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Dan's Den

Dans Den LogoLatest Update - Exciting news! Dan's Den is recruiting! We are looking for a Centre Manager for Dan’s Den. Click here for details

We're delighted to announce that further to a recent grant award of £20,000 as well as some excellent fundraising events, our total raised is now £215,000 which is 94% of the target.

We're very grateful to the organisers of "JigFest", the first annual charity jigsaw festival held over three days at Christchurch, who produced a fantastic event for all the family and raised £2,000 for the Dan's Den project.

Also thanks to Professor Mike Dixon, whose presentation on 12 November about "Disappearing Ilkley - a Generation of Change" was both enlightening and extremely entertaining. He raised over £800 for Dan's Den!
Upcoming fundraising events for Dan's Den include a Christmas performance by the Bradford Metropolitan Concert Band, with a guest performance by the renowned soprano, Elizabeth Frankland. This will be held on 20 December at 7:30pm at Christchurch. Tickets (£8 for adults, £6 for concessions and free for children under 12) are available by calling into the Christchurch café or by contacting David Benson on 01943 608101.

Update - 24 September 2014

The Dan’s Den at Christchurch Project Team has been celebrating this week after receiving £46,000 of new donations towards their fundraising target of £230,000. To date, almost £190,000 has been raised to build the new indoor not for profit soft play facility at the Riddings Hall, Christchurch, Ilkley, with only another £40,000 to go before building work can commence on this exciting development, the first of its kind in Ilkley.

The funds this week have come from a grant body and a local resident, who wish to remain anonymous, as well as an additional £16,000 from the Wharfedale & Aireborough Methodist Circuit.

In order to raise the remaining money and to raise awareness of the project, the team has been working with the local community to come up with new initiatives.

For example, on 21 September, three Ilkley mums, Ruth Jones, Christine Henney and Felicity Tomblin, competed in the Ilkley Triathlon and raised £1,000 for the project.

There are many events planned over the next couple of month to continue the momentum of the fundraising efforts.

Highlights include a “Quiz Night” on Friday 03 October at 8:00pm at Ben Rhydding Preschool  (tickets £5 each) and on Wednesday 08 October at 6:45pm, Christchurch, Ilkley, is delighted to host the renowned Woodhouse Grove Swing Band whose talented youngsters will be performing a selection of upbeat tunes to get your toes tapping.

In addition, for any jigsaw fans, there is the FIRST Charity JIGFEST, a three day Jigsaw Festival at Christchurch from 30 October to 01 November, 10:00am – 5:00pm, where hundreds of completed jigsaws can be perused and purchased (10% of the proceeds also going to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service).

And last but not least, we have a trip down memory lane by Professor Mike Dixon on the subject of “Disappearing Ilkley – a Generation of Change” at Christchurch on 12 November at 8:00pm. This will be a visual presentation with lots of old photos of Ilkley in days gone by.

All tickets for these events can be purchased at the Christchurch office, calling the office on 01943 603209 or by emailing dansden@outlook.com.

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 Update - 01 August 2014

Thanks to recent generous donations from the Beatrice Laing Trust and the Ilkley Parish Council (which will be funding our new coffee machine) our fundraising total currently stands at £139,317.05, which is now over 60% of our target.

Dates for your Diary - there are several events planned in the coming months designed to raise money for Dan’s Den, so please do make a note of them in your diary:

Barefoot Books Party
On Tuesday 19 August, from 10:30 - 11:30am, there will be an hour of storytelling, music and craft activities and the chance to buy some beautiful children’s books with all profits going towards Dan’s Den. Entry is free of charge. The event is aimed at the 3-7’s but older and younger children are also welcome. It will be held at the Riddings Hall.

Dan’s Den Dynamos
On Sunday 21 September, our very own Ruth Jones, Christine Henney and Felicity Tomblin will be competing as the “Dan’s Den Dynamos” in the Ilkley Triathalon to raise money for Dan’s Den. Ruth will be cycling, Christine will be running and Felicity will be swimming. To donate, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Dansden

Quiz Night
On Friday 03 October, from 8:00pm, we will be holding a Quiz Night in aid of Dan’s Den. It will take place at the Ben Rhydding Primary School Annexe and will be a great night out for everyone, regardless of general knowledge prowess. Tickets are £5 each which includes light snacks. There will also be a bar available serving beer and wine, as well as soft drinks. Tickets are available from Mike at the Christchurch Office.

“Disappearing Ilkley”
On Wednesday 12 November at 7:30pm, our celebrated Professor, Mr Mike Dixon, will be doing a presentation on “Disappearing Ilkley – a generation of change”. This will be a fascinating event for both the young(ish) and old and will be held upstairs in the Worship Area at Christchurch. More information about tickets will follow.

Please do support these events and help us get even closer to making Dan’s Den a reality.

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Update June 2014

Our fundraising total currently stands at a whopping £135,238, which is almost 60% of our target.
Our most recent donations include £2,000 from the All Churches Trust Ltd as well as £1,000 from the Ilkley Carnival Committee in recognition of the help that Christchurch provided during the Carnival (which was kindly directed by the church towards Dan’s Den). Thanks very much to these two organisations for their support.
In addition, there have been two very successful local fundraising initiatives which together have raised over £1,300 (please see below).

Zumba FunFamily Zumba Party
On Saturday 7th June, Emma Draper, Zumba instructor extraordinaire, held a "Family Zumba Party" in Christchurch Riddings Hall. There was a really good turnout of people, with adults and children all joining in and having fun. We're delighted to announce that over £200 was raised for Dan's Den, so thanks to Emma and everyone who came.



