Staff at Swansea and Neath-Port Talbot opticians have helped donate nearly £20,000 to the Welsh brain injury charity, Cerebra, following a year of fundraising.
A combined effort
Specsavers stores in Gorseinon, Morriston, the Kingsway, Neath and Port Talbot joined forces with other Specsavers stores across south and mid-Wales, to raise as much as possible in one year for children with brain conditions, and their families.
By organising an array of activities, including bake sales, fancy dress days, cycle-thons and a climb to the top of South Wales’ highest peak, Pen y Fan, Specsavers has donated an impressive £19,121.54 to the Carmarthen-based charity, which currently offers support to more than 4,500 families with children who have brain conditions such as Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy, so that they can live full and active lives.
Taryn Evans, Specsavers store director in Port Talbot, says: ‘The support provided by Cerebra is, sadly, much-needed by many families across Wales. During our time working with Cerebra, we’ve learnt the advice and information it provides to families goes far beyond leaflet sharing. It offers practical help and guidance to families to get the financial and social support they so desperately need when raising a child with a brain condition.’
In addition to its support services and research work, Cerebra also has an Innovation Centre based within the University of Wales Trinity St David, where bespoke equipment is designed and created, free of charge, to make children’s lives easier.
Making life ‘just that bit easier’
During the partnership, Specsavers worked with the team at the Innovation Centre to help six-year-old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, who has cerebral palsy, to climb Pen y Fan for the first time. A group of more than 40 people, including Specsavers staff, army staff and charity workers, helped Imogen summit south Wales’ highest peak.
Ms Evans adds: ‘We’re proud to not only have donated money to Cerebra but create a lasting memory for Imogen and her family. It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without the commitment of our staff, who have continued to fundraise for Cerebra, and the generosity of our local community for supporting our efforts.’
Terry Osborn, head of income generation at Cerebra, says: ‘It’s been brilliant to have the support of a national brand like Specsavers, and we are very grateful for the help stores across Wales have given to Cerebra over the past 12 months. Caring for children with brain injuries can put an immense amount of pressure on families, but the £20,000 raised will ensure life can be made just that bit easier for those we support.’
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