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12 Days of Christmas: Samantha Hartland

AcornsFor our final donation for this season’s 12 Days of Christmas we’ve selected a memorial page raising funds for Acorns Hospice.

Samantha Hartland has set up the page in memory of the far too short life of Georgia-May. Acorns provided excellent care to both her and her family, and once again proved what a fantastic and necessary service they provide.

In the last year Acorns Children’s Hospice has provided care and support for over 700 children and more than 1,050 families, including those who are bereaved. It costs £750 per day for each child’s care and Acorns relies on the community to fund over 70% of it’s activities.

We’ve supported Acorns on previous occasions, and will do so again, but for now we’re bowing out for this season’s 12 days with our final £12 donation to them. If you would like to support them you can do so through Samantha’s Just Giving page.

12 Days of Christmas: David Stephenson

UWCBDuring our search for this year’s 12 days of Christmas recipients, we came across a lot of people who were taking up the offer of a free 8 week boxing course in exchange for fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

One of these was David Stephenson, who took part in an event at Telford early in December last year, and has so far raised just over £1,250 for the charity. His reason for taking part is particularly poignant: “I am raising money for cancer research as my partner Was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She was diagnosed just over two years ago and only five weeks after giving birth to my son.  Sadly there is no more treatment available for her and now only has months left with me and the children.”

Many people support charities through events like these, and we’re pleased to be able to highlight one of them. The organisation behind the event, Ultra White Collar Boxing, arrange events at many venues, including Walsall – there’s one in March for anyone interested – either as a participant, or as a spectator.

David is our penultimate choice in this season’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign, 12 days, 12 people, £12 each.

12 Days of Christmas: Simone Coleman

Sadly, not all fundraising pages are the result of a sponsored activity, something fun. A number, like the one we have selected for today, day 10 of the 12 days of Christmas campaign, are to mark the passing of special people.

Jay-CSimone Coleman set up this JustGiving page to take donations to Headway, the brain injury association. The page commemorates her brother Jamey (Jay-C to those who knew him), who died as a result of a hit and run accident in March 2014.

As Simone says of that sad time: “Had Jamey survived his injuries, he would have needed the help from the Headway Charity, as he would have been severely disabled.”

“Our family lives have been devastated by the loss of Jamey not realising that this could happen to us and not knowing the impact that this has had on my parents so I have set this JustGiving page up so that head trauma survivors can continue to get the help and support needed for themselves and their families at such a traumatic time in their lives.”

She says of her brother: “Jamey nicknamed Jay-c was a 24 year old lad who lived for his mates, there was never a dull moment when Jamey was around. He was a kind hearted young man, always up for a laugh, always had a cheeky smile on his face. He would have done anything for anyone. He was a big fan of his music especially hardcore music and attended many raves with his friends.”

Headway is a charity which should perhaps be more widely known than it is. Each year, approximately one million people visit A&E departments following a head injury, with 135,000 people admitted to hospital due to the severity of their injuries. Head injury is the foremost cause of death and disability in young people today.

Headway’s mission is to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers. In addition, Headway campaigns to reduce incidence of brain injury.

Our small donation today takes the page to just over £4,380 – if you can, why not help reach the £10,000 target with a small donation of your own?

12 Days of Christmas: Amanda Milling

In November last year one of our neighbouring Rotary Clubs (Cannock) held their annual 10k road race. Amanda Milling entered this and chose to be sponsored for local charity the Hibbs Lupus Trust.

2014 Cannock Rotary 10k

The symptoms of Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) can vary from person to person, and can be mild or severe. They can include fatigue, joint pain and skin rashes, and can sometimes cause other conditions. Whilst, if controlled, the symptoms may cause little or no day to day distress, they can, if they are not treated correctly, lead to more serious conditions such as kidney damage, blood and heard conditions, and problems with the auto-immune system.

Since the Hibbs Lupus was established in 2011 it has celebrated many successes.  The Trust aims to raise awareness of lupus, to reach and support more people with lupus.

Amanda’s sterling effort raised £70 so far, which we will increase with our £12 donation. If you’d like to add to that you can do so via her JustGiving page.


12 Days of Christmas: Co-Op Travel Team

Co-Op Travel teamFor day 8 of our 12 days of Christmas we decided to start 2015 with a team of people from Co-Op Travel in Walsall who climbed Scafell Pike to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Most people have probably heard of the Teenage Cancer Trust following the amazing efforts of one very special young man last year, Stephen Sutton, who raised millions for the charity before sadly dying of cancer himself.

The charity are dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young cancer patients aged 13-24, and help to fund and build specialist units in NHS hospitals and provide dedicated staff, bringing young people together so they can be treated by teenage cancer experts.

