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macmillan ankerside

GENEROUS shoppers have helped to raise more than £1,800, as a Tamworth shopping centre hosted its biggest fundraising day of the year in aid of the UK’s leading cancer charity.

On Saturday, 30 September, Ankerside Shopping Centre teamed up with Lichfield and Tamworth Villages Fundraising Committee to host its sixth annual Macmillan Coffee Day, which saw shoppers enjoy special activities including a teddy bear tombola, Greggs cake decorating and a prize raffle.

Jeff Wigley, Centre Manager at Ankerside Shopping Centre, said Saturday was a brilliant day for raising money for Macmillan. “For the past six years, we’ve had an overwhelming response to our biggest fundraising event and this year was just as successful, raising £1,826.

Ankerside Shopping Centre staff with Macmillan volunteers.

“We started this year’s charity events a couple of days early at our monthly Stay & Play morning, where little ones had the chance to decorate mugs, which were then sold for a donation at our main event on Saturday,” Jeff said. “Plus, we had the Macmillan team in the centre on Friday to start selling the raffle tickets.

“The raffle proved to be the most popular activity throughout the day with amazing prizes from Druckers, Specsavers and Boots. Plus, some of our stakeholders donated great items including two tickets to an England game at Wembley, free parking in the Ankerside car park and a Drayton Manor pass for two people.

“With the success of this year’s charity day, in total we have managed to donate more than £10,000, with the help of our shoppers over the last few years,” Jeff added.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to donate as well as to the many Ankerside retailers who got involved and we look forward to hosting our Macmillan Coffee Day again next year.”

PEOPLE from in and around Tamworth are being invited to the town’s shopping centre, as they gear up for the return of its fundraising day in aid of one of the UK’s leading cancer charities.

On Saturday, 30 September, Ankerside Shopping Centre will be teaming up with Macmillan Tamworth and the local fundraising committee to host its sixth annual Macmillan Coffee Day giving shoppers the chance to win fantastic prizes whilst they donate.

Between 11am and 4pm, the shopping centre will play host to everything from a teddy bear tombola and a cake decorating stall to a charity raffle with prizes including a bottle of wine, one month’s free parking and crazy golf vouchers.

Jeff Wigley, Centre Manager at Ankerside Shopping Centre, said he is so pleased to be able to host a full day of charity fun for Macmillan. “The last few years of fundraising for Macmillan have been a huge success with last year bringing our overall total to almost £9,000. This year we’re sure that even more people will be coming along to show their support,” he said.

“Throughout the day, we’re inviting shoppers to stop by the centre and take part in the huge variety of exciting activities,” he said. “Our prize raffle is always popular with shoppers and we have lots of prizes from our retailers and local stakeholders including a bottle of wine from Specsavers, one month’s free parking from the APCOA team running the Ankerside car park, a NAMCO voucher for bowling and crazy golf, a hamper of goodies from Druckers and two tickets to see England play at Wembley.

“Plus, little shoppers will have the chance to enjoy tucking into some candy floss, decorate their very own cake with Greggs and have their faces painted,” Jeff added.

Pauline Lewis, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan, said, “We are absolutely delighted that Ankerside Shopping Centre are supporting Lichfield and Tamworth Committee’s WBCM event again this year,” she said.

“We’re really hoping all the local business and the kind people of Tamworth will enjoy a festival of fundraising to help support people affected by cancer in Staffordshire!

“Thank you to the businesses who have generously donated prizes. We would really love as many shops as possible to collect too with a Macmillan collecting tin in store, or staff could dress up in Macmillan green to highlight their support”

Office Abbott Run

TWO companies local to Tamworth have raised a staggering £24,909.09 for Cancer Research UK through their organisation of a Fun Run and Summer Ball. 

The Office Pub organises ‘The Office Abbott Run’ annually and is also supported by local Nissan Dealership, Polesworth Garage.  Last year the annual run included the ‘Abbot’ name for the first time. This was in honour of local Polesworth resident Karen Abbott who sadly lost her battle to cancer on 22 March 2016.  Karen was a keen runner and a Police Sergeant at Tamworth Police Station.

The event is now in it’s fourth year and is growing every time. It sees sees men, women and children run, jog or walk the 5K.  The course is from Polesworth Garage on Grendon Road in Polesworth to The Office Pub in Warton.

This year, the run which took place on Sunday 9 July raised an AMAZING £12,636.79 for Cancer Research. The figure which exceeded the 2016 total, as the event continues to grow.

