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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.”

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.
 

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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.

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

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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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New firefighters to take on epic Charity hose run in Swansea

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The latest class of firefighters, that will soon graduate and be deployed to serve communities across mid and west Wales, are due to take on an Everest of a task in order to raise money for the 2Wish charity and The Fire Fighters Charity.

This Friday, 3rd December 2021, a class of 30 new firefighters, recruited and trained by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, will attempt to run lengths of hose, a common yet physical exercise within the fire and rescue service, from the pier head of Mumbles to Tesco car park in Swansea Marina, Oystermouth Road – a distance that equates to the height of mount Everest.

The new recruits are fundraising for 2wish and The Fire Fighters Charity

Group Manager Geraint Thomas, Head of Training Delivery for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said “Our newest recruits have trained hard over the last three months, at our training facility in Earlswood and at the Fire Service Colleague in Moreton-in-Marsh, and they certainly have not chosen an easy challenge to cap off their entry training into the Fire and Rescue Service.

They are raising money towards two excellent causes, so I would urge anyone who can spare a few pounds to support their cause. Good luck to them!”

To donate, visit the Recruits 2Wish Just Giving Page or Recruits Fire Fighters Charity Just Giving Page.

(Lead image: Martin Ellard / Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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Children’s charity fundraiser promises ‘best night out’ in Swansea

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Action for Children is bringing its award-winning Never Mind the Business music quiz and live music event back to Swansea for a fourth year. 

The unmissable night of live music and chaos will take place on the 18th March at Brangwyn Hall in Swansea with leading law firm Douglas Jones Mercer being the main sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. 

The strictly t-shirts and jeans event gives businesses across Swansea and South Wales the chance to put their pop music knowledge to the test and enjoy live music sets while raising money for disadvantaged children and young people supported by Action for Children. 

Paul Thorburn, former Welsh rugby international, Douglas Jones Mercer representative and chairman of the Never Mind the Business Swansea committee, said: ‘I’m thrilled we’re bringing Never Mind the Business back to Swansea again in the Spring.  We’ve loved being part of this from the start as it’s a brilliant night out that has raised over £100,000 for Action for Children so far and made a huge difference to the lives of children and young people.

‘The pandemic has meant we’ve waited a long time to bring it back but with a date sorted for March, we’re raring to go.  Swansea people always love a night out and they’ve been fantastic in the way they’ve supported this event, so get ready – Never Mind the Business is back!’

Nina Rice, Regional Fundraising Manager for Action for Children in Wales, added: ‘We’re very proud Never Mind the Business Swansea has raised so much money for those who need it most in our communities.  Our brilliant main sponsor, Douglas Jones Mercer have, once again, done a great job in attracting Swansea businesses to the event that has seen so many people respond and embrace this huge party at the iconic Brangwyn Hall.    

‘Covid put the brakes on us for two years, but I’m delighted to say tables are available to book now, so we recommend companies book early to avoid disappointment. The event went down a storm last time around with friends and colleagues putting their music knowledge to the ultimate test as well as dancing the night away.  It’s a wonderful way to raise money for the children and young people we proudly serve in Swansea and across the UK and after such a long break, the night is going to go with a massive swing – don’t miss out.’

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To reserve a table or for more information please contact Nina Rice on 07889 887053 or nina.rice@actionforchildren.org.uk  

Lead image: Paul Thorburn second left with NMTB committee

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A quarter of Welsh people expect to experience poor physical or mental health this Christmas

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christmas ornaments on christmas tree

Around one quarter of Welsh people expect to experience poor physical and/or mental health this Christmas, according to a survey of 2,000 people carried out by Censuswide for charity The Big Give.

The survey also found that nearly half of Wales residents (45%) may need to take on debt to cover the costs of Christmas this year.

That’s more than the UK national average, where 37% say they are concerned about incurring debt this Christmas.

Nearly two-thirds of Cardiff residents (60%) said they are worried about the cost of Christmas this year.

A campaign organised by the Big Give and backed by celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, Russell Brand and others is aiming to help. The Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s biggest Christmas coordinated fundraising appeal, is supporting over 900 charities to raise funds with the unique offer of matching any donations made during the week of 30th November – 7th December.

Derek Spinks, marketing and communication manager at Carmarthen-based national charity Cerebra, which helps children with brain conditions and their families discover a better life together said: “We are delighted to, once again, be a part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge. It’s a great opportunity for us to double our donations, and essentially deliver twice the impact!”

Vanessa Waddon, Founder and Transformational Manager at Hope Rescue in Llanharan said: ‘The Big Give is a brilliant festive opportunity to connect with our supporters to raise funds for projects that will improve the lives of the dogs, that through no fault of their own, find themselves in our care. This year we are aiming to raise vital funds that will keep our Home from Home Kennels running in early 2022. The reconfiguration work on our Home from Home Kennels to make additional room for those dogs with extra needs has been on our list for some time and we were thrilled to be able to get started on this in 2021.

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“The funds raised from the #ChristmasChallenge2021 will help us to kit out the kennels with all essentials to support those dogs, with the greatest need. Over the last 18 months we have seen more and more dogs entering our care with medical and behavioural needs, often both. Our Home from Home Kennels provide dogs with these needs the space they need to rehabilitate, relax, recover and learn to trust again before going on to the life that they deserve.

“We know we can’t change their past, but we can change their future. Christmas really is an extraordinary time of giving and we look forward to spreading the magic in this year’s campaign.”

Alex Day, Director of The Big Give said: “Our study shows that, sadly, people across Wales and the UK in general, are facing an imperfect storm; High fuel prices, chronic mental health problems, rising debt, loneliness and fears about Covid-19 will mean that, for many, this festive period will be a far cry from picture perfect scenes portrayed on Christmas cards.

“Some will rely on charities which will be further and further stretched as demand grows.

“That is why, for those who can, supporting charities is more important than ever. Through The Christmas Challenge campaign, we are offering to match any donation made to hundreds of amazing charities through h theBigGive.org.uk. That means whatever you can give will go twice as far.”

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