Category Archives: Fundraising

Local businesses invited to support Music for the Monty

Music for the Monty will be taking place in Welshpool during the Welshpool Transport Festival (Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June 2018) with the aim of drawing attention to the campaign to reopen the Montgomery Canal.

Music for the Monty logoMusic for the Monty will see musicians busking at a number of venues around the town to add a musical twist to the town’s Transport Festival and provide additional entertainment for visitors. In addition, there will be an evening concert in Welshpool Town Hall.

All proceeds from the busking and concert tickets will be passed on to the official charities raising funds to reopen the Montgomery Canal through to the Welsh border.

Already a dozen musicians and bands have volunteered to take part in Music for the Monty and the line-up for the evening performance is currently being put together.

The organisers are now offering businesses the opportunity to become sponsors of Music for the Monty.

Said David Aylwin of Music for the Monty: “We are really pleased with the number of musicians who have come forward to help support our event and there is still room for more.”

“We are also keen to work with local businesses who are willing to support us in our objectives of promoting local talent and restoring the Montgomery Canal. In return, we are offering free tickets to the evening concert, the opportunity to publicise your business to festival visitors and, of course, a sense of pride in helping us reopen this historic canal, which could connect Welshpool to the rest of the canal network and provide a tourism boost to the town’s economy and the surrounding areas.”

To find out more about Music for the Monty, please visit www.musicforthemonty.co.uk.

Montgomery Canal Triathlon now open for entries

This year’s Montgomery Canal Triathlon takes place on Saturday 19 May and the organisers are looking for entrants.

Triathlon poster

The triathlon follows the route of the picturesque Montgomery Canal through Powys and Shropshire and involves a 35 mile course split into three sections: cycle 17 miles from Newtown to Pool Quay, walk 11 miles from Pool Quay to Morton and canoe 7 miles from Morton to the Weston Arm, Lower Frankton. Entrants can choose to attempt all three sections, or just one or two, and everyone who completes a section will receive a commemorative medallion made from local slate.

The triathlon is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and is supported by the Canal & River Trust in aid of the restoration of the Montgomery Canal and is set to be a great day out for families with children as well as experienced triathletes.   The organisers aim to ensure it is safe and enjoyable for everyone by separating ‘Hares’ from ‘Tortoises’ and allowing faster cyclists to set off first at the start.

The cycling section is along cycleway-standard towpath. The walking section is generally flat but some lengths are unsuitable for wheelchairs. Canoes will have to be carried round four locks although volunteers will be available to help. Firstaiders will be on duty throughout the event and light refreshments and WCs will be available at the end of each section.

The restoration of the Montgomery Canal is supported by many groups and is seen as a strategic part of increasing tourism in the Oswestry, Welshpool, Newtown and Montgomeryshire areas. Canal tourism is important to large parts of the country, with increasing interest in restoring and celebrating the UK’s canal heritage, and the triathlon is just one of the ways that the canal can benefit people and communities positively.

The entry closing date is Saturday 5 May 2018. To find out more and to download an application form go to www.montgomerycanal.me.uk/fmcevents2018.html.

BBC Radio Shropshire presenter’s 10,000ft charity skydive

Vicki Archer, a radio presenter who co-hosts the afternoon show on BBC Radio Shropshire, has undertaken a 10,000ft charity skydive to raise vital funds for disabled children in the county.

Vicki Archer, BBC Radio ShropshireThe mother of three, who lives in Shrewsbury, travelled to Tilstock airfield, near Whitchurch, Shropshire, to complete the jump.

Money raised from the hair-raising, free-fall, challenge, has boosted the charity coffers of Caudwell Children, helping them to continue providing practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families in the region.

Vicki, who has been a presenter at BBC Radio Shropshire for the last 10 years, said she was compelled to fundraise for the charity after finding out online about the support that it gives to disabled children.

“I know a lot of people who have children who haven’t had the best of starts in life,” explained Vicki. “By doing something as simple as this, you can help Caudwell Children to provide family support together with a range of specialist equipment, therapies, short breaks and holidays to disabled children.”

Vicki Archer, BBC Radio Shropshire

Vicki is no newcomer to fundraising, but says that this is the most extreme way in which she has raised funds for a charitable cause. She said: “I think many of my friends thought I was going through a mid-life crisis when they found out that I was going to do the jump.

