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
This is a quick update regarding the 2016 Nagasaki Retreat Calendar and our charges for Events.
The day-rate figure was incorrect – please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
The 2016 Retreat Event rates are as follows:
2-day event including an overnight stay, including the first day’s lunch and evening meal, and the second day’s self-catering breakfast and lunch, and an endless supply of tea, coffee and biscuits: £75.00.
Single day Events (per day), including lunch and tea, coffee, and biscuits: £25.00.
To those of you who have already reserved places at Events, please be assured that the corrected rates will apply to your bookings – for all single days, we ask just the £25.00 rate.
We look forward to seeing you very soon!
Here is our formal Events Calendar for 2016.
1. February 13-14;
2. March 12-13;
3. April 9-10; (“Hana-mi” cherry-blossom viewing Event)
4. May 14-15;
5. June 11-12;
6. June 25-26; (Special Tea Ceremony Event, separate days)
7. July 9-10;
8. September 10-11;
9. October 15-16;
10. November 12-13.
These Events can be booked at any time, but additional Events will be held during the year, so do keep an eye on the Blog and the Events page for announcements about them.
The above Events will all be held over the 2 days of a weekend (except the Tea Ceremony Event, which is two individual Events over two separate days – see below*), and they are all on Saturdays and Sundays, so however often you visit us, you won’t have to take time off work.
The format for 2-day weekend Events including an overnight stay is as follows:
You’ll arrive late morning on the 1st day, and after a welcome meet-and-greet, there will be a buffet lunch, followed by the afternoon’s activities. There will be a traditional hot evening meal, after which you can relax in the guest lounge before retiring.
On the 2nd day, you help yourself to a self-service breakfast in the guest kitchen, and the morning’s activities start at 10:30. There will be a buffet lunch, followed by the afternoon’s activities, and, of course, an endless supply of tea, coffee, and biscuits on both days!
Each Event is for a maximum of 14 people, with overnight accommodation initially for 7 people.
Our 3 current guest bedrooms include a triple room with 3 single beds, a twin room with 2 single beds, and a double room with a double bed. As mentioned, there is a guest kitchen with breakfast provisions, a shower room with basin and toilet, a separate toilet with basin, and the guest lounge. We will be expanding our accommodations during 2016, but with rooms initially being limited, please book early to secure your accommodation at the Retreat.
Single-day Events include lunch and tea, coffee and biscuits.
The costs are £75 per person for an overnight stay, including all meals and refreshments, and £25 per day if you don’t stay overnight. Please note that these fees are to cover food and staffing costs, and we welcome additional donations to help us continue to grow the work of our Foundation.
To book a place at any of these Events, or to make any further enquiries, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Special Tea Ceremony Event is limited to 5 people per day, and involves Kendo Nagasaki conducting the Japanese Tea Ceremony for you as an individual guest. You will be served Japanese “matcha” green tea in your own unique specially-commissioned tea bowl, and after the tea ceremony, Kendo will ceremonially present the tea bowl to you in a lined presentation box, with a certificate of exclusivity. The tea bowls were commissioned from renowned pottery artist Anne Bates, who came to the Nagasaki Retreat for inspiration in crafting them. The resulting tea bowls artfully encapsulate and reflect the beauty and spiritual depth of the grounds of the Retreat, and perfectly accommodate the time-honoured and artistic Japanese tea ceremony, particularly as conducted by Kendo Nagasaki. The cost of a place for the Japanese Tea Ceremony as conducted by Kendo Nagasaki, and receiving your own presentation-boxed tea bowl is £100.
To enquire further or book a place, please email us at email@example.com.