Saluting the big-hearted fundraisers of Suffolk

Culford Prep School, near Bury St Edmunds, fundraising for Children in Need. Picture: Paul Wellstead

Culford Prep School, near Bury St Edmunds, fundraising for Children in Need. Picture: Paul Wellstead - Credit: Archant

Gina Long celebrates more of Suffolk’s charity fundraisers in her latest monthly column.

Orwell Singers Choir.

Orwell Singers Choir. - Credit: Archant

The run-up to Christmas is a time when so many people decide to give or get involved with charity or by generously supporting a neighbour, friend or a project within their community. On my pages throughout the year, we have profiled so many wonderful charity events, projects and initiatives undertaken by many great people throughout Suffolk.

The RSM CSR team in their Christmas jumpers. Picture: Jade Perry, FIND Ipswich

The RSM CSR team in their Christmas jumpers. Picture: Jade Perry, FIND Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Today’s pages are devoted to the work of volunteers, the ‘unsung heroes’, working hard within our communities, all doing something that helps make the biggest difference day-to-day.

Huge congratulations to the team at RSM Bury St Edmunds Audit, Tax and Business Consulting Service for winning the RSM UK Responsible Citizen Award. The award is such a great honour for an amazing group of charity superstars, continually giving their all to raise money for their Charity of the Year GeeWizz, where they’ve raised an incredible £13,000.

Their fantastic fundraising efforts this year, include a mixed netball tournament, a rounders tournament, and some members of their team took place in the Orwell Walk. The RSM team have specifically fundraised to help purchase a much needed new specialist wheelchair, iPad and weekly physio for Kieran Horgan. They already have great plans for 2018...

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December is such an important time to consider what charity really means, particularly to remember that some people sadly do not have a family, friends or even a home to enjoy the festive celebrations.

I’d like to highlight the fantastic work Families in Need (FIND) Ipswich does in our community. FIND is a Christian-based charity, and they provide emergency assistance to families or individuals affected by poverty or depression in Ipswich, and surrounding areas.

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They also run a food bank, to distribute food to people in need, however they are short on drivers to deliver the food packages, so please do consider volunteering a small amount of your time this Christmas. The Orwell Singers Ladies Choir have raised an incredible £700 for the charity this month, and they’ll be celebrating their silver anniversary together next year too.

Excitingly, Genesis PR have just named FIND as their Charity of the Year for 2018. Bravo to Penny and Charles Arbuthnot and team at Genesis who are planning to help fund a new foodbank premises and warehouse for the charity in Ipswich.

I really am so delighted that the students at West Suffolk College have chosen to name my charity GeeWizz as their Charity of the Year. The widely-recognised Global Enterprise Week kicked off a fortnight of fundraising for the students, who have raised over £4,000 so far. Their fundraising activities have included everything from a quiz night, to a head shave, ‘24 Sports in 24 hours’ and a collection at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre. The passion the students have shown has been outstanding, we have watched them in awe.

The London Marathon is a significant event every year, for any fundraiser, and again Lisa Lumley and I will be in the thousands taking on the 26.2 mile run, along with my dear friend Chris Cook from Little Bealings.

Chris is running for the Inga Foundation, which aims to restore degraded land and generate a sustainable livelihood for millions of farmers around the world. His reason for running for this charity, he said, is because he doesn’t want to hear his grandchildren say, “Grandpa, why did all the rainforests disappear? Why is the sea coming in our front door?”

Chris told me: “I hate running, I’ll crawl round if I have to, but I love this project.” I would like to wish him the best of luck with his training from now until April, and Chris, I will see you at the finish line!

See the fantastic work the Inga Foundation are doing here: do consider donating by going to:

Culford Prep School Parents’ Association in Bury St Edmunds have raised more than £4,000 for East Anglian Air Ambulance, Gatehouse, GeeWizz, Nicky’s Way and Children in Need from hosting their magnificent Fireworks in the Park and a Christmas Fayre.

Please do share your charity stories with me, email all details and a photo to: Follow me on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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