Real Progress Is Made by Our Collaborating Foundations

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!”

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