On a crisp, bright December morning, BBC Midlands Today came to the site of the Lee Rigby House, to film what’s been achieved so far, and show what we have planned for the Lee Rigby Lodge.
Lyn and Ian brought friend and supporter Paul Matson from Hull4Heroes, a man who’s already achieved a huge amount in the crucially important work of supporting Veterans. Paul is a Veteran himself, and has been a major contributor to ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ project for Veterans’ housing, and he was very impressed at what the Lee Rigby Foundation is aiming for here in Staffordshire.
Paul said, “I was treated to a VIP day today visiting the very first Lee Rigby house, I have to say I stood back in amazement of what will be a wonderful retreat in stunning grounds for bereaved families, ex service men and women, Lyn and her family were so let down by the Army, she intends to help many people in the same situation , we intend to help where we can and form a partnership that will help us both”
The House and Lodge properties have been made available by the Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, and as refurbishment on the House continues apace, the Lodge has yet to be begun, and we look forward to Paul’s help and raising the funds required to make it happen, and helping as many families and Veterans as possible, as soon as possible.
See the full video – which includes both the BBC’s Facebook posting and the broadcast feature – here.
Here at the Nagasaki Retreat, we’ve been working hard on the Lee Rigby House, so that the Lee Rigby Foundation can bring families here as soon as possible for a much-needed break. We were delighted when Granada ITV News wanted to film a feature on it, and the resulting clip is a wonderful demonstration of the sanctuary it is becoming, for bereaved families and forces’ Veterans.
ITV filmed a lot more when they were here, including the Lee Rigby Lodge and more interviews, but they only had a very short window of air-time, so even though it got edited down, we’re delighted with their work.
ITV News want to come back to film more as we make further progress on the House and the Lodge, and we welcome their interest, as it’ll help spread the word of the work of the Lee Rigby Foundation, particularly to the people who really need their help.
One of the other interviews on the day was with a Veteran of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who commented on how valuable the Lee Rigby House and Lodge would be – he said, “When I was in a bad place, I really needed peace and quiet and the chance to have a good night’s sleep, as I found that was the first step towards recovering and getting my life back together. This place is just perfect for that – even though it’s not finished, I’d like to move in now!”
We can’t wait to welcome families and Veterans here – everyone knows the benefits of peace and quiet, but for those the Lee Rigby Foundation seeks to help, it is an essential step in healing and rebuilding their lives.
See the ITV News Video here.
Please help in supporting this work – go to the Lee Rigby House and Lodge web page and hit the “Donate” button – thank you.
As you will have seen on our You Tube channel, Kendo Nagasaki 101, on 14th August 2016, the ‘Wrestlers’ Reunion’ held its 25th Anniversary Event, once more at The Bridges pub.
As the video describes, this year was a special event, as attending were Lyn and Ian Rigby, accompanied by daughter Courtney. Lyn’s book, “Lee Rigby – A Mother’s Tale” was on sale at the Reunion, as was the Nagasaki’ Foundation’s DVD of the 5th March fund-raiser wrestling tournament at the Victoria Hall, raising funds towards the ‘Lee Rigby Lodge’, the retreat for forces’ Veterans and families, in Staffordshire.
Also attending this year’s Reunion was Kelly Tolhurst MP, who has a special interest in supporting the military, accompanied by Reunion regular, Chris Buckwell, and they both met Lyn and Ian Rigby, and discussed the Lee Rigby Foundation’s joint charitable works with Kendo’s Charity. Kelly Tolhurst presented Lyn with an award for ‘Courage In The Face Of Adversity’, and she went even further – there was even mention of a visit to Parliament by our Foundations!
It was a wonderful day, and the enthusiasm of everyone at the event was inspiring and powerfully motivating. Of course, our Foundations had worked together for the 5th March wrestling contest fund-raiser at the Victoria Hall, and at the Wrestler’s Reunion, and since then, we’ve ramped-up our collaboration even more.
This makes a great deal of sense, as we have shared aims of empowering people by giving them a chance to get away from it all and have the space to heal, and the Nagasaki Foundation has the resources to make the Lee Rigby Foundation’s aims come to fruition.
It was decided a year ago that a large building on the site of Kendo’s Retreat would be made available to the Lee Rigby Foundation – indeed, it was while on a break here with husband Ian, that Lyn Rigby saw the building and she had a vision of it as the home for Lee’s legacy – it was to become the place where the people her foundation supports could come to heal; on that day, the Lee Rigby Lodge was born.
