Charities to benefit from panto frolicsBy Alice Murphy
November 11, 2008
In the midst of the fun and frivolity of Wokingham Winter Carnival is a serious mission – to raise cash for good causes.
For many charities, particularly smaller local foundations, fundraising is a chronic need and Wokingham Winter Carnival raises much-needed cash for them.
Visitors will be encouraged to dig deep into their pockets for the charities during this year’s pantomime-themed celebration on Sunday, November 30.
Everything people throw into collection buckets will go to good causes.
This year, these will be the Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust, which supports young cancer sufferers and their families, the Limbless Association, and disabled children’s charity the Me2 Club.
The Limbless Association helps amputees and their families to stay active and is the only charity for people who have lost arms and legs.
The charity’s chief executive, Ray Edwards, lives in Sandhurst and had all four limbs amputated after getting blood poisoning.
A spokeswoman for the Limbless Association said: “All donations the charity receives are spent on our programmes supporting people with limb loss throughout the UK.
“We run many programmes that are unique to our organisation such as a national
helpline devoted to amputee issues and our Outreach Programme, which co-ordinates our prominent volunteer visitors network.
“This network consists of 250 members who, using their knowledge and experience as amputees, support and encourage people awaiting amputation or amputees experiencing difficulties since their operation.”
The Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust wants to set up a hospice for children in Berkshire.
Currently, the nearest centre for children needing hospice care is in Oxfordshire.
Stevie (corr) Horton, the trust’s fundraising manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Wokingham Winter Carnival has chosen to support Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust building a children’s hospice in Berkshire as there isn’t one.
“We already have architectural plans drawn up and plan to start the build in Autumn 2010. So far we have a quarter of the funds needed and welcome the local community’s help in this wonderful project.”
The Me2 Club is another beneficiary. It is a group supporting children with special needs, which helps them to take part in mainstream activities such as brownies, ice-skating and drama.
Currently, the charity looks after some 50 children and is hoping to expand to fund another helper to care for more children.
Emily Radford, project co-ordinator, said: “If we recruit another member of staff, we can help up to 90 children so we need to fundraise as much as we possibly can.
“The Winter Carnival is hugely important to us. The Me2 Club gives children the opportunity to access leisure facilities they might not otherwise be able to enjoy.
“All donations are very gratefully received.”
For more information visit www.wintercarnival.co.uk.