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Berkshire charity's plea for help to move to bigger site

A charity in Newbury which created a soft play area for children with disabilities says it desperately needs a bigger, purpose built area.

Swings and Smiles is used by more than 300 local families. It was designed to be less daunting for children with special needs.

But it has outgrown its old home and the charity needs thousands to relocate to a new site.

Mel Bloor reports.

Fundraisers sleep outdoors on 'Byte Night' to raise £150k for fight against youth homelessness

Volunteer fundraisers during 'Byte Night' in Reading last year Credit: Byte Night video

More than a hundred and fifty people will sleep outdoors in Reading tonight to raise money to tackle youth homelessness.

Many of those at the tenth annual 'Byte Night' at Forbury Gardens are from local IT firms. They're hoping to hit a target of raising £150,000 in sponsorship money. Since the first event in Reading in 2007 they have raised one million pounds for the charity Action for Children. The cash will pay for counselling and support for young people at organisations including Here4Me in Newbury.

There are ten other locations across the country holding similar 'sleep out' fundraising events.

Sally Hanson the Chair of the Action for Children 'Byte Night' board said it was a very worthy cause.

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Farnborough Runway run raises £6,000 for charity

Runners start at Farnborough Airport

Almost 400 people have taken part in an unusual charity event at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.

The runway was closed for the town's fifth annual Twilight Runway Challenge. It was organised by TAG Farnborough Airport and The Sixth Form College Farnborough. The £6,000 will go to the CMPP Youth Aspiration Fund (YAF) which provides young people in the area with mentoring and support to help them reach their full potential.

“It’s fabulous to welcome so many people along to the airport on a Saturday evening to support this event. It’s quite a unique opportunity to run, cycle, skate down the runway and taxiways of an airport and participants love having the option of a 3, 5 or 10k distance to suit their ability, which makes it more fun. There’s always such a great atmosphere from when people start arriving for registration, participating in the warm-up, then moving people to the start line for the actual race.”

– Elaine Turner, Marketing and Events Manager, TAG Farnborough Airport
Warming up and cooling down for the Twilight Runway Challenge

“What an amazing evening! The weather was kind to us, every challenger had a smile on their face - even when they had finished - and we raised lots of lovely money for the Youth Aspiration Fund. A huge thank you to everyone who supported and participated in the event.

"It just goes to show what wonderful things can be achieved when organisations work together to support their community.”

– Christine Eustace, Director of Community Engagement, The Sixth Form College Farnborough

Dad becomes superhero to help son, 8, tackle condition

Cycle challenge through a Hampshire park

Dozens of boys from our region who have a muscle-wasting medical condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are continuing to campaign for access to a drug which could help to keep them out of a wheelchair.

NICE, the national body which chooses what medication will be available on the NHS, made an agreement to fund the drug Translarna on the NHS back in April, following 18 months of campaigning by boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and their families. However the drug is not yet available.

One Hampshire father, James Curtis - whose 8-year-old son Jagger has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is cycling to Paris this week to raise money for an electric wheelchair to make his son's life easier. Kerry Swain has our report.

Jagger and other boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy visit Downing Street

To find out more about the Peckham to Paris fundraising bike challenge click here.

Muscular Dystrophy UK has said that research into the condition has reached a critical stage. By 2018 the charity Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund says it will have invested more than £4 million into studying the condition thanks to individual donations, family fundraising activities, trusts and corporate support.

Fundraiser to cycle 320 miles for Prostate Cancer charity

Charity fundraiser in training for major cycling challenge Credit: Ian Gregory

A man from the Isle of Wight is raising money for prostate cancer research by taking on three difficult cycling challenges.

47-year-old Ian Gregory has registered disabilities, but is set on raising money to help increase awareness of prostate cancer and fund research efforts to find a cure for the disease.

Ian was inspired to take action after his relative Don Exell died in 2010, following a case of undetected prostate cancer that he battled for 4 years.

The ‘3 ton challenge’ includes a 117 mile ride in France, the 100 mile Prudential Ride through London and Surrey in July, and the 104 mile Plymouth Gran Fondo.

The money he raises from sponsorship will go to Prostate Cancer UK.

Teen who raised £250k for charity to receive royal gong

Teenager has raised thousands of pounds for charity

A young fundraiser who raised more than a quarter of a million pounds for charity will be presented with his British Empire Medal today.

Thirteen-year-old Jonjo Heuerman from Dartford was included in this year's New Year's Honours. He raised money for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. The teenager will be presented with his medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent at a garden party at Penhurst Place.

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Remembering Camera Obscura's Carey - friends to hold 'CareyFest' to raise money for Sarcoma charity

Friends to hold event to raise money for a cancer charity in Carey Lander's memory

The friends of a musician from Kent who died from a rare form of bone cancer are holding a fundraising event in her name.

Carey Lander from Woodnesborough near Sandwich was a keyboard player in the Scottish band Camera Obscura.

She started a charity fundraising page before she passed away at the age of 33 last October. The online appeal has since raised more than £100,000 for the cancer charity Sarcoma UK.

Now some of her friends are to hold 'CareyFest' at her old school in Maidstone in May to celebrate her life. Derek Johnson reports.

Carey's mother said the continued fundraising and support was heartwarming

Hampshire schoolboy helps fundraise for people made homeless by the war in Syria

Schoolboy Muhammed, 10, helps raise money for people affected by the war in Syria

The Syrian community in Southampton has pledged to raise five thousand pounds to help refugees made homeless by war.

Many of the families who gathered for a charity event today have been in the area for decades, some have just arrived from Syria. All say they're deeply concerned about the conflict in the country they once called home.

In his report, Richard Jones spoke to Dr Redwan El-Khayat from the Syria Relief Charity UK; and 10-year-old fundraiser Muhammed Alzetani.

Firefighters in 7,000 metre pole challenge for charity

Firefighters ahead of their pole challenge Credit: Tom Savvides

A group of firefighters from Brighton & Hove are attempting to break the world record for pole dropping.

Green Watch from Hove Community Fire station are also raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity, as well as the Rocking Horse appeal.

The team are planning to climb and slide nearly 7,000 metres up and down a fire station pole that has been put in place at Brighton's Churchill Square between 9am and 5pm today. They want to grab back the record which they set in 2009.

The challenge for the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service firefighters marks one of the last time the 13 members of Green Watch will be together. Next month one of the fire engines will be taken away from the Hove fire station and the team will be cut down to seven members.

"We have a change of establishment on station, as you know, at the end of March and we want to go out in style getting back our world record before we go our separate ways upholding our continued good work we undertake for charity.

"We have match funding in place, which enables individuals' donations to charities to be doubled, so would like to raise an enormous amount of money for the two fantastic charities.

"We want the public to turn out in their thousands to support us, cheer us on and donate whatever they can, as it is gonna be a great family day.

"Whilst it is important to keep fit for our jobs, we have definitely upped our training for the big event. Each day on duty we spend an hour coming down our fire pole on station and running back up the stairs."

– Darren Eaton, Firefighter
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