Jan 1952 - Sept 2020
It is with great deal of sadness that we share with the sudden but peaceful death of our founder Denise Inger on Sunday 13 September 2020. She has touched the lives of so many of families and individuals in Swansea over the past four decades and I am sure many of us will all have our special memories of things she has done with us.
Denise first set up Local Aid in the early 1980’s and was a huge advocate for equality and open access to all with additional learning needs enabling all to be a meaningful part of their local community. In her professional life Denise was the chief executive of SNAP Cymru and although they differ in what they do both charities have inclusion in society and the community at the heart of what they do. Denise was an all Wales ambassador and friend to the learning disability community and a person whose door was always open.
Denise’s can do and will do approach as our chairperson for over 25 years and then more recently overseeing our finances as treasurer has inspired us all. From fundraising in the early days, the inception of our projects, to setting up our charity shops, providing volunteering opportunities, arranging work experience placements and training opportunities for all. Denise was a driving force and always ready to pioneer new ideas such as the Schools Challenge which ran for 20 years. Each year, Schools Challenge gave over 1,000 children in inclusive teams from local schools the opportunity to go to Gnoll Park for a week of adventuring providing everyone volunteers and children and young people with unique and challenging experiences. Denise vision that the volunteering opportunities and work experience could be the beginning of career paths is being realised many of our volunteers have moved into roles in the health, social care and education fields crediting their experience with Local Aid as their spring board.
Denise had the ambition, drive, and persistence to bring about change and create a community within our organisation which will be her long-lasting legacy. Denise, the person who did just about everything in Local Aid, listener, supporter, coach, mentor, shop volunteer, project developer and manager, health and safety officer, fund raiser, chairperson and treasurer never missing the opportunity to spread the message and get support for the charity. Denise was in her element sorting through the donations, going down the water slide in Schools Challenge as well as meeting dignitaries including the Queen.
Right up to a few days before she died, she was still passionately involved in supporting families. She was a truly inspirational lady who will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
Local Aid awarded the best charity in UK, in the 2019 eBay Business Awards
Coronavirus Contingency - Changes in our service provision
Local Aid staff and volunteers will do their upmost continue to provide services during the Corona Virus outbreak and review this daily following advice and announcements from Public Health Wales.
Our Shops and our office will be CLOSED as we are following government advice regarding self-isolation and working from home in order to protect high risk staff and volunteers and to contribute to the attempt to slow down the rate of transmission.
Please be aware that we will not be operating our delivery and collection service until it is safe to do so. We will be happy to receive requests for when things return to normal via our Website message facility. Referrals for both Buddies and Diversity can still be sent to Amanda@localaid.co.uk who will response accordingly.
Staff who are able to work from home have access to IT systems that will ensure that we can still support our children, young people and their families by working remotely using technology such as Skype, WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams to offer support, and advice to help ease anxieties and reduce extra pressures put on to families during isolation.
Our staff have all received Data protection training and are aware of our Lone working and Working from home policies.
Throughout this crisis staff and volunteers will do their utmost to help vulnerable families alongside our statutory and third sector colleagues, sharing information, resources and expertise.
We will be keeping in close contact with our project funders, City and County of Swansea, Global Makes Some Noise Awards for all Wales and responding to their contingencies.
Stay safe and stay at home.
Thank you for your continued support.
What a fantastic achievement, we are so very proud of everyone in Gorsienon shop, wishing them all the best for the awards night next Tuesday when they received their Award! - www.facebook.com
Local Aid Swansea supports prestigious concert event
The world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra are coming to Swansea for the first time ever on Saturday 20.10.18! All proceeds will be donated to charities Local Aid and Maggie’s, with general admission at just £25 and £5 for students! The event will be at The Great Hall (Swansea University Bay Campus) so don't miss out and purchase your tickets now from The Taliesin . You can find out more about the composer Antonis Simintiras and hear a preview of the music at simintiras.com.
Local Aid Swansea charity launches new Training Shop in Gorseinon
This week marked the launch of a new venture for the charity that has been supporting children with special needs and their families in Swansea for almost 30 years. The new project ‘Take That’ is based on Gorseinon High Street and is funded by Global’s Make Some Noise Radio Campaign via Heart Cardiff who have been partnered with Local Aid to raise enough money to fund a full-time project coordinator and a tutor.
The Charity shop will be run by young people aged 15-25-year-old who have additional learning needs, or are disengaged in education, have challenging behaviour or are socially excluded. As well as a live retail environment the shop also hosts an up-cycling workshop, where young people will be able to gain skills such as redesigning clothes, painting furniture and transforming items ready for resale.
