Lichfield District Benefits From £5000 Giveaway

The We Love Lichfield fund has presented more than £5,000 to good causes from across the district in it’s now annual Spring Giveaway.  A presentation at The George Hotel last Friday (May 15) saw representatives from seven groups gather to receive cash donations. The We Love Lichfield Fund raises money which is then invested and the interest accrued is given out in grants of up to £1,000 twice a year. The aim is to help organisations in Lichfield, Burntwood and the surrounding villages who “make a difference”.

The groups receiving grants this time were Elford Boys (£1,000), St James C of E Primary School (£450), Friends 2 Friends (£1,000), Hammerwich Cricket Club (£993), Abacus Preschool Playgroup (£535), Shenstone Tennis Club (£551) and The Cooper Recreation Room (£1,000).

Special guests on Friday were Pauline Walker and Pauline McCaw of Burntwood Breast Care and John and Wendy Gilbert of Whittington Community Computer Group. Both groups are former recipients and explained to those gathered how the We Love Lichfield Fund has helped them.

“The computer group brings us together,” said Wendy Gilbert on behalf of the computer group which gives older people and the disabled the chance to learn more about IT. It is money we have received from the We Love Lichfield Fund which has allowed us to keep going.”

Pauline Walker of Burntwood Breast Care explained how the group, which supports women diagnosed with the disease, was formed because there was nothing of its kind in the area.

“It is a social group and we provide flowers, cards and visit members,” said Pauline. We do try to be as self-sufficient as we can and do our own fund-raising. But without groups like the We Love Lichfield Fund we would not be able to survive.”

Speeches were made by two members of Lichfield’s Friends 2 Friends group at the We Love Lichfield Fund presentation last Friday exemplified why the charity’s work is so important.

Friends 2 Friends is a social group for people with learning disabilities. It is user-led and members are given the opportunity to learn all kinds of new skills to help promote their confidence and independence with the help of support staff. Kevin Pudney and Anthony Wellon were present to receive a cheque for £1,000 from the fund which will help the group continue.

“Before Friends 2 Friends I spent all my time in the pub or the betting shop,” said Kevin. I met Alison (Wellon) who runs the group and told her I wanted to learn to swim. I now go swimming every week.

“Friends 2 Friends gave me a surprise 60th birthday party at Lichfield Social Club and I am organising a day out at Uttoxeter Races in June. Anthony said before Friends 2 Friends he used to stay in and watch TV and listen to music. I have made a lot of new friends who I see every day and I have had a girlfriend for two years who I met at the group. We all have jobs at the group – I am the kitchen manager. I love going to Friends 2 Friends and going out with my friends’ afterwards. The group does its own fund-raising but support from the We Love Lichfield Fund will help it to continue.”

Patron and donor adviser for the We Love Lichfield Fund Simon Price said that a legacy is being created for the future of the Lichfield district. He hopes that next year there will be £250,000 in the fund and wished to highlight those who have pledged their support. They include The George Hotel, Weston Park, Le Reve cocktail bar, Richard Worth of Worth Brothers Wines, The Garrick Theatre, Darnford Moors Golf Club and individuals such as Whittington man John Heeler who ran the London Marathon recently in support of the fund and Councillor Norma Bacon, this year’s chairman of Lichfield District Council who has selected the fund as one of her chosen charities.

Finally the We Love Lichfield Fund would like to say a big thank you to The George Hotel for hosting the presentation and for its hospitality.