Members of the University of Warwick Choir supported us again this year and sang beautifully for nearly two hours on 11th December to entertain the late shoppers in the Royal Priors. A total of £259.41 was raised – a great total in such a short time. A big thank you to them all and the helpful Royal Priors staff.
As part of our national Christmas Jumper Day which was supported last year by George at ASDA, we collected at the Leamington store on 5th and 6th December and their ever generous customers donated a grand total of £624.96 so a big thank you to them and to the staff at ASDA for making us so welcome.
The weather was kind, the crowds were huge and everyone enjoyed themselves and the Christmas Lights Switch-On. We sold homemade cakes and raffle tickets – and raised £346.23.
Our seventh Christmas Fair was our most successful to date and raised well over £5,000. Leamington Town Hall was again bursting at the seams with exhibitors and visitors, with 61 exhibitors and well over 3,000 shoppers thronging the building. A new venture was the performance of live music from ‘Rusty Bows’ who busked on the main stage in the Assembly Room on Saturday morning and were a big hit. A big thank you to them and to all the volunteers who worked incredibly hard to ensure the success of the Fair. Thanks are also due to Alsters Kelley for their financial support of the Fair. The 2015 Fair is on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November. If you would like to exhibit this year then please contact Ann Bailey at email@example.com.
A very successful Coffee Morning was held in Tredington on 11th October, with over £550 raised. Marilyn Payne, Volunteer Leader for Warwickshire, who organised the Coffee Morning, has requested that the money raised be donated to the Ebola Appeal as she visited a number of our projects in Liberia last year, with other Save the Children volunteers, and says “I would like it to go to the Ebola appeal, as my friends in Liberia are close to my heart”.
Save the Children teams are on the ground in West Africa responding to the Ebola outbreak which has killed 3,500 people so far in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. We are treating patients, supporting children and raising awareness of how to prevent infection. But we need your support if we are to stop this deadly epidemic spreading.
In Liberia, the estimated 2,000 children who have lost both parents to Ebola now find themselves on the edges of society. Without a coordinated international response to the virus, the futures of an entire generation could be in jeopardy.
We were greatly saddened to learn of Connie’s death on 2nd October aged 100. She died peacefully at home and had remained alert and engaged to the very end of her long and full life.
Connie was born Mary Cornelia Messler in America on 22nd April 194 in Trenton, New Jersey. Marriage to Eric Sharman brought her to the UK, and to Leamington Spa, in 1954 where she immediately became involved in her local community, including a group that came together to mark World Refugee Year in 1959. When this campaign ended, the group stayed together to form the Leamington, Warwick & Kenilworth branch of Save the Children, making it one of the oldest in the country.
Since its inception it is estimated that the branch has raised close to £500,000 – £280,451.59 since the introduction of computerised records in September 1988. 2013 was a record year from the branch, with £25,166.59 raised.
When she celebrated her 100th birthday in April – with no fewer than four parties – Connie also set a target to raise £5,000 during her centenary year. The fund currently stands at £3,301.71 and donations in Connie’s memory are welcome at www.justgiving.com/connie-sharman.
As Connie left her body to medical science there was no funeral but there will be a celebration of her life held at the end of the year.
The sun shone, 25,000 people flooded into Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens and a great time was had by all. Now in its seventh year, the Leamington Food Festival is one of our favourite events as we love the relaxed atmosphere and the wonderful diversity of the flavours on offer. We were again fortunate to secure space and ran a giant food and drink tombola which proved popular with young and old alike, with almost 1,000 prizes won over the two days – and £941.64 raised. A big thank you to Stephanie Kerr and her wonderful team at BID Leamington (many of them volunteers) for another great event. Can we come again next year please?
As the situation in Iraq worsened, with thousands fleeing their homes and livelihoods, Save the Children launched an appeal which we wanted to support. Despite the short notice, Sainsbury’s in Leamington allowed us to collect at the store on the August Bank Holiday Sunday and £267.10 was donated by their ever generous customers.
Our thanks are due to them and to Zoe and her colleagues at Sainsbury’s for fitting us in to their busy schedule.
The current fighting in Iraq is leading to a huge humanitarian crisis as more than a million people have been forced to leave their homes for safety. Our teams are on the ground in northern Iraq and at the time of our collection had already helped 100,000 people, providing children and families fleeing their homes with water, food, shelter and hygiene basics like soap and toothbrushes. As the crisis deepens we will need to do more.
Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director Tina Yu says: “I have never known such a rapid moment of displacement, and it’s putting aid agencies like ours under an enormous amount of pressure to meet the needs of incredibly vulnerable people.
“We’re seeing children and families who’ve fled their homes, often in the middle of the night, fearing for their lives and with nothing but the clothes on their backs. When they find somewhere safe to shelter they often don’t have the means to buy basic necessities like food and medicine, and they don’t know if their lives will ever be the same again.”
How you can help
Please support us so we can help the huge numbers of children forced from their homes in Iraq:
Or call 0800 8148 148 to donate by phone.
We joined in the fun of the Folk Festival again this year and it was busier then ever as a growing number of charity stalls in Warwick market square this year were joined by an antiques market which helped swell the numbers. We raised £ 160.72 for the Gaza Appeal from donations and the sale of homemade cakes, cookies and other goodies.