Community Champions

Celebrating charity work and good deeds in the Wiltshire and Swindon business community.

Par-fect turn out for charity golf day

Written by Peter Davison.

Team GoughsA charity golf day hosted by law firm Goughs Solicitors has raised £5,000 for Julia’s House and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Goughs’ eighth annual Charity Golf Day at Cumberwell Park Golf Club, Bradford on Avon was attended by over 60 guests from the Wiltshire business community.

Julia’s House is a children’s hospice dedicated to helping life-limited children and their families in Wiltshire and Dorset. The charity has recently opened the first children’s hospice in Wiltshire, enabling their nurses and carers to provide life-changing support for over 100 children and their parents and brothers and sisters both in their own homes and within their hospices.

This year is also a seminal year for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, as the charity is eagerly anticipating the opening of its new Airbase in Semington, Melksham. Fund raising initiatives, such as the launch of the 100 Club, whereby 100 businesses in Wiltshire, including Goughs, each committed to raising £10,000 for the charity’s Airbase appeal, have really helped in raising part of the £1.25 million they need in order to complete the build.

After 18 holes of golf the day concluded with a presentation dinner and charity auction. The auction, expertly conducted by top international auctioneer Richard Madley, contained an array of incredible lots donated by local businesses.

Andrew Given, partner and head of the real estate, land and development department at Goughs Solicitors said: “The day was a huge success and we have been overwhelmed by the continuous generosity shown by everyone involved. The money raised will help to ensure that these extremely worthwhile charities can continue their essential work for the benefit of the local community here in Wiltshire”.

Ian Wadley, Wiltshire fundraising manager for Julia’s House, said: “We are hugely grateful for the continued support we receive from Goughs. The golf day was yet again a tremendous success and we would like to thank everybody who attended and donated so generously to support local life-limited children and their families.”

Valerie Whistler, partnerships coordinator for Wiltshire Air Ambulance said: “We are so grateful to Goughs for all their support and hard work in raising funds towards the building of our new airbase.  

“The golf day was great fun as well as being very successful. Work on our new airbase is progressing well, and thanks to all the support we have received we have raised almost 85% of our overall target, leaving us with just 15 percent to complete the building and equipping it before it becomes operational by next summer.”

Carer charity tops fundraising target – then launches new appeal

Written by Peter Davison.

The campaign was launched in January at W-Carter-and-Son-in SalsiburyAn appeal to raise £25,000 to give Wiltshire’s thousands of unpaid carers a break has beaten the target.

The Time for Carers Appeal was launched in January by the charity Carer Support Wiltshire, to raise money to help fund a range of activities for carers to give them some respite from their caring role – a little time for themselves.

By the end of the summer, the appeal had exceeded its target by more than £2,000, and the funds are due to be distributed to carers.

Now Carer Support Wiltshire has set its sights on raising another £25,000 by next summer, and has launched the 8 in 10 Appeal - so named following research carried out by the Jo Cox Commission for Loneliness and Carers UK, which showed that eight in ten people caring for loved ones feel lonely and isolated.

Catharine Hurford, chief executive for Carer Support Wiltshire, said she was confident the 8 in 10 Appeal would repeat the success of the Time for Carers Appeal.

“We are really grateful to everybody who supported the Time for Carers Appeal. The money raised will make a real difference to carers by helping fund activities that give them a little time to themselves,” she said.

“Our new 8 in 10 Appeal has a slightly different focus. This time we want to raise money which will help carers to socialise and get out more into their communities, which will in turn help combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced by so many.”

In Wiltshire, there are more than 47,000 unpaid carers – people who care for parents, partners, children, grandchildren or loved ones. The vast majority say they feel lonely or isolated.

Catharine said: “Loneliness can have a serious impact on health and wellbeing. Unpaid carers put their loneliness down to lack of money to socialise and difficulty in leaving the house due to their caring commitments.

“They also say they find it hard to talk to friends or work colleagues about caring, which adds to their isolation, so we really need to start a conversation around this.”


Law firm becomes senior corporate partner of Forever Friends Appeal

Written by Peter Davison .

In memory and legacy officer Jan Witt, Royds Withy King’s lead partner Stuart Brazington and Forever Friends Appeal corporate officer Jo Common Law firm Royds Withy King has been recognised as a senior corporate partner by the Royal United Hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal, thanks to partners and staff at the firm raising over £25,000.

