Shropshire Star

New shop's cheese and wine event raised hundreds for south Shropshire youth charity

A new wine merchants in Ludlow has stepped into fundraising for a local cause in a big way, raising hundreds of pounds for a youth cause.

From left: Alex Curry, Ben Templeman, Di Lyle and Rich Morley

Vine & Juniper celebrated its opening in the town at the end of last year with a wine and cheese tasting event which involved the Broad Bean deli in a community effort for South Shropshire Youth Forum.

The fruits of the fundraising - a cool £450 - was presented to Rich Morley and Alex Curry of the South Shropshire Youth Forum on Friday February 9.

About 30 people attended the tasting evening, browsing shelves stocked with wines from across the globe and mingling with fellow guests, sharing conversations in a party atmosphere which lasted until the last person left and the doors closed behind them.

The selection of white and red wines with a sherry and a port to finish, were accompanied by cheeses matched to each wine and spirit by Ian Evans of Broad Bean.

Ben Templeman from Vine & Juniper introduced each wine, telling its story and its provenance, and Ian then did the same for the cheeses.

Chris Dixon, Vine & Juniper’s owner, said: “It was Di Lyle who first introduced the idea of using the tasting event to raise some funds for the South Shropshire Youth Forum

“I hadn’t heard of it and when she explained what the SSYF did, I didn’t take much persuading!”

The Youth Forum is a small charity, based in Clee Hill, which operates in South Shropshire, supporting young adolescents through their transition to young adults.

Di says it is "vital work with so many cuts in services being wielded from local and central government."

Chris said: "That age and stage for young people can be difficult and challenging and I thought it was important to try and support it.”

Rich Morley, who is the sole officer for the Youth Forum, was delighted to receive the cheque from Ben Templeman.

“The Forum does such important work with young people, and funding just gets more and more difficult each year.

"The forum trustees and the young people we support are extremely grateful.”

The SSYF is currently the Ludlow Town Mayor’s charity and when Di Lyle was a councillor, she organised various fundraising events with her colleague, Darren Childs.

“The wine and cheese tasting event was not part of that programme,” Di said.

"Because while I ‘persuaded’ Chris to host the evening, it was predominantly his event.

"I am delighted it raised so much for the Youth Forum as well as raising the profile of the charity and the profiles of both the independent retailers involved.”

Although Di is no longer a councillor, she says that will not prevent her from organising more fundraising events, independent from the council, to support the work of the South Shropshire Youth Forum.

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