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Gower charity walk raises £6K thanks to match fund donation from Swansea Building Society

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Swansea Building Society staff members have completed a sponsored walk from Rhosilli to Mumbles to raise funds for charities The Sharing Table and Marie Curie. The Society pledged to match funds raised, donating £3,000 to the overall total of £6,000.

The walk – a distance of just over 20 miles – was undertaken by Swansea Building Society’s Tony Rees, Martin Lewis and Nathan Griffiths, accompanied by around 30 other walkers, including members of BNI Swansea and the MP for Gower, Tonia Antoniazzi.

The Society’s cheque for £3,000 was handed to Andrew Copson, from The Sharing Table, and Alison Discombe, from Marie Curie, at Swansea Building Society’s Portland Street office. Also in attendance was BNI representative, Ian Bateman.

One of the beneficiaries of the funds, The Sharing Table, is a charity with a vision of the community sharing its resources and providing enhanced life opportunities for disadvantaged children and families in Swansea and Gower. Provision of food for those struggling to feed themselves and their families is at the heart of its purpose. However, the charity also believes that the community can provide much more: opportunities to build self-esteem, learn new skills, have new experiences, and access richer and happier lives.

The other beneficiary of the funds, Marie Curie, is the UK’s leading end of life charity. It provides frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement.

MP for Gower, Tonia Antoniazzi, said: “It’s fantastic news that £6000 has been raised for Marie Curie and The Sharing Table. I want to thank everyone who has taken part and generously donated. I also want to thank Swansea Building Society for their pledge to donate and match what was raised. This will go a long way to support families in Swansea and Gower over Christmas through The Sharing Table, as well as supporting the fabulous on-going work of Marie Curie.”

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Andrew Copson, Trustee at The Sharing Table, added: “It was a great effort by the walkers to raise so much and it was fantastic to hear that Swansea Building Society, a substantial local business, wanted to support its local community with such a generous donation to support The Sharing Table. We are a local charity which aims to help our neighbours on Gower who could do with a helping hand this Christmas.”

Ali Discombe, community fundraiser for Marie Curie, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support offered from Swansea Building Society as well as from all the local businesses that were involved. The funds donated will make a substantial difference to local communities, ensuring that those with terminal illness can make the most of the little time they have left.”

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Kidney charity continues team expansion with three new appointments

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Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, continues to see further expansion of its team with three new appointments, following a steep increase in demand for its support services.

Among the two new roles are children and youth support coordinator, and support service coordinator, as well as an internal move.

New children and youth support coordinator, Nikkila Thomas, will be responsible for providing support to children and young people suffering with kidney disease and their families. Part of the role is to engage with key stakeholders in order to develop transition programs, an educational program relating to younger service users moving into adult services.

Additionally, the children and youth support role focuses on developing current services, that will inevitably improve the quality of life of the charity’s beneficiaries. Thomas will be responsible for coordinating activity competitions and fundraisers and regularly producing a KIDS Newsletter, which offers children and families updates and activities.

Kidney support is close to Thomas’ heart because a family member was diagnosed with kidney disease. She found the Paul Popham Fund website when researching kidney disease, trying to find out more about the condition.

Speaking on her new role, children and youth support coordinator, Nikkila Thomas, said: “I am thrilled to start my post at the Paul Popham Fund. Being involved in promoting the charity’s vision in raising awareness and supporting the community is extremely rewarding, and I’m looking forward to developing and aiding the Children and Youth Services further.”

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The second new appointment is Corrine Bell, the new support service coordinator. Bell has had previous experience in the sector with the St. Johns Ambulance service as a divisional officer.
 

In her new role, Bell will be responsible for providing support and information to those suffering from kidney disease and their families, which is as important as ever as the charity sees increased demand for its services. Bell’s partner is a current transplant patient and has been on dialysis, so she is well aware of the effect the charity has.

Speaking on her new role, Corrine Bell, said: “I am eager to get started with Paul Popham Fund. I know about all the great things they do for the community as my partner is a volunteer, so I’m glad to be a part of such a great cause.”

Joanne Popham, CEO, said: “The organisation is extremely glad to welcome another two new team members. Our continued expansion shows a very promising future for the charity meaning we can help more and more people who are affected by kidney disease.”

The charity has also made an internal move: Anna Powell has moved from Children and Youth Engagement Officer to Volunteer Coordinator. In her new role, Powell is now heavily involved with management and recruitment of volunteers for the charity, while also training existing volunteers.

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With a background in recruitment, this role is perfectly suited to Powell, who will also be responsible for raising awareness in schools.

