QUEEN’S AWARD TO ROTARY TELFORD TREE OF LIGHT
Congratulations have been pouring in following today’s announcement that the Rotary Telford Tree of Light has won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2017.
Amongst the first to congratulate the Telford Tree of Light on their achievement was Rotarian John Sayer, Governor of the District that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands. He said today: “This is excellent news – congratulations to all concerned. It is a well-earned reward for many years of service to the local community.”
Rotarian Paul Booth, Chairman of the Trustees, said the four Rotary clubs which organise the Telford Tree of Light, Ironbridge, Telford Centre, The Wrekin and Wellington, were both ‘honoured and delighted’ to receive this significant award. “It is especially appropriate that the award has been received at the end of its 21st year of operation,” said Paul.
“From small beginnings, the operation has grown into a major annual undertaking, with the preparatory work commencing in April and culminating in a presentation evening in February/March. “The bulk of the activity takes place from late October to Christmas when people are given the opportunity to commemorate the names of their loved ones. These names are then displayed around a Tree in the Telford Shopping Centre and in other locations around the town. “They are also printed in the local paper, the Telford Journal, and on the Tree of Light website. Over 5,000 names are now regularly remembered each year.”
In addition to the opportunity to commemorate the names of loved ones, applicants are requested to donate a minimum of £5 – it has remained at that figure for 21 years – per name to local charities. Fifty percent of the funds raised are given to the local Severn Hospice with the remaining 50% shared between local charities nominated by each of the four Rotary clubs. Over the 21 years, nearly £550,000 has been raised with over £250,000 donated to the hospice and the remainder shared between 50 local charities.
Said Paul: “The whole operation can only function with the voluntary efforts of Rotarians from each of the four clubs and this is estimated at around 3,000 hours per annum.
“In addition, we are indebted to so many organisations who have helped to sponsor and support the Telford Tree of Light over many years, including Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Single Source, Telford Journal, Telford Reprographics, Telford Shopping Centre and Wellington Market Company. “These, together with other corporate sponsors, have underwritten all the costs and allowed all the funds raised to go direct to the charitable organisations.”
He added: “Most of all we are indebted to all our supporters who so dearly wish to commemorate their loved ones at Christmas time. We look forward to continuing to provide this service in 2017 and for many years to come.”
The Charities You Supported in 2016
Severn Hospice - £21,000
Severn Hospice is the region’s leading provider of specialist palliative and end of life care; we provide care and support to patients across Shropshire and Mid Wales. As one of the busiest hospices in the UK, our specialist team cares for thousands of local people every year.
We are committed to providing care to patients in the place where they want to receive it. The loving care we provide goes beyond the four walls of our buildings, as well as caring for patients in our Shrewsbury and Telford sites, our nursing teams also care for, and support, patients choosing to stay in their own homes. We have developed and expanded our community services to enable us to meet the ever-changing needs of those who rely on our care. We now care for as many patients in their own homes, as on our wards in Telford and Shrewsbury.
We are also caring for people for longer periods of time. People are living longer with life limiting illnesses and we want to be there when, and how they need us.
All of the care we provide is free of charge, but not without cost. Thanks to the unwavering support of the people of Shropshire and Mid Wales, we are able to raise £7 million each year to fund our vital services, enabling our highly trained teams to be there when it matters most for local people.
Hope House - £10,500
Hope House is here for children who are affected by conditions so serious they are not expected to live beyond early adulthood - we help them enjoy the best possible quality of life and make the most of every moment with as much happiness and fulfilment as possible. We provide respite care, emotional support, empathy and understanding. We also provide care for children at the end of their lives.
Hope House is here for parents and families who can often find it hard to cope both emotionally and practically. In fact we’re here for the whole family throughout the lifetime of their child and often well beyond.
Hope House offers bereavement counselling to any family after the death of their child and to any children who have lost someone close to them suddenly or unexpectedly. Our special Snowflake bereavement suites mean that any family can stay close to and say goodbye to their child in a safe and supportive environment.
Our dedicated teams work from Hope House, in families’ own homes and within communities across Shropshire, Cheshire, North and Mid-Wales. All our services are free but to carry on funding them we need to raise over £6 million every year, almost all of which is generously contributed by the local community.
Age UK, Shropshire Telford & Wrekin - £2,625
Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin is a local charity, offering services supporting local older people to remain independently in their own homes for as long as possible and to combat loneliness and isolation.
The service model is volunteer-led supported by a small team of paid staff, last year Age UK STW supported 16,000 older people in Shropshire.
