Interview with Jessica Smallwood ahead of this Novembers SNOW BALL charity event in Stratford


The Stratford Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon is set to host one of a national set of Snow Balls this November, in aid of charity.
More than six Snow Balls are being held across the UK this festive season at locations including Stratford-upon-Avon, Manchester, Sussex and Cardiff. These events are part of a fundraising drive to raise crucial funds for the Mariposa Trust, a leading support charity, which specialises in supporting people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Snow Ball is being held on the 21st November 2014 at The Stratford Hotel and the evening will commence at 7.30pm. Coordinated by Jessica Smallwood, an Assistant Fundraising Manager for the charity, the evening will feature a luxury 3-course meal, auction, raffle and fabulous entertainment. Jessica commented, “The Snow Ball is the perfect chance for friends and families, companies and organisations to have a wonderful night out, whilst enjoying great food and entertainment. It is also lends itself to being a wonderful chance for a company Christmas night out, whilst helping to support a National Charity that is making a real difference.”
The Mariposa Trust is a support charity that provides support and advice for anyone who has suffered baby loss, whether recently or historically, and also provides the first National set of remembrance services across the UK at Cathedrals and Minsters for people who have suffered baby loss. Furthermore, the charity has a number of other support divisions, ‘GrowingYou’ which supports people who are pregnant following loss, ‘Waiting for You’, which supports people who are going through the adoption process, and ‘Holding Hope’ that supports people who are undergoing fertility treatment.
Zoe Clark-Coates, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Trust with husband Andy, had this to say, “Baby loss is a huge issue. Hundreds of people are going through baby loss, whether miscarriage, stillbirth or loss in infancy, every single day in the UK. The taboo nature of baby loss means that often their loss is not discussed, their grief not addressed, their need for support not met, and they can often feel ostracised. As a charity we are trying to combat this. We provide services that help people to acknowledge their loss and to remember their children. We also giving support that meets their needs and their situation, and we campaign and work for changes in the support that people receive pre, during and post baby loss.”
For more information on the Snow Ball, please contact Jessica at Tickets are available from Jessica and are priced at £50 per person. For more information on the charity please visit You can also follow the charity on Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK and on Facebook at /SayinggoodbyeUK

Listen to the interview again at
Reporter @LianeKate

Interview with Mark Franzoni Head of P.E. at Southam College who is running the Great North Run raising funds for the Jon Egging Trust


Southam Teacher Mark Franzoni is running The Great North Run 7th September in aid of a charity close to his heart, with hopes to raise £1500.00 for The Jon Egging Trust.

The trust was set Jon Egging, who tragically lost his life on the 20th August 2011 whilst completing an air display at the Bournemouth Air Festival; he was coming to the end of his first year with the world-famous Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team, flying in the Red 4 position.

Jon was passionate about inspiring young people through a love of flying and enthusiasm for teamwork. The Jon Egging Trust has been set up to realise his dream by Jon’s wife Dr Emma Egging, his mother Dawn Egging, childhood friend James Godley and Red Arrow’s pilot Ben Plank.

The Jon Egging Trust set up in his memory looks to offer the same opportunities to young people, developing their skills and confidence to tackle life. I’m doing it for him and future candidates on the scheme.

Mark will be running the Great North North Run in support of the Jon Egging Trust. Mark & Jon were school friend and close friend as adults. Mark remembers that Jon worked so hard to achieve what he did. He had drive & determination.

To help raise funds for the charity go to the just giving page at

Listen to the interview again at
reporter @LianeKate

Interview with Sally Russell, Committee member of THE IFAKARA BAKERY PROJECT IN TANZANIA


Find out about the Ifakara Bakery Project supported by the WI Lite Stratford (WILS) who are meeting on Tuesday 8 July at The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford where they will be joined by a guest speakers Margaret and Eugene Schellenberg to talk to members about the Ifakara Bakery Project in Tanzania.

