Llangollen Eisteddfod celebrates highest ever contribution from friends

Organisers of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod have hailed a successful week after it was presented with its largest ever annual donation.

The Friends of Llangollen Eisteddfod have raised £40,000 for the festival
The Friends of Llangollen Eisteddfod have raised £40,000 for the festival

The handing over of £40,000 from the Friends of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod – double the organisation’s usual contribution – brings the total raised since the Friends were founded in 1973 to almost £500,000.

It was presented to Eisteddfod treasurer Paul Coleman and music director Vicky Yannoula on stage by Barrie Potter, chairman of the friends group.

Each year the main contribution comes from subscription fees, supplemented by coffee mornings held throughout the year and a collection and tombola at the festival itself.

This year’s donation has been boosted by a £20,000 bequest from the late Celia Jackson, who was a Friend of the Llangollen Eisteddfod since the early 1980s.

Mr Potter said: “I am always heartened to find that many of our members feel the need to give more than their annual subscription and to know that they are so dedicated to helping this wonderful festival, even after they can no longer attend.

“We know that Ms Jackson was particularly fond of the choral competitions, so part of her donation has gone to support these, especially those for children and young people.

"The remainder of her bequest has gone into the bursary fund, which helps groups from poorer communities with in-country expenses.

“This year 22 groups have been offered grants from the fund from countries including Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, India, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, South Africa and Poland."

Meanwhile, a charity that uses volunteer doctors from the UK and US to advise colleagues in war zones and low resource countries using encrypted social media has won the Rotary International Peace Award.

Dr Waheed Arian and the Arian Teleheal charity was awarded the accolade, which is sponsored by Typhoo Tea, during the International Celebration concert at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

Arian Teleheal was set up by in 2015 by Dr Arian, a 34-year-old NHS doctor.

He developed the scheme, using smart phone to enable real-time discussions on the best available care for patients, while working at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool.

He has recruited over 100 specialists since its launch and the charity has already been credited with saving dozens of lives in Afghanistan and Syria.

Pilot schemes in conjunction with Health Education England are to start in rural areas of Uganda and South Africa and schemes in more African and Asian countries are also planned.

He said: "“I founded Arian Teleheal so that people in terrible conditions around the world could benefit from world-class healthcare through using everyday technology. Our aim is to help local doctors give their patients the best possible care."

The Eisteddfod will come to a close tomorrow night with performances from the Kaiser Chiefs and The Hoosiers.

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