Yee-Haa! Charity gets set for first charity barn dance

The National Botanic Garden of Wales will see wagons rolling into town this Saturday as the Nolan Charity Fund hosts it’s first charity barn dance.

The event, kindly sponsored by Castell Howell Foods, will welcome more than 100 guests who will be entertained by ceilidh, twmpath and barn dance band Pluck & Squeeze from Cardiff.

The fundraising event will raise money for local causes in Wales, including Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, who are this year’s Charity of the Year.

A raffle and charity auction will also be held on the evening to raise vital funds. A number of local businesses have kindly donated prizes and thanks go to Xcel Bowl Carmarthen, Newport Sands Pembrokeshire, Bluestone Spa and Experience Days for donating prizes.

Nolan Charity Fund Helps Improve Interactive Learning for Local School Pupils

The Nolan Charity Fund were welcomed by teachers and pupils of Ysgol Saron on 18 July 2017 to see how funds donated to the Ammanford school have been spent purchasing much needed IT and play equipment for two pupils at the primary school.

On arriving at the school, the charity’s trustees Nolan Nicholas, Robert Taylor and Dawn Morgan were welcomed with a rousing rendition of Abba as the Year 6 pupils rehearsed for their end of year show.

Ysgol Saron were one of 11 beneficiaries to receive a share of £15,000 from the Nolan Charity Fund earlier this year. The donation of £2,000 has purchased a wealth of interactive play and IT equipment for pupils Jake Abrahams who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Tilly Roberts Foster who has Down Syndrome.

Pictured with the specialist equipment are, front row (l-r):  pupils Angharad-Fflur Scourfield, Abigail Ranking, Robert Heaney and Adam Jones, and back row (l-r):  teacher Catherine Evans, Nolan Nicholas, Jake Abrahams, Robert Taylor, head teacher Gwenda Easton and Dawn Morgan.

On receiving the items bought with the money, Ysgol Saron head teacher Gwenda Easton said:

“The money awarded to Ysgol Saron will be used to further develop speech and language skills and fine motor skills of two pupils in our school, one with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the other with Down Syndrome.

“As a school we are very grateful of this award as our budget is unable to fund specialist equipment required to meet the needs of pupils with specific individual needs.”

On awarding the funds to Ysgol Saron, charity founder and trustee Nolan Nicholas said:

“We have received such a warm welcome from the teachers and pupils of Ysgol Saron today. I was delighted to have been able to award the school funding back in April and it is a pleasure to be invited here today to see what the money has bought and to meet Jake.

“Without our funding Jake and Tilly may not have received the much needed specialist equipment and it’s amazing to see what our donation has managed to purchase. I wish all the pupils including Jake and Tilly all the best for their future at the school and I am sure the items will make a real difference.”

Nolan Charity Fund helps keep Ammanford Dementia Day Centre open

Ty Perthyn, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru’s Day Centre service, in Ammanford which supports people affected by dementia, has reopened its doors after threat of closure following an increase in rental costs.

To ensure the day care service could continue, the decision was made to relocate to the shared office space used by the local Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Operations team. The move involved reconfiguring the existing office space to create two new rooms to deliver the service but at an additional cost to the charity. The Nolan Charity Fund, who chose the Society as a partner earlier this year, stepped in to make sure the refurbishment took place and people with dementia still had access to this vital service.

Sarah Cleevely, Fundraising & Events Manager for The Nolan Charity Fund said; “The Nolan Charity Fund is delighted to be working with Alzheimer’s Society Cymru this year. Having heard about the need to relocate the charity’s day support service at Ty Perthyn, our trustees were delighted to step in and start our year-long charity partnership with a donation of £2,500, which has gone directly towards the refurbishment to relocate the much-needed service to its new location.

Sarah continued; “After meeting the Day Centre team, you see first-hand the importance of this service to the people of Carmarthenshire.  I am extremely pleased that The Nolan Charity Fund has been able to support the continued use of the service for the people of Ammanford and the surrounding areas.”