Loneliness is a key issue, we know that in Telford & Wrekin over 3,000 older people are in contact with family, friends or neighbours less than once a month (10,000 across Shropshire). Age UK STW offer a range of integrated, preventative services to reduce loneliness and social isolation. We want to use the donations from the Tree of Light to develop our friendship and living well services in Telford. Due to the demand for our services we are changing our service model so that we can use our volunteers to support even more local older people. This will improve older people’s wellbeing and reduce loneliness and isolation in Telford & Wrekin.
Home Start Telford & Wrekin - £2,625
Based in Telford Home-Start offers a unique service. We recruit and train volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, to visit families at home and offer them informal, friendly and confidential support. The families we help have at least one child under 5.
To help give children the best possible start in life, Home-Start supports parents as they grow in confidence, strengthen their relationship with their children and widen their links with the local community.
As a scheme we aim to provide young families with a 'fun outing' each term. This may be a trip to one of the local attractions and once a year we have a seaside visit which is always well attended. For some of our families this is the closest they get to a holiday each year.
The majority of our volunteers are 'Home visiting' volunteers. They are all parents themselves and support families by visiting them in thier own homes and helping them to work through a variety of issues. The cost of supporting a family for a year is £1,100 so this donation will give support to at least 2 families in Telford.
KiP - £5,250
KiP aims to provide an appropriate response to homeless individuals throughout the year but especially through the cold winter months and aims to help alleviate rough sleeping through partnership with Maninplace, Telford & Wrekin Council and also where appropriate, private landlords and short term B&B.
Kip engages with rough sleepers and provides the basic necessities including food and clothing through the Drop-in Centre on Tan Bank, Wellington and promotes fair access to all, compassion, honesty, integrity, quality of service in a non-judgemental and non-discriminatory environment.
February 7th 2017
Telford and District Tree of Light held its presentation evening, hosted by Rotary Club of Wellington President John Wardle, at the Buckatree Hall Hotel.
This year the Telford Tree of Light, which is run by the Rotary Clubs of Ironbridge, Telford Centre, Wellington and The Wrekin, celebrated its 21st Anniversary. Chair of the Telford Tree of Light organising committee, Rotarian Peter Seaward, said, “We are delighted to announce that this year the Telford Tree of Light will distribute £42,000 to local charities. This is thanks to the wonderful generosity of the people of Telford who donate to The Tree of Light to remember their loved ones at Christmas time.”
Chair of the Trustees of the Rotary Clubs of Telford & Wrekin Trust Fund, Rotarian Paul Booth, under whose auspices the Tree of Light operates said, “ The names of those remembered are displayed around the Tree of Light in Telford Shopping Centre, in Carol’s Cafe at Wellington Market, at the offices of Tranter Lowe in Dawley and Oakengates and at Truffles Cafe in Ironbridge. The names are also published in the Telford Journal and on the Tree of Light website. Since 2001 the Severn Hospice has received half of the funds donated with the remainder donated to charities that serve the people of Telford. These are chosen by each of the four Rotary Clubs."
The full cost of the appeal is met by the business community, other organisations and the Rotary Clubs themselves. This means that the entire amount donated by the public is distributed to the good causes. President David Jefferies of the Ironbridge Club gave a cheque for £2625 to Hiliary Knight of Age UK [Telford & Wrekin]; President John Wardle of the Rotary Club of Wellington presented a cheque for £2625 to Julia Allinson of Home Start, Telford & Wrekin and President Robyn Davies of the Rotary Club of the Wrekin gave £5250 to Steve Watkins of KIP. President Chris Mackrell of the Rotary Club of Telford Centre supported by President John and President David, presented a cheque for £10,500 to Lynsey Kilvert of Hope House in celebration of their 21 birthday which happily co-incided with that of the Telford Tree of Light. Finally Chairman of the Tree of Light Committee, Peter Seaward, presented £21,000 to David Sear of Severn Hospice.
In conclusion Peter thanked everyone for their support during this year and over his past four years during his tenure as organising Committee Chair. He added that Rtn Max Clowes of the Rotary Club of Ironbridge was taking on the role for the 2017 campaign and wished him well.
Left: Helen & from sponsor Lanyon Bowdler with Rtn Chris Broad, Tree of Light Secretary. Centre: Dan & Rhi from sponsor Telford Reprographics. Right: Laura and Annie from sponsor Phillips Chartered Accountants with Rtn Neil Phillips.
December 9th 2016
Its surprising where the application forms for the Telford Tree of Light can be found. At Thursday's annual carol service of the Wolverhampton & East Shropshire Riding for the Disabled these forms were seen at St Bartholemew's Church, Tong.