“They could understand why I wanted to do it, but they thought I was mad. I know that my late father would have been proud of me, but I have to say I didn’t really think too much about what I was doing until the day of the jump.”

Vicki says that she would recommend people to take on the challenge.  “Don’t think too much about it, if you’re even considering it, that means that you can do it. Just sign up, it will be the most memorable experience of your life. It’s like watching an action film in 3D but you’re actually in it. And what’s more you’re changing the lives of disabled children. What’s not to love about that?”

Sir Geoff Hurst unites with Alzheimer’s Society at Memory Walk

England football legend Sir Geoff Hurst is joining forces with Alzheimer’s Society to tackle dementia in support of his fellow 1966 World Cup heroes who are living with the condition.

Sir Geoff HurstSir Geoff has pledged his backing for Memory Walk, Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event which is taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland this autumn, in honour of former team-mates Martin Peters, Ray Wilson and Nobby Stiles and their families.

The former England and West Ham striker has teamed up with the UK’s leading dementia charity to appeal for people to take part in the 34 flagship walks – including the first night walks in London, Liverpool and Cardiff – which will raise vital funds to improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

The 75-year-old, who famously scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final victory over West Germany, is also gearing up for his local Memory Walk which will take place at Cheltenham’s Pittville Park, on Sunday, October 8 (11am).

He will be officially opening the event before embarking on a three-kilometre walk alongside hundreds of families who will be among up to 110,000 walkers striving to help raise £9 million  for people affected by dementia.

Sir Geoff, who recently led the Alzheimer’s Society United Against Dementia campaign with fellow England icon Gordon Banks, said:  “The fight against dementia is a cause that is very close to my heart and I wanted to do my bit to support people affected by the condition like Martin, Ray and Nobby by raising funds through events such as Memory Walk.

We were always there for each other when we were England team-mates and I will always be there for them and their families now as they live with dementia.”

Sir Geoff added: “I have done my own little practice walk and I’m raring to go on what I am sure will be a very emotional occasion. It will mean a lot to me because even though none of my family members are living with dementia, people like Ray, Nobby and, especially Martin, are like family to me. I am keen to help because we had a special relationship that will always remain special because of what we achieved as a group of people.”

Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said: “Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks are going from strength to strength each year – which is just as well because with dementia set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, we must unite more than ever to show dementia we are no walkover.

“While dementia can devastate lives without help, every pound raised by Memory Walk will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Society is urgently calling on people to unite against dementia – register now at memorywalk.org.uk to find a walk near you.

Internationally acclaimed Californian choir tours UK for charity

The Starfire Singers, a Methodist youth choir from the United States with an international reputation, are touring the UK this summer and will be performing at a number of venues to raise funds for charity.

Borderless imageEvery few years, the Starfire Singers embark on a summer tour of the UK, arranged by Janet Redler Travel & Tourism. The Starfire Singers sing in worship at Los Altos United Methodist Church in Northern California and their musical productions tackle social issues from a Christian perspective. In July and August 2017, they will be performing the original musical Borderless at venues across the country to raise money for local charities.

Borderless is about confronting the places where people feel stuck in life, where people feel trapped by all the demands placed on them by internal and external pressures, and finding a path towards living beyond those borders. The performances include music, song, dance and multimedia.

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, which is arranging the tour, said: “We are delighted to welcome the renowned Starfire Singers to the UK once again. Their thrilling musical production Borderless is sure to entertain audiences around the country while also addressing social issues. The tour will help to raise funds for a number of charitable projects and we would like to welcome people along to enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment.”

Performances will take place at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol on 26 July, Coventry Central Hall on 28 July, St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh on 31 July, Paisley Methodist Church on 3 August, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Epworth, Lincolnshire, on 5 August and Wesley Memorial Church in Oxford on 7 August.

Funds raised from the performances will be donated to a number of charities and Methodist Church initiatives including the New Room Bristol Development Fund, the Open Doors Project at Wesley Memorial Church in Oxford and the Southern Area Hospice in Northern Ireland.

To find out more and for booking details, please visit http://www.janetredlertravelandtourism.co.uk/tours1/starfire-tour-2017/.