That was not all however, Polesworth Garage wanted to top up this figure and donate even more to the very worthy cause. Earlier in the year,  they organised a 50th Anniversary Summer Ball, to celebrate the company trading for half a century! This ball was held in honour of Chairman, Bill Newbold, who sadly passed away with Cancer in October 2016.  This ball raised an incredible £12,272.30.

Polesworth Garage decided that they wanted to donate this entire fund to the Office Abbott run figure. Because of this, the total raised jumped to an astonishing £24,909.09!

An amazing well done to everyone involved in organising the events. Also to everyone who has taken part in the the fun run.

GENEROUS shoppers have helped to raise more than £1,000 for the UK’s leading dementia charity, after an award-winning supermarket hosted a week of fundraising at the town’s shopping centre.

The team at Tamworth’s Iceland store, based at Ankerside Shopping Centre, has raised almost £1,100 for dementia support charity, Alzheimer’s Society, with in-store fundraising activities including guessing games, cake sales and bucket collections.

Andy Stock, store manager of the centre’s Iceland store, said he is thrilled to be able to donate such a brilliant amount to the supermarket’s chosen charity.  “During our fundraising week in August, we had an incredible response from shoppers, other store staff and the centre team,” he said.

“Throughout the week, people from in and around Tamworth were extremely generous taking part in ‘guess how many sweets are in the jar’ and ‘guess the name of the teddy bear’. Plus, we baked and sold our own cakes for a small donation and welcomed local representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society to host bucket collections.

“As Iceland donate all funds from the carrier bag charges to the charity, we wanted to continue the fundraising with some fun activity,” he said. “This will ensure that the Alzheimer’s Society can continue its brilliant work supporting those suffering with dementia and undergoing further research, including a new multi-million-pound research centre plan, which is set to help people nationally.

“We had a fantastic time raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society in August and we can’t thank Ankerside shoppers enough for their support and generosity,” Andy said.

Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said the staff at Iceland had done an excellent job showing their support for their chosen charity. “We really commend the team for being committed to raising vital funds for the Alzheimer’s Society,” he said.

“We would like to congratulate Andy and the staff at Iceland on their fantastic accomplishments with their charity fundraising so far this year and we look forward to hearing more about their continued success.”

A TAMWORTH mum and her disabled son have taken part in the Superhero Triathlon to raise money for Warwick Cancer Centre.

The Triathlon is part of the UK’s only disability sports series which allows people with disabilities to participate in events without the restrictions of cut-off times or equipment use.

Maria’s MacCallum’s 11 year old son John has an undiagnosed condition but has all the symptoms of severe cerebral palsy. Together they completed the half triathlon in 1 hour 14 minutes. University of Warwick IT worker Maria powered her son John around the entire course, towing him in a kayak in the water, pulling him in the bike event and pushing him for the run section. Together they completed a 400m swim, 10k bike ride and 2.5k run.

Maria said: “I’ve wanted to do an event with John for ages. I want him to experience everything life has to offer. I’ve been doing various sports for years including running with John. I’ve been swimming at a local lake for a while and I hire a trailer for John to sit in from quest88 for the bike part which I practised on safe routes like the Tissington trail and Kingsbury water park. However the most difficult part of the triathlon is the nerves beforehand….and remembering to bring all the equipment!

“I chose to support Warwick Cancer Centre because I can’t think of a better charity to fund and I know the money is spent wisely.”

The Superhero Triathlon took place on Saturday 19 August at Dorney Lake, Windsor and Maria and John were cheered on by her other son 13 year old Andrew and the boys’ father Alistair.

John MacCullum and his mum Maria MacCullum

John MacCullum and his mum Maria MacCullum

So far Maria has raised £160 for Warwick Cancer Research Centre which conducts innovative studies that will directly impact patients with cancer. Based at the University of Warwick it bring together experts from a range of fields such as medicine, life sciences, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and economics. Working closely with the Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, its researchers are active across local hospitals including University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).

Charlotte Maytum, Community Fundraiser at the Warwick Cancer Research Centre, said: “We are very grateful to Maria and John for their ‘Superhero’ feat to help us continue our research. We would love to hear from other individuals, organisations and companies who want to help support our work.”

Maria’s JustGiving page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maria-maccallum1

Drayton Manor Carousel

FOLLOWING the success of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity smashing its £3.65M Star Appeal target, children and their families were invited for a ‘party in the park’ at Drayton Manor Park.

On Friday 18th August, the popular family attraction provided a fun and free day out for inspirational families treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, affected by rare or undiagnosed conditions.  The day provided the perfect opportunity for families to make memories and simply have fun together!