With two weeks to go until Christmas the donations for the charities supported by the Telford Tree of Light amount to £37,868 including the first amount of Gift Aid. Nearly 2,400 forms have been received remembering over 5,500 loved ones.
December 6th 2016
A great deal of work goes into preparing the names for publication. Part of this work is the printing of the names so that they can be displayed. Apart from placing the names around the Tree at Telford Town Centre they appear in a Book of Remembrance at 'Truffles' in Ironbridge, at Tranter Lowe in Dawley and Oakengates and in Wellington Market. The printing is done at Phillips Chartered Accountants in Stafford Park, Telford by Administrators Annie Dodd and Laura Hicks. The photographs show Annie and Laura producing the list for publication and display later this week.
The names are also displayed on this website and appear in the Telford Journal.
Today the donations to the Tree of Light have reached £32,157. This amount will increase when Gift Aid is added.
November 29th 2016
This Christmas tree in the photograph was donated by the Wyevale Garden Centre in Donnington. The tree was presented to the Headteacher of the Charlton School, Andrew McNaughton, following an assembly about remembrance and the Telford Tree of Light. The assembly was led by Rotarian Chris Broad of the Rotary Club of Ironbridge who has visited a number of schools in Telford to talk about the Tree of Light. The schools are presented with their Tree to act as a representation of the main Telford Tree in their school environment.
Today the total donations to the Telford Tree of Light have reached over £30,000.
November 22nd 2016
There are about 4 weeks left for loved ones to remembered around the Rotary Tree of Light in Telford Town Centre. It takes us up to 10 days to process the forms and put the names around the Tree itself and in other places, Truffles Cafe in Ironbridge, Carrols Cafe in Wellington Market and Tranter Lowe offices in Dawley and Oakengates. The names are also published on the Tree of Light website - please follow this link telfordtreeoflight.org.uk
Apart from the Rotary Clubs themselves we have 22 Corporate sponsors, whose names appear around the Tree in Telford Town Centre, and on the website. Without their financial support and supply of goods, we would not be one of the most successful Rotary Trees of Light in the UK.
As at Monday 21st November, over 2300 names are displayed around the Tree with over £26000 donated for our charities [Severn Hospice, Hope House, KIP, Home-Start Telford & Wrekin and Age UK.]. Gift Aid will increase this figure so we would ask all taxpayers to sign the forms in the appropriate place. It is a huge benefit to the charities chosen this year, and money is given to us freely by the Government.
In this the 21st year of Telford’s Rotary Tree of Light we would like to beat last years total of over £41000.
November 18th 2016 - Week 4
Today is the end of the fourth week of a very busy 2016 Telford Tree of Light campaign. 1760 people have asked for the names of their loved ones to be remembered around the Tree. Donations this year have already reached £24874. This all keeps the team very busy behind the scenes in making sure that the names appear across Telford. The photograph on the right shows Chairman of the Trustees, Paul Booth, hard at week in preparing this week's donations for banking.
Apart from placing the names around the Tree at Telford Town Centre they appear every week in the Telford Journal, in a Book of Remembrance at 'Truffles' in Ironbridge [see photograph to the left], at Tranter Lowe in Dawley and Oakengates and in Wellington Market. The names are also displayed on this website.
November 12th 2016 - Rotarians at the Tree
Members of the Rotary Clubs of Ironbridge, Telford Centre, Wellington and The Wrekin will be on duty at the Tree of Light in Telford Town Centre from 10.00 until 16.00 from Saturday 12 November until Saturday 17th December.
The object of having a presence by Rotarians alongside the Tree of Light is to provide help and information to the public who may not be aware of the Tree, what it is about or how to make an application.
November 10th 2016 - The Switch On
A crowded Mall at Telford Town Centre filled by the sounds of the splendid Hope House Choir heralded the arrival of Christina Trevanion who was to switch-on the 2016 Telford Tree of Light. Chairman of the organising committee, Peter Seaward, welcomed representatives of the charities supported by this year's Tree, the Tree's sponsors, Rotary District 1210 Governor, John Sayer, the Presidents of the four organising Rotary Clubs and many of those whose families' names appear around the Tree. Peter said, "The Telford Tree of Light would not be possible without the support of the four Rotary Clubs of Telford and the many corporate sponsors who contribute so that every penny donated in memory of a loved one can be passed to the nominated charities. This together with the wonderful generosity of the people of Telford helps to make the Tree a great success."
Peter then welcomed and introduced Christina Trevanion, Shropshire’s own BBC antiques valuer and auctioneer, before asking her to Switch-on this year's Tree. With the warmth of her smile and personality filling the area around the Tree she spoke from personal experience of the importance of remembering loved ones, especially at Christmas time. Then following a traditional count-down she switched on the 2016 Telford Tree of Light.
