Category Archives: Charity

Little Bloxwich garden opens for charity this Sunday

Julie and John Quinn on their 'bridge over troubled waters' in the Small but Beautiful garden
Julie and John Quinn on their ‘bridge over troubled waters’ in the Small but Beautiful garden

One of the prettiest private gardens in Bloxwich – and beyond – is all set to open its gate to the public this Sunday, 28 June, endorsed by the highly-regarded National Gardens Scheme.

Dubbed ‘Small but Beautiful’ by owners and gardeners John and Julie Quinn, their Japanese-themed back garden, just 32ft square but packed with glorious plants, shrubs and trees, certainly fits the bill.

Just one of many vistas in this tiny patch of heaven...
Just one of many vistas in this tiny patch of heaven…

John is a self-employed professional gardener, and Julie works in a bank, but it’s easy to see that their hearts are really in their other work – building a haven of peace and tranquility at the back of their home, 6 Fishley Close, Little Bloxwich, WS3 3QA.

Our editor had a preview of the glorious garden, which will open to the public between 10am – 5pm, and the photographs he took, shown here, give just a taste of the multitude of many-layered vistas which have been masterfully created by the hard work of John and Julie.  It’s a wonderful inspiration to the great majority of us who only have a little patch of green to work with!

CLOSE UP: This exquisite flower entices the eye to contemplate the bridge beyond
CLOSE UP: This exquisite flower entices the eye to contemplate the bridge beyond

The garden also includes a lovely water feature and a typically Japanese-style bridge beyond, giving depth to the whole arrangement.  There are also a number of non-Japanese style aspects to the garden nearer to the house.

The birds love the garden too!
The birds love the garden too!

This is not the first time that the garden has been open to the public for such charity events, as it has been a total of 14 times over the years, raising a total of around £12,000. Previous events have raised cash for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support – and the garden even sported its own lights in 2009 after Walsall Illuminations closed down!

Part of the garden, illuminated in October 2009 - click on picture to see the 2009 album on Flickr
Part of the garden, illuminated in October 2009 – click on picture to see the 2009 album on Flickr

This year, the Small but Beautiful garden has featured on Midlands Today, on BBC Radio WM, in a two-page spread in Gardening News, and has been recognised by The Daily Telegraph as one of the top fifty small gardens to visit in the country.

Hidden visions are numerous, and worth seeking out...
Hidden visions are numerous, and worth seeking out…
CHARITY FUNDRAISER

Visitors are welcome on Sunday, and the modest fee for admission is £3,  with children free.  Donations in general are also welcome; funds raised by the event will be shared between the Alzheimer’s Society and the Parkinson’s Society, as well as Pelsall Care Home. Home made cakes and drinks will be on sale throughout the day.

The Quinns are also inviting any gardeners who would like to help contribute to the charities to donate in kind, by bringing along any spare plants or garden items to be sold on the day.

ACCESS

Anyone with special access needs, or thinking of bringing a group, should contact the Quinns beforehand, on 07846 496715.

PARKING

They also recommend that visitors park in nearby Fishley Lane, as Fishley Close is quite small and could easily become blocked.

Don’t miss this little gem in Little Bloxwich, whatever the weather this Sunday – it’s a real treat!

Full of small and intimate perspectives, the garden is a vision in subtle colours
Full of small and intimate perspectives, the garden is a vision in subtle colours

 

Pictures (c) by Stuart Williams – click to enlarge

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Bloxwich Rotary crocuses highlight Polio campaign

Rotary Crocuses

The host of purple crocuses recently spouting around Bloxwich, planted by the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix – most notably around the memorial oak tree in Bloxwich Promenade Gardens – are part of a national Rotary campaign to raise awareness of Rotary’s efforts with others in the global initiative to eradicate the disease Polio.

Just 50 years ago hundreds of people, mostly children, died each year here in the UK from this terrible disease.

With the advent of an oral vaccine and a vaccination programme the disease has now been eradicated from most countries worldwide.