The Co-Op team have so far raised just over £200 of a £250 target, and you can add to that by donating directly to the Teenage Cancer Trust, as we have in this case, as the team’s page no longer accepts donations.

Our twelve days of Christmas campaign picks 12 fundraisers on JustGiving, one for each day, and we donate £12 to each. 12 days, 12 people, £12 each. Random acts of kindness, if you like, and a great way to start a new year, which we hope brings good things to all of you.

12 Days of Christmas: Nicola Barker

As we come to the end of 2014, we reach day 7 of our 12 days of Christmas campaign. Today, on the last day of the year, we’ve selected Nicky Barker who had her head shaved to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care.

Nicola - before and after

Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity providing specialist support and expert information for anyone affected by breast cancer, and it runs a national helpline number which you can find out more about via their website.

What sets Nicky’s effort apart from many others is that as well as raising funds for this charity, her long locks of hair were donated to The Little Princess Trust.

The Little Princess Trust provides real-hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have sadly lost their own hair through cancer treatment. If you’d like to donate money to them, you can do that via JustGiving too.

Nicky’s efforts have raised over £1,600 for Breast Cancer Care, and we’re glad to add our small donation to that fantastic total.

12 Days of Christmas: Lee Allen

Memory WalkFor day six of our 12 days of Christmas campaign we have selected Lee Allen, who will be doing a sponsored walk in 2015 to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the leading UK care and research charity for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their families and carers.

The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse.

Lee explains his involvement on his Just Giving page: “I have worked within mental health services within the Black Country since March 1996. Working within an Older Adult Inpatient Hospital increased my awareness of mental health, however it wasn’t until 2 close family members were diagnosed that I fully understood Dementia/Alzheimer’s.”

“I have also cared for mother in law for 7 years at home following her diagnosis of mixed type dementia.”

“I have decided to increase my own knowledge and want to help spread awareness and raise funds for the Alzheimers’s Society. A charity close to my heart .”

We’re pleased to be able to add an early donation to his page, and wish him well for his walk and his support of the Alzheimer’s Society.

12 Days of Christmas: Andy & Dodge

ARDBDuring our search for people to support we came across these guys, Andy & Dodge, who have a whole host of charity events planned throughout 2015. We’re supporting them today in their efforts to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charities.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital started life in the heart of Birmingham, opening in January 1862 in the former Eye Infirmary on Steelhouse Lane.

Thomas Heslop, 19th century physician and reformer, founded the Birmingham and Midland Free Hospital for Sick Children because he was convinced that children could not be treated adequately in adult general hospitals.

In 1869, financed by charitable donations, Birmingham Children’s Hospital transferred to a former maternity hospital in Broad Street. Nearly 50 years later, in 1913, the foundation stone of a purpose-built hospital in Ladywood was laid, funded by a Public Appeal. The Children’s Hospital Brick League was inaugurated. The new hospital opened in 1917.

In 1998, more than 130 years after it began, the children’s hospital returned to Steelhouse Lane, moving into the century-old former Birmingham General Hospital. Less than one hour after opening, the first emergency patient was admitted. Birmingham Children’s Hospital was awarded Foundation Trust status in 2007 and plans are currently underway for a new hospital by 2022.

The fundraising team of Andy & Dodge has raised just over £6,400 for the hospital charities. You can add to that via their Just Giving page if you’d like to. You’ll also be able to see a list of events throughout 2015 which you may enjoy and be able to support, in and around the Willenhall area. We wish them luck, and congratulate them on their efforts.

12 Days of Christmas: Josh & Danny

We like a nutty challenge, and today we’ve picked on we think fits the bill! Josh Love & Danny Matthews decided to travel then length and breadth of England (mostly) to visit all 92 top-tier football stadia in just 92 hours. It brings back memories of Ash’s A-Z Challenge of a few years ago!

The route to all 92

They did this over 92 hours at the end of November last year, and the whole trip is documented with photographs on their Facebook page. Normally we try to pick fundraisers with a local connection but we felt this was such a brilliant challenge that we couldn’t not support it. Besides, they visited all of our local football giants including the mighty Walsall.

The trip was sponsored, with all donations going to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. All contributions really do make a difference to the lives of the 30,000 people diagnosed every year with a blood cancer.

1560587_379428292182205_8160260230756151914_nThe journey, to visit all 92 football stadiums in the football league (Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two), covering every professional football ground in England and Wales within 92 hours, was a total of 2,222 miles, and Josh & Danny were hoping to raise £1 per mile.

