Community Champions

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

Firm donates van to Air Ambulance fundraisers

Written by Peter Davison.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance fundraising manager Des Regan with Matthew ScarrottWiltshire Air Ambulance’s charity team has been aided by the donation of an events van from Scarrotts Van & Truck Centre.

With a bumper amount of events planned to celebrate the charity’s 30th anniversary next year, the Royal Wootton Bassett-based company has stepped in to supply a brand new Vauxhall Combo 2310.

The van has even been decorated in the Wiltshire Air Ambulance colours of yellow and green, courtesy of ASF Signs in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance fundraising manager Des Regan said: “We’ve got a very busy 2020 planned out, with lots of exciting events coming up across the entire county and beyond.

“Scarrotts Van & Truck Centre have very kindly supplied the Vauxhall Combo for our charity team to take out to events, supporting all of our needs.

“We’re all very grateful to Scarrotts and fellow Royal Wootton Bassett company ASF Signs for their support.”

Scarrotts Van & Truck Centre is a family-run business that has been operating for 40 years and is based on Nore Marsh Road, Swindon, SN4 8BW.

Matthew Scarrott, the company’s owner, said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance is such an important charity, saving countless lives, and we had no hesitation in helping out.

“Their charity team were looking for a van that could help them transport all their equipment to events, including gazebos, mascot outfits, large banners and donations tins and buckets.

“We’re very proud to support the charity and hopefully the Vauxhall Combo events van will help the team as they look to raise the vital funds needed to keep the air ambulance flying.”

The charity, based at its purpose-built airbase in Semington, near Melksham, needs to raise £3.75 million each year to keep the air ambulance flying, that’s just over £10,000 per day.

Home win for youth football team as local firm gifts website

Written by Peter Davison.

Daryl TompkinsA youth football team in Warminster has a new website – thanks to the sponsorship of Westbury-based marketing agency Dentons Digital.

Dentons Digital has a long history of sponsoring local sports teams, and says Warminster Highbury Youth FC's new site 'can compete with the top leagues'.

The website – – was completed by the team of in-house developers at Dentons Digital, who have both designed and developed a wide variety of all types of websites.

Their portfolio includes websites for local builders to e-commerce websites for international companies.

With over 280 players, Warminster Highbury Youth FC are sure that this new website will work to further grow their numbers and increase the uptake within the community.

Chairman Lee Arnott said: "The work Dentons Digital have done for us is amazing. We are so excited to have a website that reflects the hard work that goes into organising and training here at the club. The finished project is of really high quality and far above what we had expected.

Thanks to everyone involved. It’s a cracking site and the club are really pleased with it.”

Daryl Tompkins, head of digital at Dentons, said: “We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to help such a fantastic football club.

It’s great when we can do something for the local community and see the direct benefits of our effort. After all, the local community is where Dentons began. I wish the team the best of luck this season.”

Charity on target to raise funds thanks to Swindon sponsor

Written by Peter Davison.

Richard MathewsAn annual clay shoot in aid of Swindon charity TWIGS is set to fire off this month, once again sponsored by Optimum Professional Services.

The event takes place at Barbury Shooting School on September 25 to raise money for TWIGS, the community garden project based in Cheney Manor, which supports people with mental health issues and dementia.

Optimum Professional Services is once again the headline sponsor and will be fielding two teams to take part. Optimum offers accountancy and legal services for owner managed businesses – including conveyancing, wills and probate – and is a longstanding supporter of TWIGS.

Richard Mathews, CEO at Optimum, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the annual clay shoot again, supporting this fantastic Swindon charity, which does so much to help people with mental health issues.”

Tori Phipps, fundraiser with TWIGS, said: “We’re very much looking forward to the annual clay shoot, which is now in its ninth year. We would like to say a big thank you to Optimum for supporting it once again.”

Individuals and teams of four are welcome, and the cost is £120 per person. Bacon rolls, guns, cartridges, buffet lunch and a helping hand for any novices is all provided. The event runs from 9am to 2pm.

For more information about the TWIGS clay shoot, email Peter Barefoot of property consultants Alder King: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about TWIGS, visit and for Optimum Professional Services, visit

Swindon Town kick off new season with Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Written by Peter Davison.

Imagine Cruising’s product and marketing manager Martin Palmer, Swindon Town’s commercial manager Adam Wainwright, Wiltshire Air Ambulance trainee critical care paramedic Keith Mills, Wiltshire Air Ambulance chief executive David Philpott, Swindon Town chief executive Steve Anderson, Imagine Cruising director Steve MorrishWiltshire Air Ambulance’s logo will sit proudly on the back of Swindon Town’s away shirt for the 2019/20 season.

The Sky Bet League Two club has chosen Wiltshire Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year partner for another season and has kindly donated the prominent sponsorship area to the lifesaving service, which is based in Semington, near Melksham.

In addition, the Robins have pledged to sponsor trainee critical care paramedic Keith Mills, aiming to raise £8,500 throughout the season to fund his training, medical equipment and uniform.

Keith, 46, joined Wiltshire Air Ambulance in 2015 after spending two seasons working as a paramedic at Swindon’s home matches.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance chief executive David Philpott said: “Swindon Town have been long-term supporters of our charity and we’re very grateful to the football club and their sponsors Imagine Cruising for all the money they’ve helped to raise to date.

“We were delighted to welcome Richie Wellens, his staff and playing squad to the airbase today, where they were able to meet Keith, the trainee critical care paramedic they will be sponsoring throughout the season.

“We’re also very proud to take pride of place on the back of the away shirt in what we all hope will be a memorable campaign ahead.”