Felicity at the start of the Great North Swim
Great North Swim

On June 14th, Ilkley mum Felicity Tomblin completed 1 mile swimming in Lake Windermere as part of the Great North Swim to raise funds for Dan’s Den. This is a remarkable achievement seeing as she was only a novice swimmer when she took on this challenge and it followed many weeks of swimming at Ilkley pool and dedicated training. We're delighted to announce that so far she has raised over £1,100. If you still wish to support her and Dan’s Den, please visit her JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/Felicity-Tomblin2


Other Developments
Together with some Ilkley mums, we have been finalising the specifications for the soft play equipment and have selected a preferred supplier. We will now be working with this supplier to ensure that all our requirements for a fun and challenging play environment will be met. Please watch this space for more information.
Dan’s Den is also now part of the Ilkley Business Forum, thanks to the sponsorship of a local business, Life and Legal. Please see the link below for more information:

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Update - 08 May 2014

We’re delighted that we’ve now hit the £130,000 milestone and have raised a grand total of £130,472.71 which is nearly 57% of our overall target. This is thanks to a recent donation from the Ilkley Olicana 41 Club. Many thanks to them for their support.

We’ve also had several more local fundraising initiatives to raise money for Dan’s Den including

Family Zumba party LogoEmma Draper, Zumba instructor extraordinaire, is holding a "Family Zumba Party" in Christchurch Riddings Hall on Saturday 07 June from 2:00 to 2:30pm for kids and adults. It's a chance to have a Zumba boogie and a laugh, with proceeds going towards Dan's Den. Tickets are £3 for kids and £1 for adults. Cakes and drinks will be available to buy at the event and tickets are available via Emma Draper on 07791 149594 or Christine Henney (at the Dan's Den office in Christchurch). Hope to see you there!

Disappearing Ilkley – a Generation of Change
On the evening of Wednesday 12 November, Christchurch’s own Prof Mike Dixon will be holding a presentation at Christchurch on the subject of “Disappearing Ilkley – a Generation of Change”. Mike is a very renowned raconteur and this event is sure to be very popular. Tickets will be going on sale soon via Christchurch, with all proceeds going towards Dan’s Den.

Dan’s Den Dynamos
Christchurch’s Ruth Jones, Christine Henney and Felicity Tomblin have joined forces to become the “Dan’s Den Dynamos” and have agreed to participate in the 22nd Ilkley Triathlon taking place on Sunday 21 September 2014, based at Ilkley Lido. The course comprises a 500m swim in the indoor pool (Felicity), followed by three bike laps (Ruth) and one run lap (Christine) around a 3 mile circuit comprising Denton Road, Carter Lane, Curly Hill and Middleton Road. They will be raising funds for Dan’s Den. Please do support them!

Felicity TomblinUpdate on Felicity Tomblin’s “Big Swim”
Felicity has been busy training hard for her 1 mile open swim at Lake Windermere on 14 June 2014. She’s not looking forward to the prospect, but so far has raised nearly £500 from sponsorship money for Dan’s Den, so we’re very proud of her. If you wish to support her, please visit her JustGiving page.

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Our Supporters
A list of the bodies who have given us grants is listed on this page.

Update - 05 April 2014 - Local Fundraising Activities
In addition to the above, church members and people from the local community have been getting behind the venture by coming up with their own fundraising suggestions.

Great North Swim
If you saw the Ilkley Gazette on 27 March, you will have seen an article about Ilkley mum Felicity Tomblin who is tackling the Great North Swim in June to raise funds for Dan’s Den. To read the article, please click on the link to the Ilkley Gazette Article.

Callum Whitton at the pianoMusical Evening
On 29 March, 7 year old Callum Whitton performed his first piano recital in front of a large crowd of people at Christchurch, and in doing so, managed to raise nearly £450 which is to be divided between Dan’s Den and the Christchurch Roof Fund. Well done Callum!

Children's Artwork by John Giles



John Giles Artwork
Furthermore, John Giles, who designed the wonderful mural at the children’s library in Ilkley, is taking commissions for original hand painted personalised children’s artwork for £25 with all profits going towards Dan’s Den. If you would like to order a picture, please email him at John Giles Artwork.

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Summary of the Facilities planned for Dan’s Den

  • Soft play aimed at children aged 0-8, comprising fixed equipment for children over 2 and moveable equipment for under 2’s
  • Toys and facilities for disabled children including a sensory area
  • Two new disabled/changing toilets
  • Café and kitchen
  • Attractive and secure entrance and reception area
  • Quiet area with books and puzzles and drawing equipment
  • A “quiet” space where courses and meetings can be held
  • Facilities for parties

Who will it impact? - the beneficiaries of Dan’s Den

  • Young children. It will provide an opportunity for safe, developmental, energetic and creative play.
  • Parents. It will be a safe venue for socialising and mutual support.
  • Families with disabled children. We are working with support groups to ensure that the facility is accessible to families who have a disabled child, or a disabled parent or carer
  • Families with other needs, such as financial difficulties, family breakdown or mental health difficulties. Dan’s Den will offer a listening ear which signposts further more specialist support.
  • Families in Ilkley and beyond. Dan’s Den will be located in the town centre and near the bus and train station (people will be able to walk there, thus doing a little bit for the environment).
  • Ilkley Town & Businesses

Previous Updates - There is an archive of earlier updates.
Why is it called Dan's Den - find out what's behind the name.

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