Row 1: Christina Trevanion is welcomed by Peter Seaward; Peter Seaward with Annie Dodd and Laura Hicks [Administrators with Phillips Chartered Accountants] who are in charge of printing the lists of those remembered; President Chris Mackrell of the Rotary Club of Telford Centre with Lynsey Kilvert of Hope House.
Row 2: Tree of Light Trustee Max Clowes of the Rotary Club of Ironbridge with Lucy Ruff of Severn Hospice; Christina Trevanion and Peter Seaward celebrate the Switch-on; President John Wardle of the Rotary Club of Wellington with Julia Allinson from Homestart Telford and Wrekin.
Row 3: Christina Trevanion with the lit Tree; Lucy Ruff, Christina Trevanion and Lynsey Kilvert; Christina Trevanion with Rotary District 1210 Governor John Sayer and Polio Bear.
November 3rd 2016
At the end of the second week of the appeal we have received 1,086 application forms with donations amounting to £15,523. When forms are received they are checked and processed by volunteer members of the four Rotary Clubs. All the names of family and friends who are being remembered on the Tree are then added to the database. The names are then prepared for printing to go around the Tree, for the Telford Journal and for the Tree of Light website. The photograph show Rotarians Chris Broad and Max Clowes at work with Thursday's forms.
October 2016 Packing & Posting
During the second week in October members of the four Rotary Clubs prepared and packed 2600 letters to be posted to those who participated in last year's Telford Tree of Light.
The photograph show Rotarian Paul Booth & Rotarian John Morris-Roberts with the envelopes ready for posting with the assistance of Lanyon Bowdler of Telford.
Celebrity to Launch the 2016 Telford Tree of Light Appeal
The opening of the Telford Tree of Light Appeal will take place at Telford Town Centre on Thurday 10th November 2016. This year we are privileged to have Christina Trevanion, Shropshire’s own BBC antiques valuer and auctioneer, to switch on the Lights and lauch the 2016 Appeal.
2016 Charities Named
At a meeting of the incoming club Presidents and Trustees it was decided that half the funds raised would be donated to the Severn Hospice, a quarter to Hope House (whose 21st anniversary this year coincides with our own) an eighth to the KIP project (for homeless in Telford) with the other eighth being shared between Homestart (which aids young mothers) and the Age UK Telford Befriending Appeal (support for lonely and isolated individuals).
September 2016 - The First Donation
We have received our first donation for this year's Tree of Light - and with it these wonderful words:
"I live in Telford and my dad, who passed away from brain cancer in Jan 2014, loved the Tree of Light in Telford Town Centre at Christmas. I missed out in putting his name down for it last year so I've been stalking the website ever since to get in haha. Donation is very much an ease for me. It'll be more than anything I could ever give to see his name on the Tree of Light this Christmas. If you ever need any volunteers for advertising about it give me a shout I use all social media platforms facebook twitter instagram and I work at the PRH so I'd be more than happy to spread the word.
Without you and your team I wouldn't be able to make my mom smile this coming Christmas. Just seeing his name will bring her a little comfort. So thank you all for the hard work time and effort you provide to this wonderful thing you do its very very much appricated and the fact that this year the money raised is going to Severn Hospice and Hope House is fantastic and a little more special to me and my family as my dad did alot of charity work for them."
Planning for the 2016 Telford Tree of Light Appeal Begins
On the 7th July, the Telford Tree of Light organising committee had their first meeting to plan the Christmas 2016 Tree of Light Appeal. The Rotarians in the photograph are from the four Rotary Clubs in Telford, namely Wellington, Telford Centre, Ironbridge and The Wrekin.
This will be 21st year that the Telford Tree of Light is being organised for the local community and for local charities. Through the generosity of our local community we had the most successful Rotary Tree of Light in the UK last year collecting over £40000, and a total in the first 20 years exceeding £500000. All the monies donated go to local charities.
The 2015 Appeal is Ended
Thank you for your generosity we exceeded our target of £40,000 for 2015 which enabled us to reach the magnificent achievment of being able to distribute £500,000 to local charities during the 20 year's of the Tree of Light.
The Telford Tree of Light would not be possible with the support of the four Rotary Clubs of Telford and the many corporate sponsors who contribute so that every penny donated in memory of a loved one can be passed to the nominated charities. The organising committee are extremly grateful to Wellington Market Company for proof reading and printing the names around the tree and in our other locations; Telford Town Centre who provide the tree and the place to display it; Telford Reprographics who print the cards and banners, and Single Source and other corporate sponsors who make it possible for every penny dedicated to a remembered loved one is given to local charities.