Archive for “June, 2014”

School’s Challenge – a great success yet again!

School’s Challenge has firmly established itself as a major event in the school calendar, highlighting the need for active and participatory activities for children with disabilities.

The Challenge has evolved from the recognition that challenging activities play an important role in the individual development of children of all abilities and ages.

Now in its 24th year and organised in partnership with Local Aid, SNAP Cymru, Mid and West Fire Service, Neath Port Talbot Police Schools Liaison, The National Probation Service, Gower Colleges, Prince’s Trust,  HSBC and many other local volunteer organisations and  businesses

Over 30 activities hosted by local organisations and business were organised throughout the park. Every day 400+ children from 100+ schools attend from across the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas. Teams from local business and organisations welcomed over 2000 children, teachers, carers, parents and spectators during the five day event.

The week was a great laugh and gave children the chance to develop confidence, leadership skills, self-esteem and team building skills as well as the opportunity to have fun and get very wet and muddy.

An important part of the week were the children’s fancy dress costumes. This year’s theme was WW1 and throughout the week we saw some incredible outfits including soldiers, sailors and airmen.

It was a great week and we were very impressed by the effort and enthusiasm of all the children involved, which helped to create a fantastic atmosphere.

Our Chief Executive, Denise Inger, is passionate about Schools Challenge and the benefits it brings to children and young people. Speaking after the event she said:
The event is only made possible by professionals working together, pooling resources and achieving something special for children. Local Aid Schools Challenge provides opportunities for children with additional needs to represent their school. The event is competitive, challenging and inclusive… and children have fun!

Finally, a big thank you to our volunteers, who helped to make the week a big success. A special mention must go to Joshua Ham, Sean Lloyd and Alex Gatherer who worked tirelessly cutting out poppies and assembling a bi-plane puzzle for the children to make and solve.

Celebrating Volunteers Week 2014

“You make a life by what you give”

An amazing 80 SNAP Cymru volunteers received a certificate signed by the First Minister, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones (AM), acknowledging their outstanding contribution to volunteering in Wales.

As part of Volunteers week in early June, SNAP staff gave a massive ‘thank you’ to all their volunteers who continually amaze us with their dedication, hard work and skills.

Volunteers are critical to the success of SNAP Cymru. Recent research shows that for every £1 invested in SNAP, we are able to provide approximately £20 in return on that investment – our volunteers are a huge part of that. Their skills, hard work and professionalism really inspires confidence in SNAP Cymru.

Investors in People assessors say we have;
“Exceptional engagement from a volunteer workforce who gauge what they get back from their efforts in terms of positive personal development, self-esteem, confidence and recognition, rather than in monetary terms… Such volunteers are exceptionally motivated and engaged. They are treated equally and are considered invaluable to the organisation. There is exceptional support and development offered to the volunteer workforce and there are many examples of people whose lives have been turned around through the experience of volunteering.”
Pam Tanner, IIP, 2014

Families and professionals across Wales value our volunteers and see the impact of their work;“On behalf of myself and the family, we would like to give special thanks to your volunteers who supported the family during the process. Without their help, the family would have really struggled throughout.  It was a huge learning curve for myself also, having never been involved in this process before.  It was a brilliant result for the child and I cannot thank you all enough!” 

So once again, we’d like to thank all our volunteers for:
  –  helping sort, organise and label all the donations we’ve received these past few weeks for our brand new shop venture
–  the wonderful job handling calls and supporting families across Wales
–  every time a family is helped to understand and make sense of paperwork or have the confidence to express their views
–  patient business support and detailed help with accounts and administration
–  getting out our leaflets and information for families across local communities
–  delivering training sessions with humour and expertise
–  helping steer us through with business and strategic expertise
–  supporting and caring for each other and for helping the whole team to make the best of their talents and skills
…and everything else our volunteers do for us!
Thank You
From Denise, The NEC and All the Staff

SNAP launches first boutique charity shop

On Saturday 31st May at 11.00am SNAP Cymru threw open the doors to our first boutique charity shop.

Based in Llandrindod Wells, the shop will raise money for SNAP to continue supporting children, young people and families who are most in need of it.

And this is only the beginning. SNAP Cymru is looking toward this new venture as a starting point from which further shops will be opened all across Wales, each helping to enhance the support and advice we are able to offer families.

Collectively, charity shops turn an annual profit of almost £300m so our new shop promises to be a great asset to SNAP’s work.

We hope our new venture is not just a shop, but a place to meet, inspire and volunteer. Supporting the shop will be a fantastic way to contribute to the local community, to help vulnerable children and families and to bag a bargain at the same time!

Charity shops can also benefit the wider community. Volunteering can be used as a route back into paid work and the shops themselves can become a place for people to simply “drop in” for a chat.

With all these benefits and more, it’s no wonder that we’re excited about this venture. But of course, the shop would be nothing without help. We are on the look-out for good quality items to add to our stock, including clothes (particularly ladies vintage), fashion accessories (jewellery, furs etc.), ornaments, CDs and DVDs, second-hand furniture, or any other quality items you may wish to donate.

We are also on the hunt for enthusiastic volunteers to help staff our shop and make it a lively, friendly environment for customers. Whatever time you can donate would be very much appreciated.