Community Champions

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

Law firm aim to give air ambulance appeal a lift

Written by Peter Davison .

Wiltshire Air AmbulanceStaff at law firm Bevirs are appealing to the community in Royal Wootton Bassett to support their latest fundraising drive.

Bevirs’ staff from their office in Royal Wootton Bassett’s High Street will be raising money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On and Shopping event on Friday, December 2 from 6pm.

Derek Brown, partner and head of Bevirs’ conveyance team, said: “This is an important event in our calendar as it brings the local community together for one evening ready for the festive season.

“We hope to raise as much as we can for our chosen charity, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, which plays a vital role in helping people who are involved in road accidents or who need urgent life-saving medical attention.”

The charity’s mascot, Wilbur, will be on hand to meet families and the Bevirs’ team will be offering refreshments and cakes on the night.

Royal Wootton Bassett’s Christmas Light Switch On and Shopping event attracts thousands of visitors and the High Street is closed to traffic between 6pm and 8pm.

Shops open late, there is live music, entertainment, hot food and many local businesses, charities and organisations man stalls all along the High Street as part of a festive tradition.

The Consortium helps local school following arson attack

Written by Peter Davison .

Image courtesy of Wiltshire PoliceEducation and care supplier The Consortium has responded to an incident at a Warminster school by offering to replace equipment damaged in the fire.

As well as 34 students’ and teachers’ desks, the Trowbridge-based company provided the The Avenue School with 72 chairs within a matter of days.

“We are immensely grateful for the speed in which The Consortium was able to turn the donation around,” said Jane Lawrence from the Warminster school.

“These may seem like small things but it had a huge impact, allowing our school to begin resuming normality.”

The fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday, January 4 and by Friday the school had received the replacement chairs.

The desks were delivered at 8am on the Monday morning, which meant the school was able to reopen for years five and six that same day.

“We are delighted we were able to respond so quickly in such a short time, and support one of our customers when they really needed us,” said Matt Palmer, commercial director at The Consortium.

The company has also arranged for further donations of educational supplies which include pens, paint and footballs, to help the school get back on its feet again.

On your bike, charity tells networkers

Written by Peter Davison .

High Sheriff of Wiltshire David Hempleman-Adams Trowbridge Bike WorkshopThe Julian House bike workshop in Trowbridge will be throwing its doors open to local business in an event to mark the charity’s 30th anniversary.

And business leaders will be asked to get on their bikes – or at least one provided by the workshop – to power a smoothie maker by pedal power.

On this stationary bike, cyclists can power a blender that sits over the front wheel and serve up a healthy smoothie in about 30 seconds.

The Smoothie bike is normally hired out for corporate events or events held outdoors.

Julian House Bike Workshop sells bikes and maintenance services whilst training people dealing with addiction, homelessness, domestic violence, criminal convictions and mental health issues in bike repair.

Profits from the charity’s three workshops – in Trowbridge, Bath and Bristol – support the work of the charity.

The networking event – which is being run in association with Inspire by Wessex Chambers – will be held on Wednesday, February 1 from 10.30am until noon, and will be followed by one of Inspire’s popular drop-in sessions.

For more information, or to book a place, log on to


Wiltshire Business and Sports Gala to return in 2017

Written by Peter Davison .

Wiltshire Business and Sports Gala grant recipients 2016An event through which Wiltshire businesses have raised £50,000 for the county’s elite athletes will return in March.

The fourth Wiltshire Business and Sports Gala Dinner – co-hosted by Wiltshire Council and Inspire by Wessex Chambers – will take place on Thursday March 16 in the atrium of County Hall, Trowbridge.

The annual fundraising event helps Wiltshire’s future sports stars reach their goal of competing at the highest level in their chosen field.

Past recipients include Team GB Paralympic gold medal winning swimmers Stephanie Millward and Aaron Moores, world champion mountain bike orienteering rider Emily Benham, and world champion sprint canoeist Hannah Brown.

It’s about time – Wiltshire’s oldest business hosts charity launch

Written by Peter Davison .