Anna Powell, Volunteer Coordinator at the Paul Popham Fund, said: “I am very eager to start my new role as Volunteer Coordinator, and get the chance to go to local schools and raise awareness of our ‘Believe in Yourself’ campaign, which has been at the forefront of the charity’s vision.

“Believe in Yourself originates from Paul Popham, who aimed to strive and succeed despite his diagnosis with kidney disease. Its use in school aims to resonate with students whether affected by kidney disease or not, to reinforce the notion of believing that you can do anything, even in the face of adversity.”

Additionally, Powell will also be involved in recruitment for the charity’s Kidney Cafe, fundraisers, ambassadors and peer mentoring service.

(Lead image (left to right): support service coordinator, Corrine Bell, children and youth support coordinator, Nikkila Thomas, and volunteer coordinator, Anna Powell.)

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Tesco shoppers in Swansea help to provide £1million boost to health

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People in Swansea have been thanked for contributing towards the £1million raised for
three life-saving charities as part of Tesco’s ‘Helping you to live healthier’ initiative.

Tesco customers reached the landmark total for Cancer Research UK, the British Heart
Foundation and Diabetes UK from 13-26 September by rounding up their shop in store to
the nearest £1.

The funds raised will now help the three charities continue their vital work to save and
improve lives.

In addition to the £1million donated, the campaign raised awareness in Swansea about
the importance of people making sustainable lifestyle changes that can help lower their
risk of cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

This was done with the help of trusted health information and advice, which was shared
to empower Tesco customers to take small steps to help improve their health.

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, thanked Tesco shoppers in
Swansea for their generosity, which will make a significant difference to many people’s
lives.

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She added: “It has been inspiring to see our customers really engage with the work we
are doing together, and we hope that we have played a part in raising awareness for
these conditions, as well as life-saving funds.”

The campaign was part of the Health Charity Partnership between Tesco, Cancer
Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, which aims to inspire and
support Tesco colleagues, customers and their families to make healthier food choices
and live healthier lives.

On behalf of the charity partners , Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing,
Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation, said
: “We have been amazed by the incredible generosity of Tesco customers and colleagues
and would like to thank everyone who donated during September.

“Your donations will help to empower millions of people to make healthier choices that
lower their risk of heart and circulatory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. It will also help
our charities provide vital support to millions of people at a time it’s never been more
needed, and it will fund research with the potential to save lives.”

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London Marathon brings Paul Popham Fund £4k closer to children’s kidney centre dream

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On Sunday (4 October), a team of runners from Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, took part in the 40th London Marathon, raising a grand total of £3987.70.

This brings the charity a step closer to its target of £132,000 to help refurbish the Children’s Kidney Centre at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.

The marathon was completed by four Paul Popham team members, who had to endure 16 weeks of marathon training in preparation for the race. Among those who participated were Anna Powell, Amber Brundle, Sarah Davies, David Bivens and Geraint John.

Geraint John, peer mentor and ambassador of Paul Popham Fund who participated in the virtual version of the race, said:

“I would like to thank Colin Beynon, Helen Jones, Keith John and Nigel Butler, for walking stages of the Marathon with me, it certainly made the journey easier.

“Starting at 7am, with a change of walking boots three quarters of the way through, what a great experience! Just knowing you were one of tens of thousands taking part in such a special event, all whilst raising funds for a charity close to your heart.”

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The runners enjoyed the run that much that they have also submitted to next year’s ballot.

Paul Popham Fund team runner, Sarah Davies, said: “What an amazing day. I’ve never experienced crowds and support like Sunday, with everybody shouting your name and willing you on, it really was wonderful. I’m so proud to have run for such a wonderful charity and thinking of my brave nephew Harry when I was running made me push on.  Harry was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease when he was 3 years old, and in March 2019, Harry and his dad were part of a living kidney-sharing transplant scheme that thankfully all went well.

“My family and I hugely appreciate how the Paul Popham Fund help patients like Harry achieve a better quality of life. People have been so generous and supportive to donate to this wonderful charity, and I was proud to be able to raise funds for them.”

The race was also run by members of the Paul Popham Running Club, who all raised funds towards the goal of £132,000 for the Children’s Kidney Centre.

The project aims to provide a welcoming, calming environment, with updated private consultation rooms and a children’s play/games area. Currently, there is very little natural light in the department, making it a dark environment. Through refurbishment, natural light will be maximised to create a more welcoming, warm and comfortable place for children to undergo treatment.

Paul Popham Fund is still fundraising and accepting donations for the event. Donations can be made by following the below links:

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Anna https://localgiving.org/annas-london-marathon-page
Dave https://localgiving.org/fundraising/dave-runs-london-marathon/
Geraint https://localgiving.org/fundraising/triple-challenge/
Sarah https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SarahDavies169

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