Big Society Capital invests £2.5 million in Charity Bank

Charity Bank logoBig Society Capital has invested £2.5 million in the share capital of Charity Bank and has committed in principle to invest a further £2.5 million on or before 1st December 2017. This will complete Big Society Capital’s pledge in March 2014 to invest up to £14.5 million in ordinary shares of Charity Bank.

Charity Bank, the ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, has lent over £180 million since 2002. Charity Bank is run for the sector and owned by the sector, as all of its shareholders are charitable trusts, foundations and social purpose organisations. This further investment from Big Society Capital will allow it to make more loans to social sector organisations in the coming years.

This investment is made as Charity Bank experiences continued growth. Charity Bank has had a strong start to the year with £28 million of new loan approvals in the first five months of 2017. This continues the momentum since Big Society Capital’s initial investment in 2014, with the loan book growing by over 25% per year in the two years to 31st December 2016.

George Blunden, Chairman of Charity Bank, says: “These further injections of capital from Big Society Capital will enable us to meet the growing demand for loans from charities and social enterprises.

“Share capital is vital to our mission. It underpins the bank and enables us to leverage our savers’ money. An investment in Charity Bank creates a multiple effect – for every £1 of share capital invested we can lend £8 to help create lasting social change in our communities.”

“When Big Society Capital pledged its original investment, we said that we hoped it would be the first of a small number of significant new investors over the next five to ten years. The Mercers Charitable Foundation invested a further £1 million in 2015 and the Barrow Cadbury Trust invested £250,000 in 2016.

“We are inviting other charitable trusts, foundations and social purpose organisations to invest in our share capital and join with us in using the tools of finance to create a better society for all.”

Anna Shiel, Head of Origination of Big Society Capital says: “Big Society Capital’s investment in Charity Bank plays an important role in making capital available to small and medium sized charities. Over 850 loans have now been made to organisations totalling more than £180m. These loans have helped support people all around the UK, with 97% of organisations saying it has contributed to achieving their mission and 68% saying the loan helped them to expand their services. Upon the completion of our investment, we look forward to seeing more people and communities supported by their work.”

The Big Busk is back!

The Big Busk in Shrewsbury takes place on Saturday 1st April 2017 and performers this year include Martin Stephenson, Beth Prior, Nikki Rous and The Shropshire Boatmen.

The Big Busk logoNow in its fifth year, The Big Busk celebrates music, dance, art and entertainment, with local talent and acts performing throughout the day and night in every part of the town – in shops, cafes, bars, pubs and even on a boat! it’s an event for everyone and accessible to all.

Raising awareness and funds for The Shrewsbury Ark, which provides support for people who are homeless or vulnerable, The Big Busk commemorates the tragic killing of busker Ben Bebbington in 2012. This year the event will highlight mental well-being and how music can provide therapy for the soul. In 2016 The Big Busk raised over £10,000.

The centrepiece of the event is The Big Sing, which takes place at 1pm in The Square in Shrewsbury and everyone is invited to join in with two well known songs. There will be workshops running throughout the day and The Big Busk team will be on hand at their HQ at the back of The Square to answer any questions and help people make the most of the day.

Performances will cover a wide range of musical genres from opera and classical to contemporary and folk, and will take place on the streets and in pubs and venues around the town, including on board the Sabrina Boat on the River Severn.

To find out more about The Big Busk visit www.thebigbusk.co.uk. You can also follow The Big Busk on Twitter @TheBusk (#TheBigBusk) and Facebook: @ShrewsburyTheBigBusk.

Support Severn Hospice with a Forget Me Not flower this Christmas

Severn HoSevern Hospice Forget Me Not Christmasspice is selling Forget Me Not flowers to help raise funds this Christmas.

The bespoke flowers, which have been crafted by Oswestry based British Ironworks Centre, are shaped from iron and glazed with beautiful forget me not blue, before being mounted on a slim but sturdy iron pole.

Each flower measures 17cm in diameter and 43cm in length and is packaged in a beautiful presentation box. The flowers can be purchased online and are available for delivery or collection, as well as being available in all Severn Hospice shops.

Severn Hospice Legacy and In Memoriam Advisor Elodie Home said: “Our Forget Me Not flowers will make a perfect gift this Christmas and are a fantastic way to support our hospice at this special time of year.