The funds raised will go towards the cost of building a pioneering new cancer centre at the RUH. The centre will aim to balance clinical expertise with a nurturing environment, placing patient experience at the centre of its approach for patients and their families.

Royds Withy King’s strategic lead partner Stuart Brazington said: “We have an incredibly rewarding relationship with The Forever Friends Appeal and have enjoyed taking part in different fundraising challenges – from completing the Three Peaks Challenge, to running the Bath Half, holding a Bake Off competition and donating our fees as part of Make A Will Month.

“The RUH do fantastic work, treating over 2,200 new cancer patients each year, and we are proud to know that our contribution will help to support such a worthwhile cause.”

Jo Common, corporate officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, said: “Royds Withy King have supported the Appeal for many years now – we were their chosen charity in 2013 – 2015 and each September they take part in our annual Will Month.

“We are just so pleased to welcome them on board as one of our senior corporate partners for the Cancer Care Campaign, and look forward to working together as the new Cancer Centre develops. Thank you to all members of the Royds Withy King team for their invaluable support.”

The Forever Friends Appeal has so far secured over £8 million towards its target of a minimum of £8.5m for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, through the support of local businesses like Royds Withy King, community groups, legacies, trusts and individuals.

Property agent confirmed as half marathon sponsor

Written by Peter Davison .

The Myddelton & Major team after last year's Salisbury Half Marathon, from left, partner Peter Salmon, commercial negotiator Murray Waldron, residential lettings administrator Fiona Thatcher and partner Dean SpeerProperty agent Myddelton & Major has been confirmed as sponsor of the Salisbury Half Marathon, which returns to the streets of the city on Sunday, October 1.

Nearly 600 runners completed the run in 2016, the first on the new city centre route which will again be used this year.

And included in the line-up will be Myddelton & Major’s own team running in aid of chosen charity the Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Warminster.

This provides therapies, advice and emotional support for people with multiple sclerosis and their families.

Pulling on their running shoes in aid of this good cause will be Dean Speer, Peter Sammons, Rachael Ward and Fiona Thatcher.

Myddelton & Major Senior partner Philip Holford said: “I am so proud of my athletic colleagues who will be pounding the streets to help those less fortunate than themselves.

“We are more than pleased to be sponsoring this prestigious event for the second consecutive year – as a long-established Salisbury business we are keen to boost the city whenever we can.

“I am sure it will be a marvellous day for both competitors and onlookers with a tremendous buzz around the city – as well as the resulting charity support.”

The 20th running of the Salisbury Half Marathon begins at noon in New Canal and the two-lap, mostly flat course takes in Bemerton, Quidhampton, Netherhampton and Harnham before the finish in Cathedral Close.

Help for Heroes and Salisbury District Hospital’s Stars Appeal are the 2017 event’s two partner charities.

Last year’s winner Aaron Wilson, of City of Salisbury AC & RC, clocked in at 1hour, 14 minutes 55 seconds with the final finisher crossing the line in just over 3hrs, 15mins.

To enter the half marathon – entry fee is £27 affiliated club runners and £29 non-affiliated (no entries on the day) – see the full terms and conditions at

The Myddelton & Major team has set up a Just Giving page – – for supporters to help them reach an ambitious £1,000 target.

This is the second year that Myddelton & Major has sponsored the event.

Hills delivers Cycle Safe event to local schools

Written by Peter Davison .

Children get a road safety lesson from HillsMore than 130 Wiltshire school children will be riding their bicycles with a better understanding of safety issues following their participation at a cycle safety education event hosted by Hills Quarry Products in Calne last week.

The bespoke event was organised by Hills in support of the Mineral Products’ Association’s national Cycle Safe campaign.

Delivered in fun, interactive sessions and aimed specifically at children aged between 8 and 15 years old, the event highlighted the potentially dangerous zones for cyclists around heavy goods vehicles and provided general road safety awareness education too.

Each session began with a See and Be Seen presentation from Volvo Trucks which raises people’s awareness about their visibility in traffic.

The See and Be Seen campaign spotlights situations where cyclists and other road users are involved and how to improve safety in the interaction between cyclists and truck drivers.

It also explained that most accidents are due to human factors such as lack of attention, poor understanding and misjudgement.

The children then moved into a large hall where heavy goods vehicles were set up with life size cut-outs of cyclists placed around them.

The children were invited to get into the driver’s seat and mark on a diagram which of these cyclists could be seen, helping them to understand the importance of never cycling within the ‘blind spot’ areas around a lorry as a driver will not be able to see them.

