A group of local ‘super volunteers’ have raised more than £32,000 for Staffordshire-based children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation.
Mike and Trish Mellor and Janette Arrowsmith co-ordinated the group’s activities as they worked together over a six-month period from November 2010. The self-styled ‘Supergroup’ of around 30 volunteers sorted, de-labelled, displayed and sold clothing stock for Newlife, which has its own trading superstore in Cannock.
Mike Mellor, from Cannock, said: “Members of the group managed to persuade schools and church halls in Dudley, Sedgley, Willenhall, Cannock and Telford to let us use their premises free of charge, to hold sales in aid of Newlife, which last year awarded specialist equipment grants to more than 15,500 children across the UK at a cost of £1.2million.
“Our group started off small but we ended up with a core of around 30 wonderful people who gave their time willingly. Many of the people who came together didn’t previously know each other and the nice spin-off has been that they have found a great spirit of comradeship. As the project blossomed so did friendships, while at the same time doing something very positive and worthwhile.”
He added: “I would like to say a word of thanks to all the venues that helped us, to the group’s volunteers and – last but not least – to the members of the public who supported these sales.”
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “We are very grateful to this ‘Supergroup’ of super people who have given up their valuable time to raise the not inconsiderable sum of £32,000 – and I understand the donations are still coming in.
“Newlife is going to need all the help it can get as it is experiencing a dramatic rise in calls to its Nurse helpline; enquiries were up a staggering 86 per cent in the first eight weeks of the new financial year compared to the same period in 2010. And the numbers are likely to rise as families of disabled and terminally ill children are being crushed under a pile of local authority cuts. They are being denied information about and access to essential equipment for their children, and by the time they contact Newlife many are at desperation point.”