Rotary’s efforts and it’s mass vaccinations in the remaining endemic countries have helped to get us to the point where now only three countries worldwide remain Polio endemic.

The purple crocus flower was chosen to promote the campaign as the purple colour is used to mark the fingers of vaccinated children when vaccination programmes take place overseas.

The world-wide Rotary International charity and its partners are so very close to completing the task.

Find out more about the campaign and its history at http://www.endpolio.org/ where you can take part in the world’s biggest commercial.

Aldridge charity dance to raise funds for SSAFA

SSAFA Dance Poster

A special charity dance is set to take place on the evening of Saturday 23rd March in Aldridge, Walsall.

And the event, billed as ‘Dance Through The Years’, is sure to be popular, with five-piece band ‘Nostalgia’ ready to set toes tapping and bugs jittering with live music from the 1920s – 1960s!  To add to the fun, there will also be prizes available on the night.

The dance, which will be at Aldridge Social Club, High Street, Aldridge, is aimed at raising funds to support the work of the newly-expanded local branch of SSAFA Forces Help – the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association – a registered charity established in 1885.

Starting at 8pm on 23rd March, tickets for ‘Dance Through The Years’ cost just £8 and are available from the club or telephone 01922 866545.

The West Midlands North Branch serves the Black Country and is based in the Territorial Army Centre at Gordon House, Walsall.  The charity continually needs to raise funds for its volunteer efforts in supporting ex- and serving forces personnel and their families, vital work that is as necessary as ever with so many in need.

Please feel free to download the pdf event poster by clicking on the image above – we hope as many as possible will be able to help spread the word by printing the poster off and displaying it at work or in places where it can be seen – thank you!

A Celebration of Life – arts at Bookmark Bloxwich

A Celebration of Life poster

This Saturday 9 March sees a unique charity arts event coming to Bloxwich’s popular Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre.

‘A Celebration of Life’, which features artwork, poetry and other readings, includes work from Pete Boot (former drummer with rock band ‘Budgie’), Willenhall Society of Artists, Ian Henery, Elizabeth Stoney and Stuart Williams.

The aim of the event, which opens at 2pm and runs until 5pm, is to raise awareness of Parkinson’s Disease and to raise funds for the Neurological Research Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Cancer Rezearch UK.

Walsall Councillors Sean and Dianne Coughlan will be present.

ADMISSION IS FREE – but donations will be welcomed towards the good causes above.

Click on the poster image above to download a larger jpeg poster.

Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre is part of the Bookmark Bloxwich Complex which also includes Bloxwich Library, and is located in Elmore Row, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 2HR.

For more info on events at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, check out the What’s On Walsall website and the Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre website.

Telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900.

It’s not Christmas in Bloxwich till the Rotary Santa drops in!

Santa drops in!

In Bloxwich, you can always tell Christmas is coming – it’s when the Rotary Santa Claus drops in!

For decades, the real herald of the season has not been Mr Robin, Jack Frost, snow falling, or even naff festive muzak in the shops – it’s been the jolly red-suited man in the sleigh with the golden cog-wheel on its side.  And this year is no different, children and adults in the village and on the estates will be delighted to hear!

Santa's on his way!

The Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix are enthusiastically maintaining the fine tradition of festive visitations and felicitations begun decades ago by their predecessor group, and they can always be sure of a warm welcome in so many places and from so many people that may have little else to cheer them on these cold, dark nights.

The Bloxwich Rotary Santa's on his way!
The Bloxwich Rotary Santa’s on his way!

As is traditional, Santa and his community-minded helpers will be touring all over Bloxwich and district – including Blakenall Heath, Mossley, Dudley Fields, Lower Farm, and Turnberry (plus Pelsall!) – and that tour starts this week!  See below for routes and times.

A LETTER FROM SANTA FOR YOUR CHILD

And for some added fun for families, if you’re on one of his routes, Santa and his helpers can deliver a letter from Santa to your child. Please send letters to Santa c/o 28a Lister Street, Willenhall, West Midlands. WV13 2HQ, or request a letter via the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix website. They will hand deliver a reply free of charge on the evening of your route.