“Our Forget Me Not flowers have already raised an incredible £80,000 for our hospice and the sale of just one flower funds two hours of nursing care for one of our patients. We need to raise £7 million each year to fund our care and by giving a Forget Me Not flower this Christmas you will be helping us to support the families that need us in Shropshire and Mid Wales.”

Severn Hospice gives specialist care and support free of charge to families across Shropshire and Mid Wales who are living with an incurable illness. Since 1989, it has given free care and support to more than 27,000 patients and their loved ones during their time of greatest need. They now help more than 2,800 local people every year.

Severn Hospice Forget Me Not flowers, priced £25 each, are available to purchase in all Severn Hospice shops and at both hospice sites in Telford and Shrewsbury. Alternatively, flowers can be purchased via the charity’s website at www.severnhospice.org.uk/forgetmenot.

Muscle charity seeks funding from Aviva

Aviva Community Fund bannerNMC Midlands, a charity set up to offer support to people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle wasting diseases in the Midlands region, has been shortlisted for the Aviva Community Fund and is looking for people to vote for them.

The Neuromuscular Centre (NMC) Midlands, based in Coventry, provides support for over 400 clients who suffer from muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease with no treatment or cure. The Centre has been shortlisted for the Aviva Community Fund, and now needs votes to help it win up to £1000.

The Aviva Community Fund offers the chance for local community projects to win funding and with enough votes from supporters, NMC Midlands has the chance to be entered into the finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.

The correct physiotherapy is essential to people with muscle wasting diseases as it maintains mobility and reduces the rate of muscle deterioration. However, people with these conditions experience a significant reduction in the amount of physiotherapy they receive from the NHS after turning the age of 19.

One of the main services NMC Midlands offers is free and continuous specialist physiotherapy for people with muscle wasting diseases. In addition, they have services available to offer support for other areas of life that become challenging to people with these conditions.

To vote for NMC Midlands, click on the following link before 18 November 2016: https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-913.

To find out more about the wide range of services offered by NMC Midlands and how to get in touch click here.

Dream comes true for ‘Songaminute Man’

A dream has come true for ‘Songaminute Man’ Teddy Mac with the release of his first single, which will raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society.

Song a minute man

The 80-year-old former Butlin’s Redcoat, who has dementia, is heading for the music charts after being signed up by the famous Decca Records label.

Teddy ‘Mac’ McDermott shot to fame online as ‘The Songaminute Man‘, when his son Simon posted videos of his father singing during their very own Carpool Karaoke on YouTube, which rapidly went viral and became a worldwide hit.

Simon’s aim was to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society, following advice and support the McDermott family received from the charity’s National Dementia Helpline following his father’s diagnosis.

The unlikely double-act proved to be hugely successful, contributing to the country’s leading dementia charity to the tune of more than £100,000  – a massive 11569% increase on Simon’s initial fundraising aim of £1,000.

Now chart success beckons for Teddy with his own version of the Frank Sinatra classic You Make Me Feel So Young which was released on 23 September. Royalties from the single will be split between Alzheimer’s Society and the McDermott family.

Simon said:  “This is a dream come true not only for Dad, but for the entire family. There have been some really tough days in the last few years, especially for mum. The more Alzheimer’s kicked in, the more Dad became aggressive, both physically and verbally. It was incredibly difficult to manage and terrifying at times.

“We threw an 80th birthday party last month and thought that would be his last time singing solo for people, so it’s amazing to think he now has a single coming out. And it’s great to help Alzheimer’s Society, who provide so much support to other families going through the same things as us.”

Despite often not recognising his own son, Teddy, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, remembers the lyrics of numerous songs and that earned him the nickname, ‘The Songaminute Man’.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We know music can have a positive impact on people affected by dementia and that favourite songs or pieces of music can also be powerful prompts for reminiscence. This is clearly the case when Teddy sings and is transported back to his time as an entertainer.

“We’re incredibly grateful money raised from this single will be used to fund Alzheimer’s Society services like our National Dementia Helpline, which supported Teddy’s family. Teddy’s story shows life doesn’t end when dementia begins, and you can fulfil your dreams even after a dementia diagnosis.”

Buy ‘You make me feel so young’ by The Songaminute Man