Cash For Your Community shortlist - O-S

By Mark Andrews | Cash For Your Community 2018 | Published:

Read the profiles of the 35 shortlisted charities and community groups taking part in this year's £20,000 Cash For Your Community campaign.

You can collect tokens and send then to your chosen charities at the addresses below.

Our Heroes

Based at The Plough Inn at Wellington, Our Heroes has raised £125,000 for forces charities over the past eight years, although it supports other good causes as well.

Landlord Edward Lowe said: “What we raise, we share with Gurkha’s Welfare, Care for Casualties, Help 4 Heroes, Ssafa, Shrewsbury Bugle Association and others.

“A share of the prize money would enable us to give more to these charities and others.”

Address: Our Heroes, The Plough Inn, 38, King Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 3AW

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI)

This welfare charity offers support to members of the farming community who find themselves in financial difficulty.


It offers confidential support to people of all ages, including grants and payments to cover the cost of replacing essential household items, or special equipment for people with disabilities.

The charity also funds relief farm staff to help working farmers in the event of a crisis.

Regional manager Kate Jones said the charity spent £61,000 helping in 41 cases across the county last year.

“The money will help our welfare team to support, guide and listen to those struggling,” she said.


Greg, one of the charity’s beneficiaries, said: “Without RABI it would have been very difficult and we’d have got into debt from which we’d have struggled to recover.

“We’re very grateful for the support we received. RABI is here to make a difference and to make people smile again.”

Address: Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Ashfield, Aston Rogers, Westbury, Shrewsbury SY5 9HQ

Severn Centre

The Severn Centre in Highley has been fundraising for many years to restore its outdoor swimming pool, which is in need of major work so future generations can enjoy a dip in the summer.

Duty manager Jody Pietragallo said: “The swimming pool was built int he early 1970s with a lifespan of 25 years, and was inherited by the Severn Centre in 2004.

“Highley is famous for its outdoor swimming pool, and visitors travel from all over the Midlands during the summer.”

Jody said the money would be used to help convert the former learner pool, which had been out of use for many years, into a “splash pad” for small children.

“The prize money would make a huge difference to the younger children in the village,” said Jody.

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

Address: Severn Centre, Bridgnorth Road, Highley WV16 6JG

Severn Hospice

Severn Hospice provides care and support for people across Shropshire and mid-Wales who are suffering with an incurable illness, and also for their families.

Fundraising manager Lucy Ruff said: “We support families through good days and bad days, because we believe that when cure is no longer possible, care is.”

Since 1989 the charity has given free care and support for more than 27,000 patients and their loved ones, and looks after more than 2,800 people every year.

The money will be used to provide convertible chair-beds so that relatives staying overnight with their loved ones can have a comfortable night’s sleep.

“When someone stays at Severn Hospice as an inpatient, they may have a relative or friend who wishes to stay at their bedside,” said Lucy.

“A specially designed attendant couch costing £1,500 plus bedding would give the relative a far more comfortable night’s sleep at the patient’s beside than the recliners available currently.”

Address: Severn Hospice, Apley Castle, Telford TF1 6RH

Shifnal and Albrighton Live at Home

This group seeks to supoprt older people by alleviating loneliness and isolation.

It runs friendship groups that offer a wide range of activities from listening to classical music to playing bingo.

Community programme co-ordinator Caroline Hurlstone said it also offered lunch clubs, day trips and befriending services.

“We enjoy helping our members get out and about, enabling them to mix with their peers and feel part of the wider community,” she said.

The money will be used to create a new weekly chair-based exercise group which could be accessed by all members.

“Exercise is extremely important for older people,” said Caroline.

“Keeping their joints moving helps increase mobility leading to more independence and the ability to remain in their own homes longer.

“Exercise also helps maintain their core strength, which in turn decreases the risk of falls and breaks.

“We would provide transport for those unable to attend by any other means, so they would not miss out on the huge benefits this social interaction can offer.”

Address: Shifnal and Albrighton Live at Home, Unit 1, Broadway Court, The Broadway, Shifnal TF11 8AZ

Shrewsbury Food Hub

This charity collects surplus foods from supermarkets and distributes it to charities in the area.

Since it was launched in April 2016, its team of 40 volunteers has delivered more than 79,000 meals to 32 hard-pressed community groups in Shrewsbury.

Manager Katy Anderson says the prize money would be used to pay for volunteers costs, including safety training and fuel, allowing them to collect from more stores and help more people in the area.

“Our food improves diets, saves budget, makes it easy to teach about healthy food, and brings people together,” she said.

“We save Severn Hospice 30 per cent of its food budget, enable groups to run healthy eating courses for 500 children, and provide refreshments for groups combatting social isolation.”

Address: Shrewsbury Food Hub, 8a College Hill, Shrewsbury SY1 1LZ

Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes

This group of volunteers motorcyclists delivers urgent medical samples to hospitals and pathology laboratories across Shropshire, Staffordshire and south Cheshire.