Margaret and Eugene went on a holiday to Tanzania to enjoy a Safari adventure with their family. Whilst in Ifakara they were asked if they could build a bakery which would provide an alternative to their staple food of Maize, particularly when their crops fail. The bakery was built in 2001 and has become a lifesaver since on many occasions.

During our last meeting we were joined by Mike Ledbury who gave us a wonderful insight in to the lives of Morris Men. He kept all the ladies entertained with some funny anecdotes and also managed to get some audience participation!

WILS meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month and our lovely WILS ladies ages range from 20’s to 70’s. In addition to our usual meetings, WILS have lots of extra great events from lunch clubs, theatre trips, crafting and even a darts team – there really is much, much more than jam and Jerusalem!

New members are always very welcome and can come along for a free session to see what we are all about.

So why not give us a go? You’ll always see a friendly face and even if you go on your own, we can guarantee it won’t stay that way for long!

For further details:

WI Lite meets on the second Tuesday evening of each month at the Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford. To find out more, go along for a free session.

Reporter @Molly__Louise

Interview with Nick PosfordFrom the Charity Cardiomyopathy Association


38 years old and still going!
In 1976 a small group of members from the Wellesbourne & District Lions Club met with members of the local Ambulance and Fire services to discuss how to raise monies for local worthwhile charitable causes.
The result was a fun challenge between the two services to race homemade rafts 7½ miles down the river Avon to finish at Stratford upon Avon. Others in local pubs, clubs and businesses heard of the race and joined in raising £1,800.
The organisation behind that first race was very basic, the PA system was two handheld loudhailers and a wristwatch was used to time them down the course! The race has now grown to attract teams from all over the UK raising so far close to £600,000 for local, regional and national charitable causes.
The event is run by Stratford Lions.

This years raft race will be partnered with Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA)
The mission statement is: “The Cardiomyopathy Association is a UK charity fighting heart muscle disease through support, education and campaigning. We want every person affected by cardiomyopathy able to live long and full lives, by receiving the best treatment, information, care and support”.
To donate –

photograph – Stratford Observer

Find out more information at –
Listen to the interview again at
Reporter @LianeKate

Free First Aid Training Opportunities in Warwickshire

st ambulance

Find out how you can access Free first aid training offer from St John Ambulance, as we speak with Caroline form the team.

People who live in the Nuneaton area are being urged to devote a few hours this summer to learning life saving skills.

First aid charity St John Ambulance is running three free courses in the town from June to August which take just three hours.

The Essential First Aid courses will run at St John Ambulance’s Nuneaton training centre in The Courtyard at Elliot Park on June 21 from 10am to 1pm, July 14 from 7pm to 10pm and August 10 from 10am to 1pm.

The sessions are part of an initiative by the charity to train 500 people in the Nuneaton and Bedworth area in a bid to increase the number of people who can deliver first aid.

So far, 266 people have been trained. St John Ambulance is also offering to run free courses for community groups.

The training is a three hour session, which teaches people hands-on techniques to deal with a range of emergency situations, such as choking, severe bleeding and chest pains, along with step by step instructions on resuscitating someone who has stopped breathing.

It will also focus on teaching techniques for on a range of emergency situations involving infants and children, as well as those involving adults. It is suitable for anyone aged over 12 although people aged under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Nick Pitt, Acting Community Training Co-ordinator for St John Ambulance in the West Midlands, said: ‘No-one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. We have deliberately put on the courses at the weekend and in evenings to make them as accessible as possible to everyone.

‘We have had all manner of people taking up the offer – families, grandparents, people who may need to use first aid in a sporting environment or at work. It is something that everyone can do, whatever age, and it is just three hours to learn how to be the difference between a life lost and life saved.’

Nick added: ‘St John Ambulance hopes that training 500 people in Nuneaton will make a big difference to the chances of saving people’s lives in the area.’

