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Quadrant shoppers raise over £30,000 for Guide Dogs

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Shoppers have helped raise over £30,000 for charity Guide Dogs at the Quadrant Shopping Centre in Swansea in a partnership that has spanned eight years.

The charity, which helps blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services, has been invited to use the space free of charge by the Quadrant every year since 2013.

Each year, Guide Dogs has utilised the space by raising awareness and engaging with the public, introducing shoppers to the guide dogs themselves and their owners. This year, fundraiser and guide dog owner Robert Pritchard cycled 90km on his exercise bike in the centre of the Quadrant for the Guide Dog 90 appeal, raising vital funds for the charity.

According to Sarah Knox, Regional Community Fundraising Manager at Guide Dogs, many Quadrant shoppers have become volunteers after interacting with Guide Dogs in the shopping centre: “From university students to staff from local businesses and retirees, many people have been inspired by the work we do and have wanted to give more than money. We run a ‘Donate an Hour’ scheme, where people take part in volunteer taster sessions, and they generally choose to stay longer.

“We’re very thankful to staff and customers of the Quadrant Shopping Centre for their incredible support over the years. It costs nearly £55,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement and the generosity shown by Quadrant shoppers has gone a long way towards helping us continue to transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people in the UK.”

Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Shopping Centre Manager, said: “This is the eighth time that we have invited Guide Dogs to come and fundraise in the Quadrant, and we are extremely proud to hear that the centre and our shoppers have helped raise over £30,000 for this incredible charity. There are almost two million people living with sight loss in the UK, and we are delighted to contribute towards changing people’s lives for the better.”

This October, Guide Dogs is celebrating its 90th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the charity has launched a 90 appeal which asks supporters to do something 90 themed to raise money. Whether that’s walking 90 km, playing 90 minutes of charity football, washing 90 cars, or baking and selling 90 cakes, the support from the public will allow Guide Dogs to help people with sight loss now, and for the next 90 years.

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For more information on Guide Dogs, visit: www.guidedogs.org.uk

Lead image: Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Centre Manager, with the Guide Dogs team

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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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