Santa is also internet-savvy these days – so if you prefer to e-mail, he can be reached at santa@bloxwichphoenix.net for this, or any other queries you have.

FOR FULL DETAILS, follow this link: Santa Letter

SAT-NAV SANTA!

And what’s more – would you believe it, Norad in America may be able to track Santa on his way round the globe, but we can go one better, as you’d expect, and track him round Bloxwich!

On the evening of each route, you will be able to track Santa’s location in real-time online on Rotary’s website www.bloxwichphoenix.net, so there’s no need to stand outside in the cold weather for too long!

Of course, Santa’s visits to Bloxwich and district are not just about some much-needed seasonal jollity; there is a serious purpose too.  Rotary is a charitable organisation that does good works both in the local community and on a global scale.

All the money collected from the Santa Sleigh collection will be donated to the Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom. The charity provides funds for many important humanitarian projects at home and abroad is one of the major partners in the drive to finally eliminate polio worldwide.

They need our help, and donations are welcome, so why not look out for Santa coming your way, say hello, have some family fun and do some good, in the true spirit of Christmas?

The times and dates of Santa’s visits this Christmas are listed below for your reference.  Remember they may be subject to change, but you can track Santa online to make sure!

For more information, you can also read or print online a special leaflet which is being distributed locally, via this link.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

SANTA WILL BE VISITING YOU ON THE FOLLOWING NIGHTS AND ROUTES:

Friday 7th December: Blakenall Heath  6:30pm – 8:45pm

Abbotts Street, Benton Crescent, Ryle Street, Pine Street, Ingram Road, Penderel Street,
Booth Street, Valley Road, Ryle Street, Hollands Road, Abbotts Street.

Saturday 8th December: Mossley  4:30pm – 8:45pm

Tintern Crescent, Cleeve Road, Cleeve Way, Pershore Road, Kirkstall Crescent, Tintern Way, Pershore Close, Cresswell Crescent, Waverley Road, Margam Crescent, Margam Terrace, Roche Road, Roche Way, Neath Road, Netley Road, Abbey Square, Fountains Road, Fountains Way, Tewkesbury Road, Glastonbury Crescent, Evesham Crescent.

Tuesday 11th December:  Pelsall 6:30pm – 8:45pm

Riddings Crescent, Trevor Road, Oak Road, Woodlands Crescent, Forge Road, Wood Lane, Wood Common Grange, Millers Walk.

Wednesday 12th December: Dudley Fields 6:30pm – 8:45pm

Sneyd Hall Road, Croxdene Avenue (loop), Sneyd Hall Road, Coalway Road, Chase Road, Sneyd Hall Road, Croxdene Avenue, Dartford Road, Heather Road, Ashley Road, Mulberry Road.

Friday 14th December: Lower Farm  6:30pm – 8:45pm

Stoney Lane, Sanstone Road, Bamford Road, Buxton Road, Fishley Lane, Simmonds Road, Fishley Close, Ashbourne Road, Belper Road, Matlock Road, Castleton Road.

Saturday 15th December: Turnberry 4:30pm – 8:45pm

Saunton Road, Enville Close, Sunningdale Way, Birkdale Road, Formby Way, Walton Heath, Selsdon Road, Gleneagles Rd, Burslem Close, Astbury Close, Elgin Road, Wetherby Street, Saddleworth Road, Redbourn Road, Nairn Road, Ferndown Close, Alnwick Road, Ganton Road.

PLEASE REMEMBER:

Routes/Times are subject to change. You can check and track routes at www.bloxwichphoenix.net

Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix also has a Facebook group.

SSAFA forces charity Christmas concert this Saturday

Pelsall Ladies Choir (courtesy Gary Nicholls)

A hard-working charity which supports both current and former armed services personnel is all set to hold a festive fundraiser tomorrow (Saturday) and is inviting kind-hearted people to join them for an enjoyable night out.

