Tag Archives: fundraising

Rise and Shine for Sunrise Walk

This year’s Sunrise Walk takes place in London on Sunday 3 June and is set to see more walkers than ever raising funds for Shooting Star Chase, which provides children’s hospice care for families across West London and Surrey.

Sunrise Walk PosterNow in its sixth year, the Sunrise Walk has so far attracted over 1,400 walkers who have raised more than £250,000. By taking part in the Sunrise Walk 2018, walkers can help Shooting Star Chase reach its target of £90,000, so the charity can continue providing a lifeline for parents, siblings and other family members who are coping with the devastating loss of a child.

A challenge with a difference, the Sunrise Walk takes participants through the picturesque surroundings of Richmond Park, Richmond Hill, The Thames, Ham Common, Bushy Park and Hampton Court Palace – and the difference? It all begins at 4.30am! Giving participants a chance to see the beautiful sights as the sun rises.

This year, as well as the main 20km route, there is a brand new 10km route, giving everyone from family, friends (and even dogs!) a chance to enjoy the sights at their leisure. The fun doesn’t end when the walk does, as after the walk there will be a celebration breakfast picnic for participants to recharge and refuel.

The funds raised at the Sunrise Walk will help Shooting Star Chase continue to support families from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care.

To find out more about the Sunrise Walk and how you can sign up click here.

Prostate Cancer UK calls on UK to step up to cancer challenge

For the first time, more men are dying from prostate cancer each year than women are from breast cancer, making the male disease the third biggest cancer killer in the UK. Prostate Cancer UK is urging the public to ‘March for Men’ this summer to help curb the trend.

Prostate Cancer UKFigures released by Prostate Cancer UK reveal that 11,819 men now die from prostate cancer every year in the UK, compared to 11,442 women dying from breast cancer. It means the male-only disease is now the third most common cancer to die from, after lung and bowel cancer.

Since 1999, the number of women dying from breast cancer has been steadily decreasing, while prostate cancer deaths are still on the rise. During that time, breast cancer has benefited from a screening programme, significant investments in research and more than double the number of published studies compared to ones for prostate cancer.

Despite the alarming figures, the prospects for men with prostate cancer are actually better than ever, with men diagnosed today two-and-a-half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990. Yet due mainly to an increasing and ageing population, the number of men dying from the disease is growing.

Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive, Angela Culhane, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see the tremendous progress that has been made in breast cancer over recent years. But with half the investment and half the research, it’s not surprising that progress in prostate cancer is lagging behind.

“The good news is that many of these developments could be applied to prostate cancer and we’re confident that with the right funding, we can dramatically reduce deaths within the next decade.”

Prostate Cancer UK believes that around £120 million of research needs to be funded over the next eight years to reverse the trend and achieve their 10-year goal to halve the number of expected prostate cancer deaths by 2026. And the charity is asking the public to help raise the vital funds needed by signing up for one of their March for Men walks this summer.

“Plans to create an accurate test fit for use as part of a nationwide prostate cancer screening programme, as well as developing new treatments for advanced prostate cancer are already well underway. But to achieve these aims, we need to increase our investment in research.

“We’re calling on the nation to sign up to a March for Men this summer to help raise the funds we desperately need to stop prostate cancer being a killer.”

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?”

Calls for musicians to help reopen the Montgomery Canal

A new music event to be held in Welshpool in June 2018 is on the lookout for bands and musicians to help draw attention to the campaign to reopen the Montgomery Canal between Shropshire and the Welsh border.

Montgomery CanalMusic for the Monty Cerddoriaeth i’r Monty will be taking place in Welshpool during the Welshpool Transport Festival (Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June 2018) and organisers are looking for musicians who would like to busk at one of a number of venues around the town.

Musicians will be asked to perform at venues hosting events for the Transport Festival and will be able to collect money from visitors which will go towards the Restore the Montgomery Canal campaign.

As a charity event, all money raised from Music for the Monty will be going towards works that are needed to reopen the Montgomery Canal, which would link Shropshire to Welshpool and Newtown.

Said David Aylwin of Music for the Monty: “The Montgomery Canal is a beautiful link between Shropshire and Powys and we want to showcase some of the great music that is being made by musicians near the canal.

“Once reopened, the canal will connect Welshpool to the rest of the canal network and provide a tourism boost to the town and the surrounding areas.”

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

If you would like to take part in Music for the Monty, please email a short sound file of one of your songs along with a contact name and number to theoddbods.musicbox@gmail.com and organisers will be in touch.

Music for the Monty is being held to support The Montgomery Canal Restoration Appeal. The appeal is being managed by the Appeal Steering Group on behalf of:

  • The Friends of the Montgomery Canal, registered charity number 510448.
  • Shropshire Union Canal Society, registered charity number 245875.
  • IWA, Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch, registered charity number 212342.

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.”

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

Shropshire charity’s scrapyard challenge

ScrapyardA six hectare scrapyard in north Shropshire has been bought by Shropshire Wildlife Trust and will be transformed into a nature reserve.

The former car breaker’s yard, which closed down after 50 years, lies upon one of Britain’s largest peatbogs, known as the Marches Mosses. However, it is covered in 100,000 tyres, thousands of litres of disused oil and tonnes of wing mirrors and bumpers, which all need to be removed before it can be restored for nature.

Colin Preston, CEO of Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Colin Preston, CEO of Shropshire Wildlife Trust

The Marches Mosses is a vast and extremely wildlife-rich landscape which spans nearly 950 hectares on the Shropshire-Cheshire border and is an internationally important peatbog – one of the rarest habitats on earth. Designated as a Special Area of Conservation, the individual parts of the Marches Mosses are National Nature Reserves managed by Natural England.

In order to return the former scrapyard site to a condition where wildlife can thrive, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, with specialist help, now needs to clean up 50 years’ worth of waste and clear out several oil sump pits before covering the site with peat and allowing the bog habitat to regenerate, so that species such as sundew (a carnivorous plant), cotton grass and curlews can return.

To find out more and to donate visit https://www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/scrapyardchallenge

Preston man running in memory of POW grandfather

James Housden from Preston is running a half marathon to raise awareness of the plight of Far East prisoners of war in World War Two. 

James  Housden who is fundraising for COFEPOWJames is taking part in the Great North Run in September to raise money for national charity, COFEPOW, which manages the Far East Prisoners of War Memorial Building at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and works to preserve the memory of the Far East Prisoners of War.

The charity is fundraising to replace the computer equipment at the FEPOW Memorial Building. The Memorial Building has many computer generated displays to enhance the visitor experience, but most of the equipment is now 11 years old and desperately needs replacing.

James is the son of COFEPOW trustee Paul Housden and last year completed the Coast-to-Coast cycle ride with his Dad to raise money to help COFEPOW commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan finally surrendered, brining an end to the Second World War.

More than 200,000 Allied civilians and service personnel were taken prisoner by the Japanese in February 1942. By VJ Day on 15 August 1945, some 50,000 of these people had died.

James said: “My Grandfather was one of the lucky ones who returned after being a prisoner of war. The story of all the captives is told at the National Memorial Arboretum and, by raising funds to help replace the outdated computer equipment at the Far East POW Memorial Building, I can help keep alive the memory of what my Granddad and his fellow captives went through. It is really important that future generations remember what happened during the Second World War.”

If you would like to sponsor James, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-housden2 and to find out more about the Far East Prisoners of War visit www.cofepow.org.uk.