With over 100 rides and attractions to explore, Europe’s only Thomas Land™ proved a popular destination on the day, whilst others enjoyed family favourites such as Polperro Express and Yogi Bear in the 4D cinema. Animal lovers were impressed with the park’s 15-acre Zoo, learning about the exciting conservation initiatives and seeing the latest arrivals including the twin baby Cotton-Top Tamarins, baby Tapir and Red Pandas!

The money raised through the Star Appeal will fund a bespoke Rare Disease Centre for children – the first of its kind in the UK. Patients will benefit from the new centre, as it will improve diagnosis, ensure patients are at the forefront of research and medical advances, and help stop families feeling isolated and alone.

Kirsty White, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Drayton Manor Park for joining in with our Star Appeal celebrations and organising an incredible day out for some of our brave patients and families living with a rare or undiagnosed condition.

“We’re absolutely delighted that our £3.65 million Star Appeal has recently reached target and it was wonderful to see our children, who are living with some of the most complex conditions imaginable, enjoying themselves at Drayton Manor. A big thanks to the team for their very kind gesture – we all had a truly memorable day!”

To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1950.


THE local Macmillan Tamworth and Lichfield Fundraisers will hold a ‘Recruitment Day’ in order to encourage more people to volunteer for the charity and contribute to your community.

The event will take place at Roasters Restaurant, Ventura Park, Tamworth on Wednesday 16th August from 230pm to 4pm.

Volunteers from the local Macmillan fund raising team will be on hand to chat about how they fundraise in the Tamworth and Lichfield area.

With volunteers currently at a minimum, the small but active group see having new members as being the difference between being able to attend and raise money at a fundraising opportunity, or be forced to turn it down.

Simply seeking like-minded volunteers to give up even just a few hours a month, being a part of the group provides the chance to make a vital difference to local people affected by cancer. 

Money raised by the group is used exclusively to support people in the local area.

In 2015 Macmillan supported Tamworth people with the following:

  • 85 unique Macmillan Support Line callers 56 Macmillan Grants awarded totalling £9,873.
  • 29 unique customers support for benefits total unlocked £105,052.
  • 25 people helped via Mobile Information Unit.
  • 6 hours spent in the area.

Claire Morden, Treasurer of the local group said:

Our current volunteers all have different reasons to be a part of the group, but come with the same aim. To raise money for the charity that deals with an illness that affects so many lives. Pop in to Roasters (Ventura) for a coffee and a chat. The time is on you, the coffee is on us.”

Reftech van with donations for the food bank

REFTECH, a Tamworth business that provides a cloud based event management system for events worldwide, has collected over 350 items of food to donate to the Tamworth Food Bank for local families.

The Amington based software business has had a long relationship with Tamworth Foodbank which collects and distributes goods to local people in crisis with the 30 staff at RefTech bringing in a variety of non-perishable foods during the past few weeks, which the company then matched like for like to reach the substantial total.

Margaret Reeves, managing director at RefTech said: “We have supported our local food bank for a number of years now, donating on a regular basis.  Our employees are very generous and are whole heartedly behind the support we offer.  We really want to ensure that families in Tamworth are able to get help when it is needed especially at this time of year when foodbanks are visited more frequently.”

RefTech will continue to support the great work that the Tamworth Foodbank offer to local families and would like to encourage other local businesses to do the same.

Staff at RefTech supporting the Foodbank

Staff at RefTech supporting the Foodbank

READ MORE: Tamworth school raises £1,000 in 5k dash



THE countdown is on to this summer’s fundraising FamilyFest Charity and Community Festival, bringing wall-to-wall music, entertainment and fun for all the family to Sutton Coldfield.

The hugely popular event is back for 2017 and following two successful years at Buzzards Valley Vineyard, it has this year moved to a bigger venue at Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club.

FamilyFest will span two days packed full of live music, activities, games, shows, food and entertainment on Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12 – with two nights of camping available for those who want to make a weekend of it.

The fun gets underway at 7pm on Friday (gates open at 5pm) with the ‘after work’ get together beer festival and prosecco tent, featuring live music from local bands, including former Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Andy Bennett.

This will be a nice warm up to Saturday’s FamilyFest bonanza which includes a fun fair, inflatables, zorb balls, a climbing wall, face painting, Chase from Paw Patrol, dog show, dad dancing competition, donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary in Sutton Park, Sutton Street Food Festival and Sutton Beer Festival and Prosecco Tent.

