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Plenty of pom poms after group donation
MARCHING band the Britannia Majorettes no longer have to use ancient pom poms thanks to the support of security company G4S.
The band, made up of 23 girls aged seven to 15, was presented with £500 worth of equipment on Friday after North Swindon MP, Justin Tomlinson asked G4S if it would help.
Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Withers, who comes from Purton and attends Bradon Forest School, was one of the youngsters thrilled to have received the donation.
She has been involved in the band for five years and said: “I am very pleased with the equipment we got because the current equipment is so old and some of it is broken.
“Britannia Majorettes is really fun and we get to have a go on everything. My favourite is the drum.”
Lisa Ellis, who set up the Britannia Majorettes in 2004 with her sister Alison Humphrey, said many of the youngsters come from deprived areas and backgrounds in Swindon and are often unable to afford the £150 it costs to kit out a youngster in a new uniform.
Parents pay only £3 a week towards the cost of the hall and £5 when they start towards their uniform.
Everything else is raised through events and charitable donations.
Lisa said: ”I didn’t believe it was true until they all arrived. We don’t know what to say.
“We’ve been using the same pom poms for ten years and couldn’t afford to replace them because they cost £26 each.
“We are so pleased that Justin set all this up and was able to get us the money, and so grateful to G4S for helping us.
“We rely on donations and every little bit helps to keep us going.”
When Justin visited the group while members were practicing a few weeks ago, he was so impressed that he got in contact with G4S to see if it would fork out for some new equipment for the youngsters.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have secured the money for this wonderful club.
“I was very impressed by their performance and it is fantastic we have been able to get them some brilliant new equipment thanks to the support of G4S and it seems they will support the club in an ongoing way.
“It was a giggle to have a go, although I don’t think I would be able to make the grade.”
G4S was very impressed by the short performance put on by the band, who had only been practicing for three weeks.
It hoped that the cheque would not be a one-off donation but might become a more regular partnership.
Susan Smith, contract manager Southwest at G4S, who used to work in the army and whose partner works for the RAF, said: “It was a very impressive performance and it’s great to see there is something military and something for girls.
“For me it’s definitely something I’ll be pushing to continue.”
To find out more about Britannia Majorettes, who meet every week at Ferndale Community Primary School, visit britanniamajorettes.co.uk.
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