Uncle’s illness inspires Tanya to take a plunge

LIFEGUARD Tanya Matthews is taking the plunge in a five mile swimarathon at Bridport Leisure Centre for Cancer Research UK.

The former Colfox pupil, pictured below, decided on the challenge as her uncle Steve Marley is battling cancer.

Tanya, 25, will complete some 320 lengths of the leisure centre pool at lunchtime on Thursday October 26.

She has appealed for sponsorship to help her hit her £1,000 target.

Tanya, who lives in Bridport, said: “There are a lot of people out there today suffering with cancer who need help, and I would like to help.

“My uncle Steve Marley is also fighting cancer at the moment and this is my reason for doing the swim.

“I have many shops supporting me, Bridport Leisure Centre, Lula’s restaurant in Bridport and also my uncle’s shop, West Bay Water Sports.

“They each have donation buckets to help me raise my target.”

Tanya, who works at the leisure centre as a lifeguard, is in training and expects the swim to take about four hours.

She said she has never done anything like this before and has appealed for sponsorship and support from people and businesses alike.

Tanya has also set up a Just Giving page for people to sponsor her.

Visit Justgiving.com/ Tanya-caeMatthews1008 to sponsor her.


First event is a flying success
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance have said thanks to supporters, ex-patients, local schools and businesses after its first-ever charity week was deemed a success.

Last week’s initiative was organised by the Assoc-iation of Air Ambulances which unites not only air ambulance charities from across the country, but also ambulance services and operators. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the work of air ambulance charities across the country and encourage the public to support their local service.

During the week helicopter fly-ins took place across the two counties.

People in Bridport were treated to a visit when the helicopter landed on fields near John Bright Fencing in Salway Ash.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance concluded their awareness week with a gathering of volunteers, ex-patients and fundraisers at their airbase located at Henstridge Airfield.

Bill Sivewright, DSAA chief executive officer, welcomed the guests prior to introducing Kenn Duffield from Dorchester who was the first person to be rescued by the service back in March 2000 after he was involved in a road traffic incident.

While giving his presentation, Bill was interrupted by the sound of an alarm which alerted the crew of an incident. The gathering of supporters looked on as the crew made their way to the helicopter and departed. Bill said: “It’s been an incredible week and we are delighted with the response shown by the public and the media. “This appeal is still open, so it’s not too late to show your support. Simply text DSAA02 £10 to 70070.”


Skate park week earns more than £2,000 for ramps
ORGANISERS have paid tribute to wellwishers who got on board to raise £2,750 in Lyme Regis Skatepark Week.

It included four fundraising events at the Nag's Head pub as well as a consultation session with young people about designs for the new skatepark.

Rock star Ian Gillan, of Deep Purple fame, was among those to donate lots for a charity auction at the pub which raised £2,439.

Coun Lucy Campbell, who was among the organisers, said: “What a week.

“It was a great success, raising over £2,750.

“Two of the fundraising events were Cheese Clubs which raised £76.

“Another was the quiz on the Wednesday evening which was good fun and well attended with seven teams taking part, raising another £180.”

Mr Gillan donated a one-off handmade ornamental guitar for Deep Purple, which he signed, for the Harvest Home charity auction.

Coun Campbell said: “On Saturday night, the Harvest Home auction organised by Cheryl Reynolds was a great success.

“We had over 120 items kindly donated by many local businesses as well as local celebs and organisations.

“The evening was great fun with our auctioneer Stuart Fowler doing an excellent job at getting people to dig deep for the cause.

“The night ended with a total of £2439 with a couple more donations on their way.”

The week also included the skatepark design consultation exercise.

Coun Campbell said: “Their ideas and plans were met with great enthusiasm with groups of young people very keen to get involved in the designing of the skatepark and wanting to know how they can help.

She added: “Coun Terry O'Grady and I would like to send a huge thank you to all the businesses and individuals who supported the events and gave so generously.

“We would also like to thank all those who helped make the week such a success.


Cash raised with a raffle for epilepsy charity fund
AN epilepsy sufferer is celebrating after raising more than £3,000 for charity.

Alec Hodgson managed to raise the cash for Epilepsy Action UK at an auction and raffle at the Engine Room restaurant in Poundbury Gardens.

Alec, from Dorchester, said: “I’m really pleased. I was a bit nervous on the night, but it went really well, and I like the feeling that we have done something to help others.”

The 30-year-old paid tribute to his mum, Angie, and dad, Jeff, for their help in organising the event.

Mrs Hodgson said: “We have a large family, and everyone has helped, but Alec has been so determined, and single-handedly collected all the items for auction.

“We’re very proud of him.”

She added: “There was a really lovely atmosphere on the night, and Garry Batt, from Duke’s, who volunteered to do the auction, was just magical.”

Items up for grabs included a mountain bike, half a frozen Gloucester Old Spot pig, a designer leather handbag, and a brown leather foot stool.

Alec said: “We had a really great response from companies and businesses, who donated items, so I’d like to say thank you to them.”

The money will be donated to Epilepsy Action UK, which funds research into the condition, and supports sufferers, helping them to cope with the effects.

Alec has had epilepsy since birth. He said: “I think it’s an important charity, but as well as raising funds on the night, I wanted to help raise awareness.

“A lot of people have not experienced what it can be like and how it affects you, so it’s good to get the subject out there so people can talk about it.”

Mrs Hodgson added: “Alec has a really good attitude, and all his life, he has been determined to live as normally as possible.

“But he does feel quite strongly about encouraging more people to understand the condition.”

Alec now hopes to set up a support group for younger sufferers, through his work with the charity.

Anyone who wants to get involved can contact him on 01305 269918.