The football grounds, in case you wondered:

  • Accrington Stanley (Crown Ground)
  • AFC Bournemouth (Dean Court)
  • AFC Wimbledon (Kingsmeadow)
  • Arsenal (Emirates Stadium)
  • Aston Villa (Villa Park)
  • Barnsley (Oakwell)
  • Birmingham (St Andrews)
  • Blackburn Rovers (Ewood Park)
  • Blackpool (Bloomfield Road)
  • Bolton (Reebok Stadium)
  • Bradford City (Valley Parade)
  • Brentford (Griffin Park)
  • Brighton and Hove Albion (AMEX Stadium)
  • Bristol City (Ashton Gate)
  • Burnley (Turf Moor)
  • Burton Albion (Pirelli Stadium)
  • Bury (Gigg Lane)
  • Cambridge United (Abbey Stadium)
  • Cardiff City (Cardiff City Stadium)
  • Carlisle (Brunton Park)
  • Charlton Athletic (The Valley)
  • Chelsea (Stamford Bridge)
  • Cheltenham Town (Whaddon Road)
  • Chesterfield United (Proact Stadium)
  • Colchester United (Colchester Community Stadium)
  • Coventry (Ricoh Arena)
  • Crawley Town (Broadfield Stadium)
  • Crewe Alexandra (Gresty Road)
  • Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park)
  • Dagenham & Redbridge (Victoria Road)
  • Derby County (Pride Park)
  • Doncaster Rovers (Keepmoat Stadium)
  • Everton (GoodisonPark)
  • Exeter City (St James Park)
  • Fleetwood (Highbury Stadium)
  • Fulham (Craven Cottage)
  • Gillingham (Priestfield Stadium)
  • Hartlepool (Victoria Park)
  • Huddersfield Town (MacAlpine Stadium)
  • Hull City (KC Stadium)
  • Ipswich Town (Portman Road)
  • Leeds United (Elland Road)
  • Leicester City (King Power Stadium)
  • Leyton Orient (Brisbane Road)
  • Liverpool (Anfield)
  • Luton (Kenilworth Road)
  • Man City (Etihad Stadium)
  • Man United (Old Trafford)
  • Mansfield Town (Field Mill)
  • Middlesbrough (Riverside)
  • Millwall (The New Den)
  • MK Dons (Stadium: MK)
  • Morecambe (Globe Arena)
  • Newcastle (St James’ Park)
  • Newport County (Rodney Parade)
  • Northampton Town (Sixfields Stadium)
  • Norwich City (Carrow Road)
  • Nottingham Forest (City Ground)
  • Notts County (Meadow Lane)
  • Oldham (Boundary Park)
  • Oxford United (Kassam Stadium)
  • Peterborough United (London Road)
  • Plymouth Argyle (Home Park)
  • Port Vale (Vale Park)
  • Portsmouth (Fratton Park)
  • Preston North End (Deepdale)
  • QPR (Loftus Road)
  • Reading (Madejski Stadium)
  • Rochdale (Spotland)
  • Rotherham United (New York Stadium)
  • Scunthorpe United (GlanfordPark)
  • Sheffield United (Bramall Lane)
  • Sheffield Wednesday (Hillsborough)
  • Shrewsbury Town (New Meadow)
  • Southampton (St Marys)
  • Southend United (Roots Hall)
  • Stevenage (Broadhall Way)
  • Stoke City (Britannia Stadium)
  • Sunderland (Stadium of Light)
  • Swansea City (Liberty Stadium)
  • Swindon Town (County Ground)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (White Hart Lane)
  • Tranmere Rovers (Prenton Park)
  • Walsall (BescotStadium)
  • Watford (Vicarage Road)
  • West Bromwich Albion (The Hawthorns)
  • West Ham United (UptonPark)
  • Wigan (JJBStadium)
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers (Molineux)
  • Wycombe Wanderers (Adams Park)
  • Yeovil Town (Huish Park)
  • York City (Bootham Crescent)

They’ve currently raised just over half of their £2,222 target – but it’s not to late to add to it via their JustGiving page.
Our £12 is a little help, but every £1 counts.

12 Days of Christmas: Amy Carter

Walsall Art Gallery - high up there!

Amy did an abseil down Walsall Art Gallery to raise funds for Diabetes UK. She is our choice for day three of our 12 Days of Christmas campaign this year, 12 days, 12 people, £12 each.

Amy says, on her Just Giving page, “After the shock diagnosis of my super fit and healthy 15 year old brother in February I have vowed to raise money in order to support the charity in life changing research and treatment for Harry and others like him.” So far, following the abseil in early October, she has raised just over £400.

Diabetes UK is the UK’s leading diabetes charity and largest charitable funder of diabetes research. They (and we) hope that one day the relentless search for a cure will end, but until then they will keep providing advice and information, bringing people with diabetes together and campaigning on the issues that are important to them.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so through Amy’s page on Just Giving.

Formula 1 2014

2013 F1 Competition

Our 2014 F1 competition's final positions are here.