Vince Danaher (CSW), carer Helen Taylor, Sebastian Salt (W.Carter & Son), Steve Rose (CSW), and Jon Berridge (CSW)Wiltshire’s oldest business has hosted the launch of a charity appeal which aims to give time to the county’s carers.

Carer Support Wiltshire launched a £25,000 appeal to give the thousands of unpaid carers they support a break at jewellers W.Carter & Son – founded in 1817 – in Salisbury on Friday.

The Time for Carers appeal aims to raise the money by July – and the charity is already a third of the way there, thanks to donations and grants.

The funds will be used to help some of the county’s 47,500 unpaid carers who look after loved ones, to have time for themselves, away from caring - whether that’s to take an exercise class, see friends, have a pamper session or just enjoy some quality time.

The launch coincides with national Young Carers Awareness Day on Thursday, January 26.

“Here at CSW we support adult carers, working closely with our partners to improve the identification and recognition of young carers,” said Catharine Hurford, CSW chief executive.

“One thing all carers say – whatever their age – is that they need a little time for themselves. Yet our research shows one in three carers never have a weekend or evening break from their caring role, and one in three feel guilty if they do.

“Many don’t have time to enjoy some of the things we all take for granted, like a trip to the cinema, taking part in a sporting activity or spending time with friends. This can affect their physical and mental wellbeing and lead to feelings of isolation.

“All the money we raise through this appeal will go directly to enabling carers to have a bit of time to themselves.”

The charity hopes businesses will back the appeal by making it their adopted charity. Individuals or groups and organisations are being invited to hold fundraisers or sponsored events.

For more information about the appeal and how to raise money or make a donation visit or contact Carer Support Wiltshire free on 0800 181 4118.

Working For Carers annual gala to celebrate achievements

Written by Peter Davison .

2016 Gold Award winners Home Instead Senior Care Bath and West WiltshireAn evening of networking and celebration awaits at the Working For Carers 2017 Annual Gala.

Wiltshire businesses will be awarded for their commitment to unpaid carers in their workforce with gold, silver and bronze awards up for grabs.

As well as celebrating success the evening will be a key networking occasion, with businesses from across the region attending.

One in five carers gives up employment because of their caring responsibilities. Working For Carers work with employers to promote carer awareness within their organisation, improve line manager training, and to create a compassionate and supportive culture for their employees.

Speakers will include Jan de Jonge, founder and director of Wiltshire-based consultancy People Business Psychology Ltd, who will talk about the psychology of care and well-being.

Entertainment will be provided by vintage songbird Lula May, performing popular jazz and swing numbers from the 40s to the 60s.

The event takes place on Thursday, March 2 at Devizes Town Hall.

For more information, or to book a place, log on to


New Swindon poem now has a video

Written by Peter Davison .

Pebley Beach MD Dominic Threlfall and Swindon community poet Tony Hillier at the launch of Swindon DiamondsA new poem celebrating Swindon in its 175th year as a railway town has been released with an accompanying video.

Swindon Diamonds is read by its creator, community poet Tony Hillier, who performed at many of the key locations mentioned in the poem.

The poem, a celebration of Swindon and its achievements, was commissioned by Swindon and Cirencester-based motor dealer, Pebley Beach as part of the firm’s support of Swindon 175, which marks 175 years since the railway arrived in the town.

It was first performed as part of Swindon Festival of Literature back in September.

The video was filmed and edited by Swindon-based Create Studios.

"This is the first time we've commissioned a poem,” said Pebley Beach managing director, Dominic Threlfall.

“It’s been incredibly well received, and to hear the poet’s own words over the images of familiar Swindon scenes really brings it to life.”

The poem touches on cars and trains, but other Swindon innovations too, from the World War Two Spitfire to Garrard record decks.

Landmarks including Canal Walk, the Mechanics’ Institute, and – of course – the Magic Roundabouts are all name-checked.

The video even includes Tony playing table tennis in Quarry Road play park, while reciting a verse of the poem.

The three-and-a-half minute video is free to view at