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Cash For Your Community 2018: Winners' joy - with video and pictures

By Mark Andrews | News | Published: | Last Updated:

"Cash for the Community has helped to save lives in Shropshire" - that was the message from the group which received the top award in this year’s prize-giving.

Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes was given £5,000 – crucial funding for a charity which delivers urgent medical samples, including blood, platelets and frozen breast milk between hospitals and pathology labs on motorbikes.

This is achieved using temperature controlled boxes attached to the bikes.

The bikes are also used to transport other urgent items such as patient notes, electronic scan information and even small pieces of urgently needed surgical equipment. The charity, which was formed four years ago, is 100 per cent staffed by volunteers. It receives no funding from the NHS.

Cash For Your Community highlights and interviews

Lynne Stone, fundraiser for the charity, said she was overwhelmed with the award and praised the local community for collecting the thousands of vouchers.

She said: “We receive no funding for the service we operate for NHS trusts in Shropshire, Staffordshire and south Cheshire.

“We help the NHS save lives, money and improve the quality of life of poorly patients. We deliver urgent medical samples such as blood, platelets, and frozen breast milk free of charge between hospitals and pathology labs on motorbikes ridden by our advanced qualified riders and managed by our controllers.”

Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes was the biggest beneficiary of this year’s £20,000 giveaway, organised once more by the Shropshire Star and our partners at Enterprise Flex-E-Rent.

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A total of £20,000 was dished out to good causes across Shropshire and Mid Wales, with the money being shared between 30 groups ranging from children’s charities to groups that support the elderly. Many of the groups took part for the first time this year.

The money was allocated according to which groups could collect the most tokens that had been printed in the Shropshire Star.

Winning a grant of £2,000 was the Severn Centre Trust, based in the village of Highley near Bridgnorth.

Having come 19th in last year’s awards, the trust, which runs a pool and community centre, was understandably surprised to have come second this time around. After undergoing a lengthy renovation project, the outdoor pool, which had an expected lifespan of 30 years when it opened almost 50 years ago, now has a new lease of life.

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It is now used by the community and helps to ensure residents can lead a healthier lifestyle in many ways.

But with the award of £2,000, the pool’s committee are hopeful they will be able to put the cash towards a new portable hoist which will allow the disabled and those with mobility issues to enter and exit the pool before and after a good swim. The pool and the adjoining leisure centre now offer a range of activities to local people.

Duty manager Jody Pietragallo said the cash would help turn the old “learner pool”, which has not been used for many years, into a modern “splash pad” for young children.

Mrs Pietragallo said the money would make a huge difference to younger children in the village.

“The splash pad enables children to build confidence with water and enjoy a day out with family locally,” she said.

Once again, the Harry Johnson Trust was nominated by thousands of people to win part of the cash giveaway.

Formed in 2014 after the tragic death of their son Harry when he was aged just seven, the trust, which is run by his parents Sally and Stephen, offers help and support to children and teenagers who are being treated by the oncology team at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The trust provides everyday essentials for use in hospital, including fleece pillowcases, toys and vouchers.

This year the charity was presented with a cheque for £1,000.

Sally, who is set to run the Disney Paris Half Marathon in September in memory of Harry and raise money for the trust, said: “It really is humbling to be among so many great charities and to hear their stories. The money will be used to provide days out and holidays. It will give families a little bit of respite.”

Full list of winners: How the cash was shared

  • Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes £5,000.
  • The Severn Centre Trust Ltd £2,000.
  • The Harry Johnson Trust £1,000.
  • Telford & Wrekin Parkinsons Support Group £940.77
  • Guide Dogs Shrewsbury £797.58
  • Hope House Children’s Hospices £765.03
  • Shifnal and Albrighton Live at Home £734.78
  • Ludlow & District Beekeepers Association £706.85
  • Willey Cricket Club £646.21
  • Wellington Cottage Care Trust £632.94
  • Cuan Wildlife Rescue £615.04
  • The Friendly Transport Service £586.81
  • Severn Hospice £542.83
  • Motor Neurone Disease Association Shropshire Branch £519.53
  • Diabetes UK Shrewsbury Kids Group £451.02
  • RABI £443.92
  • The Movement Centre £415.53
  • Anstice Community Trust £413.68
  • Our Heroes (The Plough Inn, Wellington) £393.31
  • The Walled Garden Project at Nursery Fields £385.44
  • 1st Monkmoor Scout Group £268.33
  • The Little Theatre Donnington £254.91
  • Shropshire Disability Network £230.68
  • Sport and Arts in the Community (Sparc) £219.26
  • Bright Star Boxing Academy £216.18
  • The Living Room At Woodside £202.44
  • Broseley Youth Club £189.48
  • South Shropshire Gymnastics Club £181.30
  • Brownlow Community Centre £158.78
  • Stay £87.33

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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