There is also a classroom which will enable learner to follow an Agored Cymru programme which will allow them to gain accredited awards and skills that they can use in the future.
The Lord Mayor of Swansea, David Phillips, cut the ribbon for the official opening ceremony was greatly attended by the charities trustees and Staff also Pen-y-Bryn school students who are among the first to try out the new project, an array of different representatives from local organisations/charities and lots of members of the public. Amanda Lervy, Director for Local Aid said” It was a really lively and successful day! We are really looking forward to getting to know the local community. We very much look forward to seeing the positive impact this project makes on the local area. Please pop down to our Gorseinon shop to look around where you will be given a warm welcome”.
Local Aid are looking for Volunteer mentors to help support young people gain the most out of their experience. For more information call in to the shop at 70 High Street, Gorseinon or call Beth on 07521 607200.
"We very much look forward to seeing the positive impact this project makes on the local area. Please pop down to our Gorseinon shop to look around where you will be given a warm welcome”.
Blog: The Buddies Volunteer
"During the summer of 2015 I started volunteering at a play scheme called Buddies run by Local Aid. This scheme aims to support special needs children by providing them with many different opportunities to develop their skills. I decided to begin volunteering in order to broaden my experiences. I wanted to gain and develop new skills whilst getting to know many different children with special needs. Immediately on joining buddies I was overwhelmed by the welcoming, warm nature of all the staff and children. Buddies carries out different activities from week to week and I really enjoyed the variety that it brought to the day.
All the staff ensured that I felt comfortable in the amount of responsibility I was given and that I was able to approach any of them if I had any questions. Throughout my time volunteering I was fortunate to have been able to have got to know all of the children very well and so over two years later we all feel like one big family. I can't begin to describe how much I have gained from Buddies. It is a very maturing, confidence building, and enlightening experience which I am very grateful for.
Volunteering at Buddies also helped me in gaining a place for medicine in the University of Nottingham: it's a great addition to a personal statement. I can honestly say that I will miss each one of the children immensely when I go to University. Each one of them is different in their own way which is what made my experience so unique. I will cherish the memories I have made at buddies forever, from seeing a child's face light up after going down a slide in the lc2 to the whole of the staff and children staying in on rainy days singing, laughing and playing games. I can't wait to volunteer again when I'm back from Uni - there's no other place I'd rather be on a Saturday."
"We cannot thank Heart Wales and its listeners enough for their incredible support. As a benificary of Global’s Make Some Noise, we were hoping for a grant of £40,000 but when they surprised us with a cheque for more than £80,000 we were totally overwhelmed. "
Heart Wales surprises Local Aid
Today Heart Wales presenters Jagger and Woody surprised Local Aid with a cheque for £80,400 raised by Global’s Make Some Noise.
The charity was hoping for a grant of £40,174 but thanks to the generosity of listeners across Global’s radio brands, Global’s Make Some Noise donated more than double that amount.
Local Aid supports more than 150 children and their families in Swansea. The organisation supports young people with learning difficulties and physical disabilities, and helps them to reach their potential. The money raised by Heart Wales and Global’s Make Some Noise will fund the cost of an employability and skills training programme for 15 to 20 year olds, who are traditionally disadvantaged in the workplace. This will deliver life-changing benefits for the people helped by Local Aid.
Global’s Make Some Noise is the official charity of Global, the Media & Entertainment group, and home to Capital, Heart, LBC, Classic FM, Smooth, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold.
Global’s Make Some Noise helps small charities and projects dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged youngsters living with illness, disablity or lack of opportunity. Global’s Make Some Noise gives charities such as Local Aid a platform to reach an audience of more than 25 million weekly listeners through Global’s radio brands.
Every year, grants are awarded to small projects across the country to help fund the vital services they offer. Since its launch in 2014, Global’s Make Some Noise has raised more than £11 million and helped 192 incredible charities and projects.
Heart Wales managing editor, Gareth Setter said: “Global’s Make Some Noise plays such an important role in raising awareness of small charities like Local Aid. The kindness of our listeners means Global’s Make Some Noise can more than double its donation, which will help Local Aid extend their programme for an extra twelve months.
Amanda Lervy, Director at Local Aid, said: “We cannot thank Heart Wales and its listeners enough for their incredible support. As a benificary of Global’s Make Some Noise, we were hoping for a grant of £40,000 but when they surprised us with a cheque for more than £80,000 we were totally overwhelmed. The extra funds will allow us double our service This will make a huge difference to number of families we can look after.”
"Throughout my time volunteering I was fortunate to have been able to have got to know all of the children very well and so over two years later we all feel like one big family."
Jan 1952 - Sept 2020