The very active West Midlands North Branch (Walsall District) of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help, the national charity supporting those who serve in our Armed Forces, those who used to serve, and their families, has organised a Charity Christmas Concert at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wednesbury on 1st December.

Featuring the talented and ever-popular Pelsall Ladies Choir (pictured above, courtesy Gary Nicholls), the musical evening is taking place at the historic church on Little Hill, Wednesbury.

The concert starts at 7.30pm – tickets cost just £5 and are still available on the door.

Roy Aldridge of SSAFA Forces Help Walsall said:

“Each year, SSAFA’s trained staff and network of 7,500 volunteers provide practical support and assistance to more than 50,000 people, from D-Day veterans to young soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

“To do this we need to raise funds, and anyone attending our Charity Christmas Concert at St Bartholomew’s will have the pleasure not only of a very enjoyable start to the festive season but of knowing that they have contributed to important local work.”

If you are interested in helping to support our local branch of the charity, SSAFA FORCES Help – West Midlands North Branch (Walsall District) can also be contacted by post at the T A V R Centre, Gordon House,  Sutton Road, Walsall WS1 2PA or by telephone on 01922 722778 (not manned daily, please leave a message).

It’s Sparkle not Splutter as Christmas in Bloxwich starts with a bang!

The Italian Market adds sparkle to All Saints grounds.

Saturday saw the third annual Sparkle into a Bloxwich Christmas spectacular take over the village centre, and despite the dismal weather in the afternoon, this annual kick-start to the festive season still managed to sparkle instead of splutter!

The event was organised by Bloxwich Business Partnership – local businesses and organisations working with Walsall Council and the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, churches and schools to bring together local people for yet another fantastic event for the people of Bloxwich and district.

Numerous charity and craft stalls were showcased in All Saints' grounds.
Numerous charity and craft stalls were showcased in All Saints’ grounds.

Today’s feast of festive fun was billed to take place 11am to 4pm, with a busy and jolly-looking Italian Market and a synthetic Ice Rink open between 9am – 5pm.  It was also planned to showcase Bloxwich’s local talent and history – it certainly did the latter by being centred on the grounds of the picturesque All Saints Church as well as the historic High Street this year!

Walsall Cats Protection volunteers Val Turner and Jacki Chilton do their bit for pussies in peril.
Walsall Cats Protection volunteers Val Turner and Jacki Chilton do their bit for pussies in peril.
National Elf Pat Till of the Sister Dora Friends of Walsall Hospice engages youngsters in Christmassy conversation.
National Elf Pat Till of the Sister Dora Friends of Walsall Hospice engages youngsters in Christmassy conversation.
Heidi Summersby - holding a Bloxwich Lion - had been amazingly busy on her craft stall
Heidi Summersby – holding a Bloxwich Lion – had been amazingly busy on her craft stall.
Tasty treats were all for the taking in the Mamma Mia Italian market.
Tasty treats were all for the taking in the Mamma Mia Italian market.

The former was undoubtedly well-represented too, by talented local school pupils and the young stars of Russon Dance Academy performing at various locations, as well as the Steel Pans Band and the Salvation Army band – though due to being unable to attend before 2pm as a result of work commitments, we were sadly only able to catch up with Steel Pans and some young ladies from the Mirus Academy, who were putting on an energetic performance in a shelter near the church and the ice rink.

The Steel Pans Band strikes up a tune as The Bloxwich Telegraph arrives!
The Steel Pans Band strikes up a tune as The Bloxwich Telegraph arrives!
Talented pupils from the Mirus Academy, Beechdale, with Baljit Dutfield, the Academy's Director of Creative Industries and Partnerships.
Talented pupils from the Mirus Academy, Beechdale, with Baljit Dutfield, the Academy’s Director of Creative Industries and Partnerships.