Coaches from Aston Villa FC will also be on hand to deliver fun activities and challenging competitions throughout the day, together with a Belfry Golf School, Sutton Netball, a touch rugby competition with Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club and much more.

For something slightly different, youngsters will also be able to take part in special Jedi Training sessions. There will be two sessions (3pm and 4.30pm), which are limited to 30 spaces each and must be booked in advance via the FamilyFest Facebook page, after purchasing FamilyFest tickets.

Gates open at 12pm on the Saturday with lots of activities for younger children, before developing a more adult theme into the evening with the Sutton Coldfield Beer Festival and Prosecco tent and live music from three local bands, finishing at 10.30pm.

FamilyFest is completely not for profit with all proceeds being donated to charity. The event has raised a total of £17,500 for local good causes over the last two years and this year all proceeds will be donated to the Midlands Air Ambulance.

FamilyFest came to life in 2015 when a group of business networkers from Sutton Coldfield decided to organise a family picnic – which quickly snowballed into a major fundraising event.

Event organiser and keen networker, Anthony Levelle, owner of property and garden maintenance company, Curb Appeal, said: “We’ve been amazed by the success of FamilyFest to date. We really just wanted to create a fun day out for the whole family, with high quality entertainment and reasonably priced activities.

“It is very well supported by the business community and we’ve been amazed by how much money we have raised for charity.

“We’re at our new, bigger venue this year with weekend camping and so much to do for everyone, so it should be another great event. We’d love to see lots of people coming along to join the fun.”

Tickets are priced at £5 for Friday’s after work music and beer festival, which takes place between 7pm and 10.30pm, and £10 for Saturday’s 12pm to 10.30pm extravaganza. Weekend camping is available for just £10. Under 14s are free of charge all weekend but still need to book a ticket. To secure your place please visit https://www.fatsoma.com/familyfest.


cathedral to castle runners

THE hugely popular Lichfield Cathedral to Tamworth Castle 10-mile charity run will be back for 2018 with more than double the amount of spaces.

After an incredibly successful first year, which saw the event sell out in just six days, the four Rotary clubs of Tamworth and Lichfield have joined forces again to organise an even bigger event for 2018.

This time the number of available places has been extended from 500 to 1,200 to give more people the chance to run the iconic course, linking the two historical monuments.

Other new features for 2018 will include children’s and juniors fun runs in Tamworth Castle Grounds and an even bigger family fun day at the finish line in the Tamworth park.

Next year’s route has also been amended slightly to take in Cathedral Close in Lichfield after starting in Beacon Park, so runners are able to get even closer to Lichfield Cathedral.

Demand for the inaugural event was unexpectedly high, with the 500 available spaces filling up within six days and a list of a further 1,500 people hoping for cancellations.

All proceeds were donated to charity, resulting in thousands being shared between the local charities chosen by the Rotary clubs of Tamworth, Tamworth Anker, Lichfield and Lichfield St Chad.

The 2018 Rotary Cathedral to Castle Run will take place on Sunday, April 8 and will again start in Beacon Park in Lichfield and finish in the grounds of Tamworth Castle.

The 10-mile route has been carefully mapped out and crosses a variety of terrain including Lichfield City Centre, Ministry of Defence land at Whittington Barracks and Hopwas Woods.

c2c route

The 2017 c2c route.

Entry opens on August 3 at www.c2crun.co.uk and this year’s £25 entry price includes a finisher’s T-shirt, a goodie bag and new for 2018, a medal. All proceeds will again be donated to four charities to be chosen by the Rotary clubs and runners are welcome to raise additional sponsorship money for charities of their choosing.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedKyle Raffo, Tamworth Rotary Club member and run director for the Cathedral to Castle Run, said: “The inaugural Cathedral to Castle Run exceeded all our expectations in terms of how popular it was. The whole day was incredibly successful, with thousands being raised for local charities. Now we’re back for 2018 with an even bigger and better event.

“We were quite conservative with numbers for the first year as we wanted to test the logistics of putting it all together. Now that this is all in place we can more than double the number of runners to give more people the chance to take part and hopefully raise even more money for charity.

“Registration opens on August 3 and we would encourage anyone who wants to take part to sign up quickly to avoid disappointment.”

Last year the event was widely supported by Tamworth and Lichfield businesses who helped cover the costs through corporate sponsorship. A variety of sponsorship packages are again available for 2018, starting from as little as £100. Any businesses interested are asked to email [email protected].

Visit www.c2crun.co.uk to register for the 2018 Rotary Cathedral to Castle Run. Runners must be aged 16 or over.

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