Photo of firewalking

Can you take the heat?

The Nolan Charity Fund is looking for fearless fundraisers to take on a charity fire walk in Carmarthen Park on Sunday 2nd July.

Participants will get expert tuition from two-time Guinness World Record holder Scott Bell who holds the record for the ‘Greatest Fire Walking Distance’ by walking 328 feet on burning coals, but don’t worry, anyone who signs up to take part only needs to walk 15 feet across soft smouldering hot coals after a one hour seminar from Scott where he will explain the history of fire walking and the technique behind it.

This is a great mind-over-matter challenge and a great fundraiser for charity. The event will raise money for the Nolan Charity Fund to help worthy causes in Wales with financial support, alongside raising funds for its charity of the year, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.

Talking about the event, Nolan Charity Fund fundraising & events manager, Sarah Cleevely said:

“This is probably a challenge many people haven’t done before. We like to try and put on different and unusual events that encourage people to give them a go. It will be a great day and we encourage groups of friends, family and work colleagues to get together and enter, and raise money for worthwhile causes in Wales.”

The Nolan Charity Fund has so far donated over £25,000 and helped nearly 20 organisations with financial support in Wales since it began in 2015. In Carmarthenshire, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, Myrddin Special Unit, Canolfan Elfed, Ysgol Saron, Nofio Sir Gar, Plant Dewi and the Carmarthenshire County Council Youth Support Service have already benefited from grants from the charity.

To register for this popular event, email [email protected] or call 07966 426439. Registration is £25 per person and the charity asks participants to raise a minimum of £75 in sponsorship. Places are limited.

Alzheimers Society Cheque Presentation

Alzheimer’s Society Cymru chosen as Charity of the Year for 2017

The Nolan Charity Fund has extended a helping hand to Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and chosen the UK’s leading dementia charity as its ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2017.

The year-long charity partnership has begun with a donation of £2,500, which Alzheimer’s Society Cymru will use to fund the relocation of Tŷ Perthyn Day Support Service in Ammanford.

The service is to be relocated due to increased rental costs and its new home requires some structural work to ensure the safety of clients using the facility and to make the environment more dementia-friendly for when it reopens on Tuesday 18 April.

Chris Stokes, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru community fundraiser for South West Wales, said:

“We cannot thank the Nolan Charity Fund enough for choosing to support Alzheimer’s Society Cymru. There are over 3,000 people living with dementia in Carmarthenshire and services such as Tŷ Perthyn support those affected to maintain independence whilst tackling issues of loneliness and isolation. Without their support we might not have been able to continue this much needed service. Staff and our clients are hugely grateful for this generous donation and we all look forward to supporting the partnership over the next year. ”

Nolan Nicholas, Nolan Charity Fund’s trustee, said:

“I am delighted that we will be helping to support Alzheimer’s Society Cymru in 2017. The work that they do is vitally important in the local community and for those living with dementia.

“When we heard that the Tŷ Perthyn service was at risk – it was immediately obvious where our initial donation to the charity should go. This was a service in need of money now or it risked being closed and lost to those who need it. I am delighted that we have been able to help with the relocation of the service and that it can continue to support people affected by dementia in our local community of Ammanford. The Nolan Charity Fund looks forward to working with and raising money for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru in 2017.”

Over the next 12 months the two charities will work together to raise funds for the Live Well with Dementia programme and the charity’s flagship Side by Side service.

Photo of skydivers

Charity skydivers raise over £1,500

Five dare-devils took up the challenge at the beginning of the month and successfully completed a tandem skydive with Skydive Swansea over Swansea Bay.

Tandem Charity Skydive

Blessed with clear blue skies, all five jumpers left the plane at 12,000ft, and after the 45-second free-fall were safely back on the ground 5 minutes later.

Thank you to Shaun Fitzpatrick, John Morris, Jackie Scarfe, Catherine Morse and Sarah Cleevely for ‘Freefalling for the Fund’ and so far raising £1,650.

Delivery of minibus

Myrddin Special Unit takes delivery of new minibus

Just before the end of the year, Myrddin Special Unit took delivery of their much anticipated new minibus from The Lord’s Taverners. The arrival of the new bus was marked by pupils taking part in their Christmas performance for more than 100 parents and guests.

Thanks to the kind donation from the Nolan Charity Fund as well as funding from many other businesses and individuals, the special unit was able to raise the £15,000 needed towards the £58,000 wheelchair accessible bus.

Commenting on the event, Ceri Lilly from Myrddin Special Unit, said:

“The show was fab, and a good time was had by all.  The Mayor of Carmarthen was also present, and he was amazed at the state of the art vehicle; especially the interior mood lighting.

“We are only a very small special school, in a rural area.  It is a very beautiful area, and our new bus helps us make the most of where we live.  Teaching and learning for our pupils is very different, and exploring our environment and special activities like horse riding, skiing and swimming would be impossible without the bus. The Lord’s Taverners and all the kind donations we have received have helped a group of very special children enjoy their school day, and continue to make some very difficult lives just that bit easier. We are very grateful to you all.”