The Lee Rigby Foundation needs to raise funds to refurbish the Lee Rigby Lodge building, and this aim was described in the Middleton Guardian newspaper on 6th October, which also told the story of one of their fund-raising events, and there are an ever-increasing number of such events in preparation.
In order to help speed the progress of all the organisation and arrangements within and around the Lee Rigby Foundation, two members of the Nagasaki staff are now lending their support, Yvonne and Roz, and we have also provided space for an official Lee Rigby Foundation office, from which all mail, emails, and phonecalls can be administered. This makes a lot of sense, as we collectively work towards progressing the Lee Rigby Lodge.
And there’s been another spectacular development – whilst the refurbishment of the Lee Rigby Lodge building will necessarily take some time, Kendo’s Foundation will be able to provide retreat facilities to the Lee Rigby foundation much sooner, now that the availability of another property has been pledged. There’s a large double-fronted house a little down the hill from the Lee Rigby Lodge which has wonderful southerly views over pastures with horses, and this will become the Lee Rigby House. It’s mid-way through a complete refurbishment right now, and when it’s complete early next year, it’ll comfortably accommodate two of the families that the Lee Rigby Foundation is seeking to help.
The Nagasaki Foundation’s commitment to the Lee Rigby Foundation reflects both our the appreciation of the needs that they seek to meet, and the value of the help that will be made available. Meanwhile, the new office will be continually pushing forward all organisational and administrative matters, and we’ll make sure we’re doing all we can to keep making positive progress.
Meanwhile, the next Nagasaki Event takes place over the weekend of 15th & 16th October, with some new faces being warmly welcomed to the Retreat. We trust that they’ll leave deeply calm and inspired!
So, please keep an eye on our Blog and our Facebook pages. These are most exciting times for both our Foundation and the Lee Rigby Foundation and our shared aims, and we’re looking forward to spreading the word and recruiting ever more support for this work. It is, as ever, very much the Kendo approach – “Onwards!”
Here’s a quick follow-up from the March 5th Nagasaki / Bartelli “Most Promising Newcomer” to British Wrestling Event at the Victoria Hall, Hanley.
It was an excellent day which everyone really enjoyed – we were delighted with how many of the participants as well as the guests said they’d had a great time, and had enjoyed meeting so many friendly people, many of whom, for those who generously gave their time to participate in the event, would go on to be helpful collaborators in wrestling.
Most importantly, we were delighted with how we were able to spread the word about veterans’ support and raise funds for such a worthy cause. We were working with Lyn Rigby and the North Staffs Veterans Organisation, in pursuit of setting-up the Lee Rigby Lodge, a facility aimed at veterans and their families being able to come to the Nagasaki Retreat, and get away from it all, relax, recharge their batteries, and move forward in their lives with a new strength.
We were also honoured to have Lou Macari come along to judge the finals matches alongside Lyn Rigby and Kendo – Lou is already involved in very worthwhile charity work, and we were delighted that he brought his charismatic support to our contest.
We are currently putting together a DVD of the event – at its heart was a wrestling challenge, seeking the “Most Promising Newcomer”, as voted through the heats by two cherished friends of the Nagasaki organisation, Joseph and Margaret Heath, who had been present at the original Nagasaki / Bartelli match at the Victoria Hall on 5th March, 1966 (accompanied in the judging by own Yvonne Walker), and then by Lou Macari, Lyn Rigby and Kendo judging the finals matches.
The wrestling was most impressive! The newcomers who participated were highly professional and very energetic, giving the audience quite a show! All this will be shown on the DVD.
The “Most Promising Newcomer” event had 2 main aims – to raise awareness of the need for veterans’ support, and hopefully to raise some funds, but this was a secondary consideration to the profile-raising we hoped to achieve. It was an expensive event to hold, and sadly, the weather was against us – we had rain, hail, snow, and even sunshine on the day! – so the audience and consequently the donations received were limited.
Ultimately, we lost £55.94 on the day, but it still has more to give, from sales of the DVD, which will be available this summer.
We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude once again to everyone who helped us hold the event, including Brian and Letitia of Superslam Wrestling, Gareth at the Victoria Hall, Lou Macari, Lyn Rigby and family, Margaret and Joseph Heath, Yvonne Walker, all the wrestling participants, the many others who helped behind-the-scenes, and particularly all those who came along to support the event – thank you so much.