Chris Stokes, Community Fundraiser for South West Wales, at Alzheimer’s Society Cymru said:

“We’re so grateful to The Nolan Charity Fund for getting involved and covering costs of the refurbishment for the day care service in Ammanford. Thanks to their support this vital service will continue from its new location.

“Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect us all. It’s set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes, and so many people are facing it alone.  Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is here for anyone affected by dementia. We provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.”

Lifesaving Equipment for Carmarthen Quins RFC

The Nolan Charity Fund has donated £1,400 to Welsh Hearts to provide life-saving equipment to the community of Carmarthenshire. The new defibrillator and cabinet was presented to Carmarthen Quins RFC at their junior ground in Abergwili on 4th July by Welsh Hearts Charity Director Sharon Owen.

Welsh Hearts and the Nolan Charity Fund wanted the people of Carmarthen to decide where they thought the equipment was needed the most. Following a short public campaign the votes were counted and it was clear that there was an overwhelming response for Carmarthen Quins RFC to receive the equipment. The chosen location was announced at the Nolan Charity Fund’s presentation evening on 6th April, where alongside Welsh Hearts, a further 10 beneficiaries received funding from the charity.

As the equipment was handed over in the presence of Mr Brian Jones, M.B.E. President of Carmarthen Quins RFC, Nolan Nicholas, founder and trustee of the Nolan Charity Fund, Robert Taylor, Trustee Nolan Charity Fund, and Janet Bevans, Trustee Welsh Hearts, essential, lifesaving CPR & Defibrillator training was delivered to First, Youth and Junior teams plus family members and club volunteers. The training will be expanded with further sessions held to include the local community.

Sharon Owen, Welsh Hearts Charity Director said: “ We are delighted to have been supported by the Nolan Charity Fund. Each year, in Wales, approximately 8,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital. Without immediate attention, the chances of survival are around 3%. If CPR is performed and a defibrillator used within the first few minutes, the survival rate can be better than 50%.

“The generous donation allowed us to place a defibrillator and an external heated cabinet into Carmarthen Quins, which will help safeguard the players, staff and supporters in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.”

After the presentation, Nolan Nicholas of the Nolan Charity Fund said: “In just two and half years, the Nolan Charity Fund has been able to donate more than £25,000 to benefit nearly 20 organisations in Wales. I am delighted to have been able to help Welsh Hearts as one of our 2016-17 beneficiaries and to be here today to see how the new defibrillator will play an important part in saving lives. It is a cause close to my charity’s heart and I am delighted that we are able to make a difference in the local community and allow fellow charities to continue the vital work they do for the people of Wales.”

The Nolan Charity Fund was set up by Nolan uPVC managing director Nolan Nicholas with the aim of working hand in hand with worthy causes in Wales. Through money raised, the Nolan Charity Fund has been able to award grants to local charities, organisations and individuals requiring financial support.

Welsh Hearts, the leading heart charity for Wales provide communities with public access defibrillators and hold free CPR training & Heart Screening sessions to young adults across the whole of Wales.

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.

Dog walk on the beach

Walkers put their best ‘paws’ forward

On Sunday, 9th April, eight dogs and their owners completed a three-mile walk from Castle Hill to Giltar Point in Tenby, raising £70 for the Nolan Charity Fund.

This was the first dog walk for the charity, and everyone that came along enjoyed the hour long walk, stopping for a well-earned hot chocolate or coffee at the end.

The Summer Charity Dog Walk will be in July. Further details will be posted on social media and the website in the coming weeks, but if you are interested in taking part in this or future fundraising walks, then email Sarah at the charity on [email protected].

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.

Welsh Hearts Cheque Presentation

£15,000 shared by 11 beneficiaries across Wales

The home of Scarlets rugby hosted the charity’s second, annual presentation evening in April. In front of more than 50 invited guests and Llanelli Rural Council chairman, Cllr Stephen M Donoghue, each of the beneficiaries were welcomed onto the stage by trustees Nolan Nicholas and Robert Taylor to receive a share of £15,000.

The money raised last year has been donated to:

Alzheimer’s Society Cymru receiving £2,500 to help relocate their Tỳ Perthyn Day Care Support Service in Ammanford.

