Brighter Futures, Arts Together and Marlborough St Mary's helped by grants awarded by Friends of Savernake

Written by Neil Goodwin on .

Jane Leighton, Trusts Fundraiser (left), for Brighter Futures with Catherine Newman, Head of fundraising (centre) receive the grant award cheque of £10,000 from Friends of Savernake Committee Member, Pat HarperJane Leighton, Trusts Fundraiser (left), for Brighter Futures with Catherine Newman, Head of fundraising (centre) receive the grant award cheque of £10,000 from Friends of Savernake Committee Member, Pat HarperLast night (Wednesday 10 May) at the Friends of Savernake AGM three grant awards were made to local organisations.

Brighter Futures Raadiotherapy Appeal received the largest grant award of £10,000 - which will be increased by matched funding from the Greenham Common Trust to £20,000.  The money raised will help equip the new radiotherapy centre based at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, which is due to take it’s first patients in April 2019.

Jane Leighton, Trusts Fundraiser for Brighter Futures, said: “We are so grateful to the Friends of Savernake Hospital and the Community for their second generous grant towards our Radiotherapy Appeal. “Each year almost 700 cancer patients from Swindon and North Wiltshire, including Marlborough and Pewsey, travel to Oxford for daily treatment.  This gift will help patients to receive radiotherapy just down the road at Great Western Hospital instead of facing a difficult 70-mile journey to Oxford.”

Marlborough St Mary's Head Teacher, Anne Schwodler (left), accompanied by Chair of Governors, Mark Thomas receive the grant award cheque from Pat Harper of Friends of SavernakeMarlborough St Mary's Head Teacher, Anne Schwodler (left), accompanied by Chair of Governors, Mark Thomas receive the grant award cheque from Pat Harper of Friends of SavernakeThe second grant awarded last night went to St Mary’s Primary School, an award of £4,000 to assist assist with the purchase of equipment for a sensory room for the St Mary’s Primary School Resource Base in its new building. The Resource Bases house up to twenty children up to Year 6 who have a range of Special Educational and Complex Needs. The items to be purchased with the grant will support the mental and physical health of the children, and enhance and encourage the children’s social and communication abilities.

Head teacher Anne Schwodler, thanked the Friends for this welcome award, saying “the Resource Base staff are very excited and are busy making plans for what will be a fantastic resource for our very needy children”.

Jean and Alan Mayston, along with Julia McNeill from Arts Together receive the grant awards cheque from Pat Harper of Friends of SavernakeJean and Alan Mayston, along with Julia McNeill from Arts Together receive the grant awards cheque from Pat Harper of Friends of SavernakeThe third and final grant was awarded to ‘Arts Together’ Wellbeing Service in Marlborough and Pewsey and was for £4,250.  ‘Arts Together’ has worked with very frail, isolated older people to counteract the damaging effects of social isolation and extreme loneliness.  The aim of Arts Together is to improve members’ health and wellbeing using a variety of professional art projects to provide that all-important stimulation and social interaction.

The award was received by Jean and Alan Mayston, two regulars in the Marlborough Group who thanked the Friends for the donation.

Dr Anna Collings of the newly-formed Kennet and Avon Medical Practice was the Guest Speaker at the meeting, bringing all present up to speed with the advances made since the two separate practices - Marlborough Medical Practice and Pewsey Surgery joined together a couple of months ago.  Great progress has been made enabling a better service to be provided for patients across the enlarged area but still a long way to go with regard to integrating systems and recruiting key staff.  Still 'work in progress' but progress is being delivered.

Friends of Savernake are a charity set up to support individuals and organisations involved in healthcare both at Savernake Hospital and in the wider community, with the aim of enhancing the quality of life of those affected by ill health and or disability, and supporting their care and wellbeing.

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