To book a place on a free course or to ask about free training to community groups, contact 0121 237 3873 or email

Reporter:  @LianeKate

Interview with Joanne Lees, Activities Coordinator for the Charity Guideposts Trust

joanne lees

This week is National Carers Week, and we speak to Joanne Lees from from Guideposts Trust. about the new Project – Time For You!
Guideposts Trust is a national charity working with vulnerable people and supporting them to lead independent lives.

More locally Guideposts run the Warwickshire Carer Support Service, and support unpaid carers. The Carer support service help carers through emotional support, training and workshops, and can find other services and information which will be of help to them.
At present there are over 6 million unpaid carers in the UK and this is set to rise to 9 million in the next 30 years. Typically these carers are family carers who don’t often set out to become a carer but do it out of kindness for a loved one. Some carers are juggling their careering role with holding down jobs or looking after their household and children etc whilst 1 in 5 carers actually give up work to care full time.

Nuneaton Office number which is: 02476 385888 or pop in to the community café at any time and collect an information pack.

Find out more at @guidepostsuk

Reporter @Lianekate

Interview with Sarah Stallard of Myton Hospice Warwick

cycle challenge

Get on your bikes for Myton!
Cyclists across Coventry and Warwickshire are being asked to get on their bikes to raise money for The Myton Hospices.
The charity is holding its annual Cycle Challenge again on Sunday 22nd June and riders are being offered the choice of routes of 45, 60 and 80 miles.
The event starts and ends at Warwick Myton Hospice on Myton Lane and riders can relax and enjoy a BBQ in the grounds after completing their route.
The challenge has previously been held in August but has been brought forward this year to avoid the summer holidays.
Last year’s ride attracted more than 200 riders and raised over £24,000 for Myton!

Myton’s Events Manager Sarah Stallard said: “This is a fantastic and very popular event with three routes to choose from all taking in the beautiful scenery Warwickshire has to offer. Whether you are doing it as a challenge or for fun, with friends and family or in memory of someone you love this is a great chance to get cycling and support your local hospice at the same time.”

This year’s event is being kindly sponsored by Arden’s who are keen supporters of the charity.

Arden’s Director Jon Barlow said: “I was genuinely moved after visiting Coventry Myton Hospice a few years ago and struggle to think of a more worthy cause. Providing the best possible support and environment to individuals and their families at such a difficult time is so important and something that every person should have available. We are pleased to be supporting the Cycle Challenge and hope it is a great success so that Myton can continue helping as many people as possible. “

Registration for the each route costs £25 and includes the BBQ on return and refreshment stops along the route, participants can choose to either raise sponsorship or make a donation in lieu of sponsorship.

So what are you waiting for?! Sign up today at or call Sarah Stallard on 01926 838815 for more information.
Myton’s Corporate Fundraiser Rosie Houghton (in the photo) will be taking on her ultimate challenge in July when she cycles from London to Paris to raise money for Myton.

To sponsor her click here

Reporter @lianekate

Interview with Sarah Dolby – Myton Hospice Warwick


The team from Radio Warwickshire talk to Sarah Dolby – Events Fundraising manager at Myton Hospice Warwick about the services they provide and the charity and fundraising they need to maintain the service in Rugby, Coventry and Warwick. Find out about their Summer fete on the 14th July and how you can get involved, support and donate your time, items for the fete and help raise funds for the charity.
The fete will be held at the Warwick Hospice from 1pm at Myton Lane, CV34 6PQ
Find out how you can help at

Listen to the details about this years Folk on the Water Festival


Recorded at The Boat Inn – Napton, Find out who is playing, where the team are sleeping and which Charity the Festival is supporting. To find out more:

Frank Picken – Charity Event


The team talk to June Picken about the charity event being held on Saturday 6th July at The Roseycombe Binley Woods from 2pm. frank was diagnosed with a rare Lung desease in May. Help support the event by coming down or donating on http://www.facebook/frank