Cash For Your Community 2019: We hand out £20,000 to Shropshire good causes - with video and pictures
A charity which transports vital medical supplies to hospitals and doctors has an extra £5,000 help with its life-saving work thanks to the Cash For Your Community £20,000 giveaway.
Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes took top prize in this year's Cash For Your Community, a partnership between the Shropshire Star and Enterprise Flex E Rent.
Shrewsbury Guide Dogs for the Blind took second place, receiving a £2,000 donation, while Telford & Wrekin Parkinson's Support Group took third prize, scooping £1,000.
Watch the video from the presentations:
The scheme, now in its fifth year, saw £20,000 shared among 33 good causes from across the county.
It takes the total donated since the scheme was launched to a massive £100,000, with more than 200 cheques handed over to more than 150 different charities and voluntary groups.
This year's groups and charities were selected from more than 100 applications by a judging panel made up of staff from the Shropshire Star and Enterprise Flex E Rent. Members of the public were then invited to vote for their favourite causes by collecting tokens in the newspaper. The money was shared out according to how many tokens each group collected.
Pictures from the presentation:
Blood Bikes will use the money to buy much-needed tyres for its fleet of motorcycles, keeping this vital service on the road. Last year its volunteers travelled a total of 219,500, equivalent to almost nine laps around the globe, so new tyres is a major part of its running costs.
Shrewsbury Guide Dogs for the Blind will use its £2,000 to support the breeding and training of guide dogs in the county.
Fundraising organiser Penny Norris said: "We have about 45 individuals waiting for a life-changing dog in the Shropshire area.
"It costs around £3,200 to breed a guide dog puppy."
Telford & Wrekin Parkinson's Support will use its £1,000 to fund speech therapy and physiotherapy sessions for sufferers of the illness.
Secretary Carol Scott said: "These are the two beneficial activities for anyone with Parkinsons.
"They require constant and ongoing funding, we offer them free so that anyone can benefit, regardless of financial position."
The Harry Johnson Trust, which provides support for children with cancer, was another major beneficiary, receiving £986.50. The charity was formed in 2014 by Sally and Stephen Johnson in memory of their son Harry, who died that year aged seven from a rare form of cancer.
The money will be used to provide children being treated for cancer at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital with vouchers for days out.
Hope House Children's Hospice received £963.92, which it will use to provide support for families affected by the sudden loss of a child.
Fundraiser Rachel Lewis said: "In our special Snowflake Suite, families can say goodbye in their own time and in their own way while being supported by specialist nurses, carers and counsellors."
Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support received £930.30, which will be used to provide potentially life-saving tests at Oakengates, Wellington and Donnington.
Cuan Wildlife Rescue received £820.64 for its work looking after sick, injured and orphaned birds and animals, while AFC Bridgnorth got £792.99 to improve disabled access at its club room and pitches.
The Friendly Transport Service received £740.35 for its work providing transport in the Broseley area for people who would otherwise be socially isolated. The Donnington branch of the Friends of Severn Hospice – which earlier this year announced it would have to close at bed at its Telford site as a result of a funding cut – received a much-needed £735.03.
Tom Macdonald of Enterprise Flex E Rent said: "Yet again the outstanding work done in the Shropshire community has shone through during another fantastic year of Cash for your Community.
"When selecting the final 35 groups it never ceases to amaze all of the judging panel just how much is done on our doorstep in support of charities and great causes.
"I can honestly say that the selection process this year was harder than at any time before due simply to the number of deserving groups and we have been proud to be a part of such an important initiative and to have worked with so many inspirational people.
"Congratulations to all of those who took home a share of the £20,000 prize fund and all of us at Enterprise Flex E Rent are excited to see what you do with your deserved winnings!
Shropshire Star editor-in-chief Martin Wright said it was a privilege to once more be involved with the campaign.
"One of the joy about Cash For Your Community has been watching how these groups have used the money to make such a difference," he said.
"Every one of the organisations represented here has made its own unique contribution to our wonderful county.
"It is a privilege to meet so many wonderful people who give so much to the community."