Peter Andrew, group director Hills Quarry Products, said: “Cycling continues to grow in popularity and it is important that these vulnerable road users are protected when they cycle near our lorries.

“Our drivers have been trained to be aware of cyclists on the road, and our vehicles are fitted with audible warning systems and safety cameras, however, we know that the most effective way of helping cyclists understand the risks is to allow them to sit in the driver’s seat of a lorry and experience what a driver can or cannot see.”
Wiltshire Council’s road safety officer, Tina Giles, was on hand to deliver practical demonstrations on the importance of always wearing the correct headgear when cycling and how to fit a cycle helmet correctly, together with an easy to follow method of undertaking essential bicycle maintenance checks.

The event was also supported by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service with station commander Tom Burns on hand to convey cycle safety messages from the Emergency Services’ perspective and give participants the opportunity to get up close to a fire engine.

Hills staff to the rescue of lost mobile phone

Written by Peter Davison .

Lesley Seed with her lost phoneIt started as a ‘rubbish’ August bank holiday Monday for Lesley Seed when she accidentally disposed of her mobile phone into her rubbish bin.

By the time the mistake was realised the bin had already been emptied and the contents were in the back of a bin lorry, on its way to the disposal site at Lower Compton near Calne.

Lesley said: “I was distraught as my mobile phone contained all my family photographs. Luckily I had installed an app on my phone which helps to locate it.

"We called the Lower Compton site and the helpful staff there were able to isolate the area where the bin lorry had tipped its load and we set off to begin the search.”

Lesley, accompanied by her husband Jonathon and their daughter Libby were met at Lower Compton by Dave Smith, landfill site foreman for Hills Waste Solutions, who provided them with protective clothing before the Seeds together with Dave, his team and the help of a digger machine began looking for the phone.

Jonathon said: “We had a pretty good fix on the location and eventually made the phone emit a loud noise which led us to it – all it had was a cracked screen.”

Dave said: “The fact that Mrs Seed called us so quickly once she realised the phone had gone missing enabled us to identify the lorry and the area where the load of rubbish had been tipped.

“If it was any later, there is a good chance that the phone would have been on its way to either Slough or Westbury where Wiltshire’s waste is sent for conversion into electricity or fuel for energy.”

Sports clinic staff take the plunge for Air Ambulance

Written by Peter Davison .

Kelly Wariner, Samantha Cox, Phillip Hale, Kieran Boland-Pedley, Carol Plumridge, Antonia Sarnago-OrchardStaff at a Chippenham sports clinic faced their fear of heights with a 10,000ft skydive in Salisbury last Thursday (August 24) to raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Seven members of staff from Active Potential Therapy, including sport therapists, an osteopath and administrators all skydived for the first time.

Samantha Cox, owner of Active Potential Therapy said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Wiltshire Air Ambulance with a team challenge for the third year running.

“We’ve done two very different types of challenges in 2015 and 2016, so we knew we had to come up with something a little bit special this year.

“A skydive seemed perfect as it’s taken us all out of our comfort zones – the entire team have a fear of heights to some degree, and the type of activity means none of us could prepare or train for it, so it was definitely a challenge!”

“In June 2016 we took on The National Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.

“We raised £2,000 which was just amazing! In October 2015 we competed in the local Monster Race, a 6.5km muddy obstacle course, raising just over £1,000. Whereas these were very much physical challenges, a skydive is definitely more a psychological challenge.”

Kelly Wariner, practice manager of Active Potential Therapy said: “It’s hard to believe we’ve actually done it! Free falling was a terrifying and incredible experience that nothing could have prepared us for.

“What an amazing way to see the county. Thank you to everyone who has donated to support the Air Ambulance.”

Each team member was required to raise £395, meaning Active Potential Therapy had to run several fundraising events.

The team completed a 12-hour ‘treadmill-athon’ in June which saw the company treadmill, usually used for gait analysis appointments, being run or walked on non-stop for 12 hours between six members of staff.

More recently a cake sale was held at the clinic. The events raised £390 and £90 respectively.

The team has now raised a total of £1,735 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance through their skydive and hope to reach their target of £2,000 within the next two weeks.

Active Potential Therapy will also be providing sports massages at the forthcoming Chippenham Half Marathon on Sunday, September 9. Any donations will go straight to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance costs £3.25 million a year to keep in the air, which equates to £8,904 a day, and is funded entirely by public donation.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at


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