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Charities share out Vegas ball jackpot
8:50am Thursday 26th July 2012 in News
SWINDON’S charity ball beneficiaries are celebrating donations from this year’s event, which will make a massive difference to lives of local people.
Representatives of the good causes attended a cheque presentation at the Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, to collect money raised on the Vegas-themed night in May.
Beneficiaries were Swindon Women’s Refuge, Therapeutic Work in Gardening in Swindon (TWIGS), North Wilts Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis.
Jan Howard, a physiotherapist at the therapy centre, helped pick up a £5,350 cheque for the charity, founded in 1981 as a self-help group.
The money will go towards the latest therapeutic aids, including a cyclo-ssage, a massage therapy chair and a piece of equipment to help with a condition known as foot drop.
Jan said: “The donation will help people with MS feel more mobile and improve their quality of life. Their carers, whose lives are affected as well, will also be able to use the equipment.”
TWIGS, which helps people move back to employment and mainstream life after suffering mental health issues, got £4,100, to buy a coffee machine and a potato oven.
People getting back on their feet after depression or anxiety can work at the Olive Tree Cafe, at Manor Garden Centre.
The organisation is supported by a group called Friends of TWIGS, which provides equipment and support. Phyllida Richards, the acting manager for the cafe, said: “It’s absolutely incredible to receive this money. It will double the amount of people who work out front and it will help to increase their confidence.
“Originally, the Olive Tree project was going to run until the end of this year. The donation will help us to continue for longer and has made the future much brighter and more positive.”
The Motor Neurone Disease Association collected £3,040, to fund two specialised motorised wheelchairs.
Because the final stages of the condition are fast-acting, there is only a limited time when people can make use of the aids, making it vital they are made available.
Treasurer Michael Armstrong said: “We’re delighted. We received £1,000 last year and, together with this year’s amount, we have enough to buy two more wheelchairs for people with MND who live in the area.
“People with MND have been placed on waiting lists for the wheelchairs, but often it is too late, or they are too ill, by the time they get to the top.”
Swindon Women’s Refuge received £7,000, which will help fund a new bus to transport residents and their belongings to safety.
The Vegas-themed ball, which was organised by the Rotary Club of Swindon, saw the guests swaying to the sounds of the West End’s Rat Pack band.
But next year’s event – the ball’s 25th anniversary – will feature a big surprise, which will only be revealed on the night, the organisers have said.
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