Its qualified advanced riders, managed by of volunteer controllers, carries life-saving supplies including blood, platelets and and frozen breast milk..

Fundraising manager Lynne Stone, said: “We are planning to locate one of our blood bikes at a fire station in north Shropshire and need a dry, secure shed to house it.

“This will enable many more of our increasing numbers of Shropshire riders to have much faster, more convenient access to a blood bike to serve the urgent needs of the staff and patients on the Princess Royal Hospital Telford and the Royal Hospital Shrewsbury.”

Address: Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes, PO Box 4688, Stafford ST20 0YZ

Shropshire Disability Network

The charity, run entirely by volunteers, provides support for people with disabilities across Shropshire.

It provides information about the services available, both through its website, and also though printed newsletter for those who do not have internet access.

Chairman Ruby Hartshorn said the group had more than 1,000 members.

It also runs the Safe Place Shropshire scheme, which has seen more than 250 businesses around the county offer to provide “safe havens” for people who might feel afraid while out in the community. Statistics show that people with learning disabilities can be particularly vulnerable to crime or bullying, said Ruby.

“We fund raise for all our work, most of us are carers or have a disability,” she said.

She said the charity’s website was coming up to 10 years old, and needed updating, and work needed to be don to ensure the charity’s work complied with new regulations.

Address: Shropshire Disability Network, 26 Aldwick Drive, Radbrook Green, Shrewsbury SY3 6BN

Shropshire Warriors Basketball Club

Shropshire Warriors, based at Telford College, has 112 registered players and includes men’s, women’s and junior sides, as well as a wheelchair team.

Head coach of the under-16s Everton Forbes said: “The club provides all sections of the community a wide range of basketball opportunities.

“It enables them to achieve their own potential within the sport regardless of their ability, ethnic background, socio-economic background, gender or age.”

Everton said the money would allow coaches to attend development courses, as well as funding equipment needed for training sessions.

“The game of basketball has changed and developed, therefore the way children are coached within the club should change too,” he said.

“In training, we need various things to help improve us, such as purchasing speed ladders, hurdles and training bibs.”

Address: Shropshire Warriors Basketball Club, c/o Telford College, Haybridge Road, Wellington TF1 2NP

South Shropshire Gymnastics Club

This non-profit club provides fun, recreation gymnastics for both adults and children aged three years-plus, and caters for gymnasts with disabilities too.

At the moment it runs at full capacity, with 250 members, operating from Craven Arms Community Centre on Thursday afternoons and evenings, and Ludlow College on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings. It also has a waiting list of 75 members waiting to join.

The club wants to update, replace, and buy new equipment, as well as increase the number of coaches and their level of qualifications.

Head coach Caroline George said: “By increasing the number of coaches and their level of qualifications, we will be able to offer higher levels of coaching and decrease the numbers on the waiting list.

“This will provide more opportunities for grass-roots sport in the community.

“Replacing tired and worn apparatus, as well as providing exciting equipment, will encourage, enhance and improve the gymnastics experience for new and exciting members of our club.”

Address: South Shropshire Gymnastics Club, The Lodge, Shobdon Court, Shobdon, Leominster HR6 9LZ

Sport and Arts in the Community (Sparc) South West Shropshire

This charity was formed 18 months ago to support Bishop’s Castle Leisure Centre, which was threatened with closure.

As well as providing sports, swimming and fitness facilities, the centre also provides a venue for theatre, creative arts and social activities.

Kate Evans, a fundraiser for the group, said the charity had raised £80,000 in its first 18 months, but needed much more to ensure the sustainability and future expansion of the centre.

She said the money would be used to set up a full-time annual summer holiday package of activities for young people in the area.

“We want to provide a comprehensive range of summer holiday sports, creative and environmental activities for young children and teenagers,” said Kate.

“This will need a high level of co-ordination, volunteer support and up-front costs for publicity, staff recruitment and materials.

“We estimate we will need around £8,000 for initial set-up and running costs in the first year, with up to half coming from parents and the rest from donations, sponsorships and the Sparc charity.”

Address: Sport and Arts in the Community South West Shropshire, Enterprise House, Station Street, Bishops Castle SY9 5AQ


This charity provides housing and support to homeless and vulnerable people in Telford, across a range of services and housing schemes.

Fundraising and marketing executive Kay Bennett said the money would be used to support the work of its team of homeless outreach co-ordinators, which works with people in Telford who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless.

“It will help to provide essential and potentially life-saving items such as food and tents, until a more permanent solution can be found,” she said.

“The people we support have round themselves in a position where they are vulnerable, homeless, or with nowhere else to turn.

“We treat everyone who comes to us as an individual, working with them to overcome any issues that may affect their ability to live independently, assisting them to develop and thrive as individuals.”

Address: Stay, Meeting Point House, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews

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

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