The lynchpin behind the event was as usual the remarkably energetic Nikki Rolls of Walsall Council, whose efforts on behalf of Bloxwich since re-launching the Business Parnership with local traders and groups a few years ago have been tireless.

Of course she would be the first to say how much help she has had from Bloxwich Rotary, the schools, churches, Bloxwich Library, Council colleagues and other local organisations, as well as hard-working community-minded local councillors such as Shaun and Julie Fitzpatrick, who joined Nikki’s daughter Amber and others as enthusiastic if rather damp event marshals!

Street entertainer Mad Dom pumps up a balloon hat for volunteer event marshal Amber Rolls.
Street entertainer Mad Dom pumps up a balloon hat for volunteer event marshal Amber Rolls.
Bloxwich East Labour councillors Shaun and Julie Fitzpatrick also acted as volunteer marshals.
Bloxwich East Labour councillors Shaun and Julie Fitzpatrick also acted as volunteer marshals.

Nikki told The Bloxwich Telegraph that before the rain rolled in the grounds of the church had been jam-packed with revellers looking for festive fun and bargains, not to mention the ice rink and stalls, which had been equally busy – and she estimated that around a thousand visitors had passed through All Saints’ grounds in the morning – very impressive.  She hopes that the event will be even bigger and better next year – with hopefully better weather to boot!

A moment of festive fun as organiser Nikki Rolls gets a hug from a roller-skating Christmas bauble!
A moment of festive fun as organiser Nikki Rolls gets a hug from a roller-skating Christmas bauble!
Buddy can you spare a dime? Neil Bennett, Steve Antill and Stuart Fisher promote the annual Bloxwich Rotary Santa tour.
Buddy can you spare a dime? Neil Bennett, Steve Antill and Stuart Fisher promote the annual Bloxwich Rotary Santa tour.
Slip-sliding away on the synthetic ice rink!
Slip-sliding away on the synthetic ice rink!
Jeneve Bridal Wear's festive entry in the Best-dressed Shop Window competition.
Jeneve Bridal Wear’s festive entry in the Best-dressed Shop Window competition.

The nature of today’s weather, however, inevitably put a bit of a dampener on activities late in the afternoon, though hardy Bloxwich folk and youngsters were still skating away right till the end.

The Bloxwich Telegraph was only able to cover part of today’s events, but I hope you’ll agree that it was well worth us turning out to witness some of the festive fun, food and foolery later on!  If any of our readers have pictures of events up to 1pm that we could add to this picture feature, we’d be very grateful if you could get in touch!  Please email Stuart Williams: bloxwichtelegraph@gmail.com

MORE PICTURES from this afternoon can be viewed on our Flickr Album.

We will report on the winner of the Christmas shop window competition when the results are available.

For more details of what was scheduled to take place today, please see our previous report.

There is no doubt that events pulled together by Bloxwich Business Partnership have raised the profile of Bloxwich in the borough and beyond, and especially by linking groups together in co-operation have fostered a greater sense of community in Bloxwich.

Sparkle into a Bloxwich Christmas is also a great curtain-raiser for the rest of the festive season, and we can surely look forward to more local events from the churches, the Rotary and other groups.  Watch this space!

Armed forces support charity organises festive fundraiser

Roy Aldridge of SSAFA Forces Help Walsall District at Bloxwich War Memorial today, Remembrance Sunday.

A charity which supports both current and former armed services personnel is planning to hold a festive fundraiser in the run-up to Christmas, and is inviting kind-hearted local people to join them for an enjoyable night out next month.

The very active West Midlands North Branch (Walsall District) of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help, the national charity for those who serve in our Armed Forces, those who used to serve, and their families, has organised a Charity Christmas Concert at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wednesbury.

Featuring the talented and ever-popular Pelsall Ladies Choir, the musical evening will take place on Saturday, 1st December 2012 at the historic church on Little Hill, Wednesbury.