Carmarthenshire Youth Support Service’s Food Hamper and Toy Appeal receiving £1,000 to ensure that the project can continue to support children, young people and families in need in 2017.

Canolfan Elfed Inclusion Centre at Queen Elizabeth High School receiving £1,000 to help towards the purchase of a Rompa interactive projection system.

Hywel Dda Health Charities receiving £1,300 to purchase iPads and DVD players for the children’s wards at Bronglais, Glangwili and Withybush hospitals.

Ysgol Saron receiving £2,000 to purchase IT and play equipment for two pupils at the school with Down syndrome and Duchenne syndrome.

Welsh Hearts has received £1,400, which will pay for a new defibrillator and cabinet. The people of Carmarthen were asked to nominate their community or organisation, and the chosen location for the new defibrillator will be Carmarthen Quins RFC, Abergwili.

Y Bont will receive £1,000 to help subsidise a number of childcare and pre-school sessions for disabled children and their families.

Tenovus Cancer Care has received £2,000 as the Nolan Charity Fund charity of the year during 2016. The donation will help towards ongoing cancer care and research in Wales. During the two years working with the Welsh cancer charity, the Nolan Charity Fund has donated £7,000.

Happy Days will receive £1,240 to pay for 76 children from Port Talbot and surrounding areas aged 5-16 with ADHD and autism to have a day trip to Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.

Reach for the Stars received £1,000, which has purchased five mini iPads for the charity’s therapists to enable them to assess autistic children aged 2-5 years old and produce a programme of tailored treatment using applied behaviour analytic (ABA) therapy.

Tenby Surf Life Saving Club received £1,080, which has funded the purchase of 60 new rash vests for the club’s members; essential kit for the water-based training either in the sea or local swimming pool and for securing our future lifeguards.

Speaking after the presentation evening on 6th April, Nolan Charity Fund founder and trustee, Nolan Nicholas, said:

“It was a wonderful evening and a great way to mark two years as a charity.

“We have now donated over £25,000 to nearly 20 worthy causes in Wales since the charity began, and to recognise this year’s beneficiaries was a great honour for me.

“There are so many organisations that need a helping hand to realise their goals and aspirations and I am so please to see that the Nolan Charity Fund is able to do this to ensure all the good work in Wales can continue.”

Commenting on assessing the 2016 applications, Nolan Charity Fund trustee Robert Taylor, said:

“This year has been extremely difficult to choose. With almost 30 applications there were some very poignant stories and strong reasons for financial support being sought.

“I am honoured to be a trustee of the charity and to be able to benefit so many worthwhile causes in Wales through the work that we do.”

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.”

Photo of a gala dinner

Glitz and Glamour to end 2016

There may have been a chill in the air, but there was certainly warmth and generosity in abundance at the Nolan Charity Fund Gala Dinner, which raised over £7,000 for worthy causes in Wales.

The black tie event, held in aid of the charity, hosted 130 guests in the Merlin Suite at the Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen, on Saturday 3rd December. Guests were treated to a 3 course dinner and live band entertainment from Lenny Dee and his band Casual Affair.

Laughs were abound with former squash champion Adrian Davies taking to the mic and compering the evening’s events, which included a game of heads and tails, mannequin challenge, charity auction and raffle, all culminating together to raise £7,022.47 for the fund.

Sponsored by Delme Owens and Carmarthenshire Tyre Services of Johnstown, the event was the first gala dinner hosted by the charity. Commenting on the event, Nolan Charity Fund trustee, Nolan Nicholas, said:

“This was our first gala dinner and I am delighted to have seen so many people here this evening in support of the charity and the work that we do, and to enjoy a fun filled evening.

“I would like to personally thank my fellow trustee Robert Taylor and Delme Owens of Carmarthenshire Tyre Services for sponsoring the event. Delme has been a great supporter of the charity ever since its launch in 2015.  I am pleased the event has raised so much money, which means we can continue with the work we do and support many more organisations and individuals who need a helping hand now and again.”