Full list of handouts:
- Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes - £5,000
- Guide Dogs - £2,000
- Telford & Wrekin Parkinson's Support Group - £1,000
- The Harry Johnson Trust - £986.50
- Hope House - £963.92
- Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group - £930.30
- Cuan Wildlife Rescue - £820.64
- AFC Bridgnorth - £792.99
- The Friendly Transport Service - £740.35
- Severn Hospice - £735.03
- Anstice Community Trust - £606.46
- Read Easy Shropshire Hills - £565.80
- R.A.B.I. - £553.82
- Shrewsbury Epilepsy Support Group - £540.14
- MNDA Shropshire Branch - £438.71
- Live At Home - £421.48
- Shropshire Disabled Cricket Club - £419.19
- West Mercia Search and Rescue - £412.39
- Prees Junior Football Club - £366.04
- Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service - £299.87
- Shrewsbury Food Hub - £198.80
- Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club (AFVBC), Telford - £192.22
- Dawley Wanderers FC - £183.79
- Touched by a Suicide - £161.54
- Shropshire Parents and Carers Council - £ 136.77
- Dog Assistance In Disability (Dog A.I.D.) - £111.12
- The MyFAM Project - £78.81
- Omega, the National Association for End of Life Care - £76.30
- Telford Repair Cafe - £57.44
- Challenging Perceptions - £56.56
- Small Woods Association - £53.02
- The Movement Centre for Targeted Training - £50
- The Plantation Wood, Ellesmere - £50
Profile: Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes
The £5,000 prize will help save Shropshire lives said this year’s biggest winner.
Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes took the biggest prize this year, and the money will be used to support its lifesaving work.
Fundraising manager Lynne Stone said: “This money will save lives, it will mean people will be diagnosed quicker because the pathology labs will get the samples sooner.”
Blood Bikes is staffed entirely by volunteers, and is dependent on donations, as it receives no NHS funding.
The extra £5,000, which will be used to regularly replace tyres on its fleet of motorcycles. Blood Bikes saves lives by delivering 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.
Profile: Guide Dogs Shrewsbury
Winning £2,000 will help Guide Dogs Shrewsbury change the lives of blind and partially sighted people in the county.
Representing the charity were Lindsey Rowlands and Darren Clutton, who both brought their own guide dogs with them.
The money will go a long way towards the £3,200 cost of breeding a puppy ready for guide dog training.
Lindsey has had her own guide dog Leyland for four years and says he has transformed her life.
“He’s really important to me, for being a friend, and also I wouldn’t be able to go out without him. He’s a huge part of my life.” Darren, 52, recalled how he lost his sight after being taken ill in 2012.
“I was taken to casualty, and within two hours I had lost my sight.”
He said his dog Quincey was hugely important to him.
“He helps me, I can go out every day because of him,” Darren added.
Profile: Telford & Wrekin Parkinson’s Support Group
This charity will be using its £1,000 prize to provide life-changing therapies for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Based at Castle Farm Community Centre in Hadley, the charity provides support and friendship to people in Telford & Wrekin who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease.
It also provides help for the families of people with the condition, and holds monthly meetings.
The money will be used to pay for physiotherapy and speech therapy, which has been identified as the two most effective way to help people who are affected with the illness.
Secretary Carol Scott said: “It will make a huge difference as it will alleviate the worry of paying for the physio and speech therapy for a few months.
“Most of our fundraising is to keep these two activities running free of charge to all our members, regardless of their financial position.”
Profile: The Harry Johnson Trust
The Harry Johnson Trust received £986.50, which will be used to buy toys and games for children being treated for cancer at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.
The Shrewsbury-based charity was founded by Stephen and Sally Johnson in 2014 in memory of their son Harry, who died aged seven after contracting a rare form of cancer.
It provides support for children, teenagers and their families who are receiving cancer treatments at the hospital.
Sally said she was thrilled to receive such a large sum, and thanked everybody who had worked so hard collecting tokens. “Even though we are a relatively small charity, we have got big supporters,” she said. “We feel very lucky to have been included, and even more lucky to have received such a large amount.
“People often ask what they can do to help us, and we are able to tell them this is one thing we can do.”