Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

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‘The Running Stormtrooper’ completes final run

Posted on Thursday 14th June 2018 at 10:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Jez Allinson, 'The Running Stormtrooper', taking part in the 2018 London Marathon.

Jez Allinson, a.k.a. ‘The Running Stormtrooper’ completed his final run on 17th May. But what a run it was – 100 kilometres!

For the past three years, Jez, who hails from Stoke Gifford, has been raising money for his favourite charity, the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Last year, by running three half marathons during a Star Wars convention in Orlando, Florida and then the London Marathon, followed by a 40-mile run on 40th May to celebrate 40 years of Star Wars, he raised over £16,000!

This year, he used several half marathons as a warm up before running this year’s London Marathon in very high temperatures. But his final epic run started at one minute past midnight on 17th May when he set off to run 100km.  After 18 hours of continuous running, apart from short breaks to take on refreshments, he finished his run at the main door of Pinewood Studios at 6pm, welcomed by Foundation helpers, Pinewood staff and colleagues from the RAF. He has already raised nearly £7,000 this year.

The Stormtrooper costume Jez wears is a genuine costume supplied by the film studios. Jez, although very fit, says it took a long time to get used to running any distance in the heavy rigid plastic costume. Lots of protective binding is required!

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Legion looking for more knitters to meet demand for popular poppy line

Posted on Sunday 22nd April 2018 at 8:52 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of a knitted poppy.

The Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is looking to recruit more people to knit the famous red flower in readiness for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Each year, members of the RBL and other volunteers, set up stalls to raise money for their welfare fund. This originally started with the sale of the paper poppies and a pin but has now grown to include brooches, bracelets, hair clips, keyrings and, of course, the knitted poppies. Due to the popularity of the knitted poppies, the RBL needs the help of the local community in order to make enough in time for the  next Poppy Appeal.

David Bell, press officer at the Stoke Gifford branch of the RBL, spoke of the need for more knitters:

“The branch is very keen to recruit more people to knit the famous knitted Poppies for the Poppy Appeal. The knitted poppies are very popular and raise much money for the Poppy Appeal, and the Branch can’t keep up with demand! There is no pressure to knit a certain number, any amount you can do will greatly help.”

By becoming a poppy knitter, you can also be a part of the work that the RBL do every year. If you are interested, please contact the branch at its email address: or by telephone on 07802 535591.

The Royal British Legion’s welfare fund (for which money raised from the sale of the poppies goes to) is used to give support and help to current and ex service personnel and their families. They provide information, advice and guidance to serving members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Reservists, all year round. In addition to this, the Legion provides lifelong support for veterans and their families, enabling them to live in comfort and with dignity.

If you, or someone you know, needs help from the Royal British Legion please contact the RBL national helpline on 0808 802 8080.

The Stoke Gifford branch also has its own Facebook Page which you can follow, like and share:

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 10). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Diabetic mum prepares for marathon challenge

Posted on Thursday 19th April 2018 at 9:43 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Shannon and Daniel Jones, with their daughter Bronwen.

A young Stoke Gifford mum is aiming to raise funds for a national diabetes charity by running the London Marathon just 12 months after giving birth to her first child.

Eight weeks into her pregnancy, Shannon Jones was found to have a high glucose reading and the condition was initially treated as gestational diabetes.

However, following three to four weeks of further investigations, doctors confirmed that she in fact has Type 1 diabetes, the rarer of two forms of lifelong diabetes.

Shannon’s husband Daniel, who will also run the marathon, alongside his wife, explained:

“Following the diagnosis, Shannon quickly became insulin dependent. The NHS were great and gave us a lot of support and reassurance. The diagnosis was a massive shock, but she has dealt with it tremendously, despite the obvious life-changing adjustments.”

Just six weeks after the arrival of their daughter, Bronwen, in April 2017, the couple decided they would like to run the 2018 London Marathon and raise funds for Diabetes UK. Shannon began her training just four months after giving birth and says she “must be mad” to do it whilst looking after and feeding a baby, not to mention managing her ongoing diabetes.

More: How to support the couple by donating securely »

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Fantastic first year for Barnardo’s charity shop in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Saturday 29th April 2017 at 7:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of staff and volunteers at Barnardo's in Stoke Gifford, with a first anniversary cake.

Fundraisers are celebrating the success of a Stoke Gifford charity shop which has received thousands of bags of donations.

Barnardo’s opened a new store in Ratcliffe Drive (next to Tesco Express) last March. Since then the charity has received more than 5,000 bags of clothing, accessories, homeware, books, toys and games.

Barnardo’s has also been supported by a group of hard-working volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours to help with sorting the stock and serving customers.

The Stoke Gifford team celebrated their success by holding a party on Saturday, 11th March which featured face-painting, cupcakes, a tombola, a lucky dip and the cutting of a specially-decorated cake

The store is managed by Hannah Jones together with store associate Julie Britt. Hannah said:

“We wanted to arrange a special ‘thank you’ for everyone who has worked so hard during our first year.”

“We have an amazing team of ten volunteers aged from 14 to 76 years old who offer so much of their own time each week. Their commitment has played a vital role in our success.”

Hannah added:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the local community throughout the past twelve months.”

“The number of donations has been fantastic, but we’ve also received some very unusual items – including a miniature set of Shakespeare books from the 1920s which were just three inches wide!”

“We look forward to receiving many more items which can be re-sold to support the charity’s work with the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.”

More: Store still vacancies for potential volunteers to join »

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