PS: buy the DVD – help us to help Veterans!
As you will no doubt know, Kendo Nagasaki has his own Zen Charity, which works from his Retreat in Staffordshire to offer a lovely place to get away from it all, meditate, perform mindfulness exercises, and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful grounds around the Retreat. Our guests have reported feeling wonderful after coming to the Retreat, as the experience has helped them to overcome stress, find peace of mind, get better sleep at night, and enjoy life more, whilst feeling stronger and better able to cope with whatever challenges it throws at them. We’re delighted that our guests keep coming back!
We now offer overnight stays for Retreat Events over 2 days, and are planning longer stays too, and we are looking to expand our facilities to offer more bedrooms. With this in mind, we are raising funds now to refurbish currently-unused rooms, so that more people can come to the Retreat, and become deeply relaxed and empowered…
In addition to being supported by sales of Kendo memorabilia in the Nagasaki Web Store, Our charity, The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, can now accept donations through PayPal, and we would welcome your support!
We are deeply grateful to everyone who has bought Kendo memorabilia and helped our cause, but we also welcome any donation that anyone feels able to make at any time. Of course, once you’ve donated to us and supported our work, you’ll have to come and stay with us, and get a deeply-relaxing and empowering return on your investment!
We are delighted that we are providing ever-more support to forces Veterans, and we look forward to being able to constantly expand our facilities to help as many people as possible, from all walks of life.
So – please hit the ‘Donate’ button! You’ll be helping us to help more people overcome stress and find peace and strength through Zen at Kendo’s Retreat. From all at Kendo’s Retreat, and everyone you’ll be helping, now and into the future, we say a BIG
After the Events held here at the Kendo Nagasaki Retreat, we are often told of how helpful the experience has been for our guests; it is wonderful to hear how Kendo’s work has such a positive effect, and, of course, the hope for the future is to help a great many more people to find peace and become empowered.
We have also been sent some very positive and appreciative messages by our guests, and we are very pleased to share them with you on the Messages of Thanks page.
Kendo and all at the Retreat thank you for your kind words, and are most gratified that they represent such positive experiences – we look forward to seeing you all again very soon at a Retreat Event.
This is great news!
The Charities Commission have granted Charitable Status to The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation – we are now Registered Charity number 1161005.
We are delighted that the work we do in bringing Buddhism to a wider audience has been recognised as having charitable status, which means that it is for the public benefit; after so many years of selfless healing and mentoring, Kendo Nagasaki’s empowering work can now be taken to a wider audience, to help as many people as possible maximise their potential, to find peace, to find their place in the universe, and become empowered in many ways.
The Buddhism which Kendo Nagasaki practises offers a great deal to those who may not have previously considered it as a source of peace, wisdom, and guidance in life; Buddhism is rational, and does not require the belief in any gods, it is a system for living the best possible life, and it advocates the use of an immensely empowering tool – meditation. The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation presents the wisdom of Buddhism in many imaginative ways, so that you can see how its simple ways can be maximally empowering to your life, freeing you from things which hold you back, and contributing to your greater enablement and enlightenment.
Please watch this space for further developments – this is an important milestone for The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, and we’ll be moving swiftly to extend Kendo’s empowering Buddhist message; as Kendo himself says:
Here it is – the website for Kendo Nagasaki’s “Foundation”, the organisation he has been planning for decades, dedicated to enlightenment and self-empowerment through Buddhism.
For those of you already familiar with Kendo, you’ll know that he’s well-known for extensive knowledge in mysticism, but, as he makes clear here, he regards each individual branch of those other-worldly disciplines as a doorway to an understanding on a much bigger scale, and that understanding is Buddhism.
Those of you who have already visited The Retreat will have experienced the transformational power of this place and what we do here, and – as is always the case with Kendo – things have become even better organised and structured, and we look forward to welcoming you back here again for further revelations and more fascinating new experiences.
Those new to Kendo and to Buddhism – please look around the website, and feel free to drop us a line if you’d like more information, but everyone please do keep checking back here for updates and news. We’ll be posting all info about future Events at the Retreat here from now on, as well as our plans and developments.
It’s an exciting new beginning, and we hope you’ll join us on the journey!