Nofio Sir Gar Swimmers

Five Nofio Sir Gar Swimmers Selected To Swim For Wales

Five swimmers from the Nofio Sir Gar Elite Performance Swimming Squad have been selected by Swim Wales to compete at the ASA National County Team Championships to be held in Sheffield on the 23 October 2016.

For Amber Owen, Catrin Fry, Dylan Morgan and Bethan Edwards this will be the first time they will wear the Welsh cap with pride. The fifth swimmer making up the team is Meurig Francis who has been selected to compete twice before.

Swim Wales will send two teams up to Sheffield to represent Wales, one called Wales West and the other called Wales East, with the Nofio Sir Gar swimmers competing for Wales West.

At the championships there will be 29 teams from around the United Kingdom competing in two leagues. Wales West will compete in League One this year, which means the swimmers will be up against the best and fastest swimmers in the UK.

Nofio Sir Gar swimmers (l-r) Catrin Fry, Dylan Morgan, Meurig Francis and Bethan Edwards pictured with Sarah Cleevely, fundraising & events manager from the Nolan Charity Fund and head coach Austyn Shortman.

The elite swimming team are:

Amber Owen, age 16, is not pictured as she has currently moved to Cardiff and is continuing to train with Cardiff City Swimming Club, but still maintains her membership and loyalty to Nofio Sir Gar. Amber joined Nofio Sir Gar in 2014 from Aberystwyth Swimming Club.

Bethan Edwards, age 15, joined Nofio Sir Gar swimming team earlier this year from Carmarthen Swimming Club. Bethan is currently studying for her GCSEs at Queen Elizabeth School, Carmarthen.

Catrin Fry, age16, joined Nofio Sir Gar in 2012, aged 12, from Amman Valley Swimming Club. Catrin is currently studying for her A-Levels in Ysgol Dyffryn Aman.

Dylan Morgan, age 12, is currently the youngest member of Nofio Sir Gar. Dylan joined Nofio Sir Gar this year having trained formerly in Carmarthen Swimming Club. Dylan goes to Bro Dinefwr School and joined Nofio Sir Gar in November 2015, aged 11.

Meurig Francis, age 17, has swam with Nofio Sir Gar since 2013 having trained with Carmarthen Swimming Club prior to joining. Meurig has represented Wales twice before and has been selected to join the Swim Wales Youth Development Swimming Squad. Meurig is studying for his A-Levels at Ysgol Bro Myrddin.

Nofio Sir Gar was one of many successful applicants who received funding from the Nolan Charity Fund. The funding supported the youth swimming team by providing them with a new sports kit for the swimmers and head coach, Austyn Shortman.

Commenting on the team’s success, Sarah Cleevely, fundraising & events manager for the Nolan Charity Fund, said:

“We would like to wish all five swimmers the best of luck competing for Wales this month. Swim fast and fly the Welsh flag high. We are delighted to have been able to help the team and sponsor their swimming kit.”

Head coach, Austyn Shortman, added:

“I am thrilled to have five swimmers representing their country. They all train exceptionally hard and show a huge commitment to the sport.”

Meurig Francis

Carmarthenshire Swimmer Makes Swim Wales National Squad

Meurig Francis pictured wearing his new Welsh jacket with Nofio Sir Gar head coach Austyn ShortmanMeurig Francis, aged 17, of Llangunnor near Carmarthen has been selected for the Swim Wales National Youth Development Squad. Meurig, who is currently studying for his A-Levels at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, trains with the Nofio Sir Gar Elite Performance squad in Carmarthen.

Meurig, who currently trains for 14 hours in the Carmarthen Leisure Centre pool each week with gym work on top will join the Swim Wales National Youth Development squad for extra training held on weekends at the Welsh National Pool in Swansea. Meurig will then be invited, if he hits his target times, to competitive camps next year
in Marseille, Edinburgh and Barcelona.

The programme will be a huge commitment for Meurig and his family, with all aspects of his fitness programme being under scrutiny in order to maximise his ability in training and for race days.

Nofio Sir Gar was one of many successful applicants who received funding from the Nolan Charity Fund. The funding supported the youth swimming team by providing them with a new sports kit for the swimmers and head coach, Austyn Shortman.

Commenting on the team’s success, Sarah Cleevely, fundraising & events manager for the Nolan Charity Fund, said:

“We would like to wish Meurig all the best with his training and competitions while he flies the flag for Wales. It is great to see his dedication and commitment resulting in such recognition and being selected for the squad.”


Folly Farm Trip

Fun day out at Folly Farm for Plant Dewi

Two coaches, one funded by the Nolan Charity Fund, of families from the Plant Dewi Young Parents’ Project and Families Together Groups enjoyed a day out at Folly Farm.

The families had a wonderful time there from meeting giraffes, trying to spot the meerkats to enjoying the fun fair rides and having a picnic in the park together. Families reported that it was good to get out and spend some quality time with their children as often due to their geographical location, lack of personal transport and limited bus services the families lack the opportunity to take their children out on day trips.