Roy Aldridge of SSAFA Forces Help Walsall (pictured, above, at Bloxwich War Memorial) said:

“Each year, SSAFA’s trained staff and network of 7,500 volunteers provide practical support and assistance to more than 50,000 people, from D-Day veterans to young soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

“To do this we need to raise funds, and anyone attending our Charity Christmas Concert at St Bartholomew’s will have the pleasure not only of a very enjoyable start to the festive season but of knowing that they have contributed to important local work.”

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost just £5.

For further information or to book tickets please telephone the Walsall District branch of SSAFA Forces Help at Gordon House in Sutton Road on 01922 722778.

SSAFA FORCES Help – West Midlands North Branch (Walsall District) can also be contacted by post at the T A V R Centre, Gordon House,  Sutton Road, Walsall WS1 2PA.

Coppers bin relay – chance to support services in Afghanistan

Walsall Police Station, Green Lane.

Staff of Walsall Police Station have been busy organising a collection service for items for sending to UK armed forces personnel at war, since a colleague who has a son currently based at Camp Bastian, Afganistan realised that our ‘boys and girls’ currently serving out there would benefit from a few home comforts as they are currently working 12 hour shifts in 40 degree heat.

So kind-hearted coppers – who certainly know their duty – got their heads together and decided to organise a ‘Bin Relay’ to help collect goodies for hard-pressed servicemen and women.

Items can now be donated for sending overseas via Walsall, Bloxwich, Aldridge, Willenhall and Darlaston Police Stations, and police officers/local residents/local community business’s are also being asked if they would like to make a donation to this very worthwhile cause.

The idea is that members of the Royal Navy will then make the necessary arrangements for our boys and girls in Afghanistan to receive the donations.

Items particularly welcomed as donations include:

  • Gift Cards/Note Paper with Envelopes (to send a personal message to serving armed forces personnel).
  • Flip Flops (male and female).
  • Moisturisers.
  • Personal Hygiene Products (shaving/showering/washing products) – MUST BE NON AEROSOL.
  • Books/Magazines/puzzle books.
  • Biscuits (not chocolate).
  • Sweets (apparently they love Haribo)!!,
  • DVDs and CDs.
  • Entertainment (Travel Games).
  • Playing Cards.
  • Lightweight Leisure Clothing (Shorts/vests/T-Shirts.)
  • Suncream.
  • Summer headwear (hats and caps).

Any donations would be very gratefully received, whether from individuals, organisations or businesses.  It is expected the bins of goodies will be collected and sent off at the end of October.

Walsall Local Policing Unit’s website is available via this link.

Mayor appeals for cancer charity

Mayor of Walsall Cllr Dennis Anson

Walsall’s Mayor is appealing to kind-hearted residents to support his charity appeal – either through donations or by organising fundraising events.

Councillor Dennis Anson’s chosen charity is one that is very close to his family’s hearts.

He is raising money for Leukaemia and Melanoma Research which is the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers.

The Mayor’s daughter Denise was diagnosed with leukaemia seven years ago.

He explained: “I want to make sure that the research into this condition continues as I want anyone affected to be able to benefit from the advances being made.

“Leukaemia and Melanoma Research is life-saving research that is focused on finding causes, improving diagnosis and treatments, and running ground-breaking clinical trials for all blood cancer patients.

“Blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma affect people of all ages from babies to grandparents. We need to be sure that we reach all those touched by leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and give them the best possible chance of survival.

“My daughter had treatment to start with and is now taking medication but we are hopeful of her going into remission.

“Others are not so fortunate and it is vital that research continues.

“I would like to take this opportunity of inviting the townspeople of Walsall to support the worthy cause I have officially adopted as The Mayor’s Appeal 2012/2013.  The Charity Appeal will be open to any donations, however small, until the end of my Civic Year in 2013 and I am sure people would agree that is a very worthy cause.”

Donations can be sent directly to the Mayor’s Personal Assistant and, if available, the Mayor would be delighted to receive them personally at the Mayor’s Parlour.

People will receive a receipt for all donations made.  Cheques should be made payable to The Mayor’s Appeal 2012/2013.