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Charity celebrates first birthday with Wild West fundraiser

VISITORS to Melksham Shine Friendship Cafe’s charity fundraising event collected £120 in donations – whilst celebrating its first year of opening. 

Carolyn Fernandes, founder of Shine Friendship said, “The cafe has been running since September 2021 and caters for adults with disabilities or learning difficulties.

“Coming out of Covid and doing outreach, we noticed a lot of clubs that had closed during lockdown, were not starting back up.

“I work in adult support care and wanted to provide a social space for people over 18 to meet.

“I had a vision of celebrating our first year with a big social event that the service users could access, to help their social skills and let them meet other adults – they usually only attend small groups.

“Also, from a church perspective, we were making sure we are inclusive to all society – it has gone from strength to strength and got really busy.”

The café, which meets at Queensway Hall, every Friday from 10 am to 12pm, raises money through various events and have so far collected a total of £585 – towards Help for Heroes, Children in Need, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Comic Relief and the Ukraine appeal.

The day’s funds will be shared between Guide Dogs for the Blind, who will receive £70, and £50 will go towards The Shed – the men’s group and local charity which makes and repairs items for people in the community.

Carolyn added, “It was a great day, everybody seemed to enjoy the variety of entertainment at our first ever event.

“I’ll definitely look to do this again next year.”

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