Swindon’s away kit, produced by Puma, is mirage grey for the 2019/20 season and will now include the Wiltshire Air Ambulance logo on the neckline above each player’s name and squad number.

Last season the Wiltshire club raised £12,000, along with primary sponsors Imagine Cruising, to help fit out the charity’s RRV (Rapid Response Vehicle).

Adam Wainwright, the club’s commercial manager, said: “Last season Imagine Cruising, our mainline sponsors, supported us brilliantly with our £12,000 target and are once again fully engaged with us and Wiltshire Air Ambulance to deliver on the new fundraising total as a three-pronged partnership. 

“We are immensely proud as a Football Club to be right at the heart of the community with this partnership and to have our crest embroidered on the flight suit of the trainee critical care paramedic when he is out saving lives is very powerful.

“It gives us great pleasure to gift the charity the back of our away shirt sponsorship too. We feel ultimately to do the campaign justice, their logo needs to be high in terms of profile and we can raise their profile considerably.

“A great deal of planning has gone into the unique location for this season’s team photo. It was magnificent to be hosted at the airbase; being pictured by the helicopter and RRV emphasises the strength of the partnership. We have a part to play and genuinely care about the community and are passionate about achieving results off the field of play too.

“We very much look forward to all the partnership activation planned and to the day when we can announce that we have hit the target and as a club we have funded a trainee critical care paramedic.”

Imagine Cruising’s Martin Palmer commented: “As Swindon Town Football Club’s main sponsor for the past five years, we are delighted to help assist them in their fundraising goals to fund a trainee critical care paramedic.

“We never know when any of us, our friends or family might need the life-saving services that the Wiltshire Air Ambulance provides and look forward to working together to help save more lives in Wiltshire.”

Swindon Town fans can contribute towards the sponsorship of paramedic Keith by making a donation through a special link –

Clients show they are all heart – after replacing charitable donations

Written by Peter Davison.

Debbie and John at the black tie ballClients of Chippenham-based John Williams Heating Services proved they are all heart, after replacing charity donations bound for the British Heart Foundation which were stolen during a break-in.

The firm raised has £6,000 for the national charity over the past 12 months in memory of the father of MD John Williams, who passed away due to heart failure.

Earlier this year they held a Black Tie Charity Ball which raised more than £4,300 alone. But company co-founders John and Debbie Williams were heartbroken when thieves broke into their premises the day before the event and stole donations which had already been given.

Debbie said: “It was devastating for money donated to this great cause to be taken by thieves who didn’t care about that or about our business. Break-ins like this can cripple or even destroy a small business.

“However, our clients, friends and colleagues in business were fantastic in supporting us and made many donations to replace the stolen money. We are very grateful and would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported us.”

“We’re humbled by the support we’ve had to date,” John said. “This year has been a milestone for the business and for me personally.

"The Ball was a huge success and I’ve run several half marathons to raise money too – I’m now much fitter and healthier and I’m thrilled we’re able to donate such healthy sum for vital research into heart disease.”

Dedicated to their community, John Williams Heating Services, is known for the charitable projects they support and the community events they sponsor every year including the Chippenham Half Marathon and the Chippenham Christmas Light Switch On.

Firm raises £30k for charities with Three Peaks challenge

Written by Peter Davison.

Excalibur climbers at the foot of Snowdon: Jack Ellis, Karl Evans, Michael Dine, Graham Ford, Danny Hale, Darren Harper, Brett King, Richard Price, Paulina Sowa, Peter Boucher, Mike Hayden, Victoria Selvon, Ben Bryant, Becky Davies with support crew; Carly Deacon, Emma Carter, Ian Carter, Gary GleedA 14-strong team from IT communications and solutions provider Excalibur Communications has successfully completed the iconic National Three Peaks Challenge within 24 hours.

The team began their quest on Ben Nevis at 6:30am on Saturday, August 3, completing it by 6:18 am on Sunday 4th, at the base of Snowdon.

Colleagues from across, sales, marketing, finance and tech support, took part in the climb, magnificently supported by four crew who drove and catered for the team throughout the challenge.

The challenge raised over £30,000 for three South West charities nominated by Excalibur employees. Each mountain represented a charity: Ben Nevis - Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Scafell Pike - Jessie May, and Snowdon - Bristol Children’s Charity.

Peter Boucher, Excalibur CEO, speaking about the Three Peaks experience, said: “This has been the hardest physical challenge that most of the team has ever undertaken, including myself.

"Climbing for three fantastic causes chosen by the Excalibur team was a huge motivator and benefits our charities to the tune of £30,000.

"With over a third of the company actively involved, Three Peaks is a great example of how well we work as a team.”

The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest mountains in each representative country; Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Snowdon in Wales.

It covers 26 miles and involves 3,064 meters of ascent. Whilst popular, it is a difficult event, particularly as it involves a level of sleep deprivation and 462 miles of driving.

Back in the office, Excalibur encouraged the whole business to get involved by installing step machines, counting laps around the local lake and holding a fundraising cake sale.

Excalibur suppliers and local businesses including; Cabledata, Ironshare, 24HRGYM, RedRock Consulting, MDEE and Thrings sponsored the event.

Housing association raises nearly £20,000 for cancer charity

Written by Peter Davison.

Shine Walk


Housing association Aster Group has raised nearly £20,000 for Cancer Research UK in just nine months.

Since announcing CRUK as its Charity of the Year back in February, Devizes-based Aster has completed several challenges – including London’s Shine Night Walk, and Woof Walkies – to raise £19,300 for the charity.

The most recent saw more than 100 colleagues take part in the Walk All Over Cancer challenge in October, walking over 30,000,00 steps and raising £2,412 alone.

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