racing across five oceans to six continents.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

  • 0800: Race village open
  • 0900: Fleet slip lines and move to Canning Half Tide Dock
  • 0915: Departure ceremony
  • 1115: Parade of Sail on the River Mersey
  • 1230: Race Start

We’ll be posting regular updates on the big screen in Barnaby’s, or you can follow Johns adventure on his Facebook page here.

Bon voyage John, from all your friends at Barnaby’s.

Summer opening hours

 Barnaby’s is back, with special summer opening hours through the holiday period. Starting on Thursday 17th August, our opening hours will be as follows:

  • Thursday 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 10am to 1pm

It’s time to come and sit in the sunshine, while enjoying a lovely coffee, a jolly good catchup, and a slice of homemade cake! Our full normal schedule will re-start on Tuesday 5th September. Volunteers and cake bakers can secure their preferred shifts in the ShiftController system  now.

We look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday.

Barnaby’s is on holiday

 Barnaby’s is on holiday. We’ll be back on Thursday 17th August with a host of cool new things to help you enjoy the remainder of your summer holidays, including Cuppa n’ Colour, and a lot of great homemade cake.

To all our volunteers, cake bakers, and helpers, “thank you!” Enjoy the break. We look forward to seeing you all on 17th August!


Join the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning!

wbcm-muglogoThe World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan Cancer Support’s biggest charity fundraising event. This year, it will be held on Friday 29th September in Barnaby’s from 9am.

The event was first held in 1991, when 2,600 people registered to hold coffee mornings across the country. Last year, the number was closer to 155,000, and a total of £165 million has been raised for the support of cancer patients as a result. Find out more at

This year, Barnaby’s will be part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning once more. There will be loads of cake for sale, and loads of things for the kids to colour in. Come and be part of something special!  If you can’t come but would still like to give a donation to Macmillan, text CUPCAKE to 70550 (one text=£5), go to or phone 0845 074 2606.

Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Macmillan will receive 100% of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission. 

Open Gardens features new Troll Hunt

 The annual Open Gardens event is a celebration of some stunning village gardens. A much anticipated occasion, with some new gardens joining us for the first time in 2017. There is free parking opposite Barnaby’s in Swanmore, and our shuttle bus will run you out to all the gardens. The “Plant Creche” will ensure we’ll look after any purchases while you visit other gardens.

Start/finish is outside Barnaby’s between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

NEW FOR 2017 is the Troll Hunt for our younger visitors! Trolls will be hiding in and around the village and each will give you a clue to the whereabouts of hidden treasure! Just get Mum, Dad, Auntie, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa to bring you along on Saturday at 1pm to find out where the Trolls are hiding. Solve the puzzle and find the treasure. Have fun!

St.George Foundation Garden Party

Our friends at the St George Foundation tell us of their fund-raising Garden Party on Saturday 15th July. It will be held in Titchfield from 2pm – 6pm. Tickets are just £5 for adults and £2.50 for children and there is a bouncy castle and games for the children. Cream tea is included!

This is a great event for all the family, raising money for a fabulous cause that Barnaby’s is proud to support. For tickets, please email or call Philip on 07733 883305.

Update from Sierra Leone

Below is an email received from Swanmore resident Philip Dean, Founder of the St.George Foundation, currently based in Sierra Leone.

Hello All 

First of all I hope all is well with you. Life goes on pretty well as normal in Sierra Leone for the children and the local team are doing a great job. Thankfully we have got our medical situation under control and that was largely by changing the response to even the slightest signs of illness, and having children taken to hospital much earlier in the process. We still have ill children, but they are doing much better thankfully.

In terms of what IS changing, we have been working on how to raise funds in the UK. We have done brilliantly thanks to the goodwill of our regular supporters, including Barnaby’s, but the problems we see are greater than our funds allow us to tackle, and yet we have spare capacity and there are children that could benefit hugely from our help.

In this day of internet coverage we are in the middle of a complete overhaul of the website and commencing on a ‘social media’ campaign to bring in further supporters. Very generously a highly experienced friend of mine (Abid) who works in this area professionally but has taken a work break to create a fully professional presence. We hope that shortly we will be launching the new website and using it to bring in further funds on the back of that effort. We will let you know when the website is relaunched.

Many thanks and have a lovely summer.


Swanmore Fête this weekend

The Swanmore Village Fête is a good, old-fashioned, traditional village event, where you can expect to find lots of fun and excitement! It is run by the Meon Valley Lions Club, this year celebrating their Centennial!

The Swanmore Village Fête will be held on Saturday 8th July, and the schedule is as follows:

12.30  Gates open
12.30  Music from the Birnie Boozle band
12.30  Entrance of the Fete King and Queen, Prince and Princess
12.40  Official opening and cutting of the Lions’ Centennial cake
12.50  Drone flying demonstration
13.10  Roynon School of Dance
13.30  Swanmore College of Technology Jazz Band
14.10  Canine partners demonstration
14.30  Marriott Meon Valley Boot Camp
14.45  Car and bike presentations
15.10  Soberton Strummers
15.50  Raffle

Barnaby’s will be open as usual, to ensure you get your morning coffee fix before heading down to enjoy the events on offer! See all the photos from last years event, click here.

Community Coffee Shop