On Monday, March 1 Rays of Sunshine, a children’s charity that brightens the lives of seriously ill children across the UK by granting their wishes and providing ongoing support, launched a stunning virtual children’s art gallery that displays bespoke artwork created by children who are all living with a serious or life-limiting illness. One of the people displaying their artwork is Sophie, aged 25, from Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Created alongside Moyosa Media, award winners in digital technology, the gallery aims to celebrate the magical bond between Rays of Sunshine and its beneficiaries, in addition to recognising the charity’s patrons and supporters. Each child has depicted their own interpretation of the theme ‘sunshine, happiness and laughter’ and many of the pieces of art were created during group creative workshops with Rays of Sunshine.
Sophie now aged 25, has a rare and complex form of Brittle Diabetes, Functional Neurological Disorder, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Non-Epileptic Seizure Disorder and Hypermobility Syndrome. She endures a range of symptoms daily, including seizures, joint dislocations, nausea and require lots of medication.
In 2010, Rays of Sunshine granted Sophie’s greatest wish to visit the set of BBC One’s drama Holby City. When Sophie’s health deteriorated, Sophie was offered another wish in 2012 and got to sing with popular boyband, JLS, at the Royal Albert Hall. Since then, Sophie has been heavily involved with the charity as a Wish Ambassador, where she has co-ordinated 18 wishes to date. Her artwork ‘Bring them fun’ will be displayed in the gallery and is inspired by one of her favourite memories with Rays of Sunshine, singing with the charity’s choir at Royal Albert Hall in 2014.
Lindsey Bennister, Chief Executive Officer of Rays of Sunshine, comments:
“We’re really excited to be launching the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Art Gallery filled with wonderful artwork by our beneficiaries. Every piece on display was created by a child living with a serious or life-limiting illness and the result is a collection of art as unique and inspiring as the children themselves. During the pandemic, Rays of Sunshine has been committed to continuing to support families across the UK, and provide joy and hope, and this gallery is no exception. Bringing together the children and families via virtual art sessions has resulted in some incredible pieces of art, which we are very proud to display. We’re incredibly grateful and thankful to everyone who made this possible, including our generous sponsors, Moyosa Media and, of course, all our very talented artists.”
The Rays of Sunshine Children’s Art Gallery is live from Monday 1st March 2021 here: https://raysofsunshine.org.uk/childrens-art-gallery/
Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity was formed in 2003 to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and young people and their families across the UK by granting wishes and providing ongoing support in hospital and within the community. For more information, or ways to support, please visit www.raysofsunshine.org.uk.
Easter Cheer at the Food Hub
RED DOT FINANCIAL PLANNING is bringing seasonal cheer to the recipients of food parcels from the Llandeilo Food Hub.
Stephanie Jones and Dyfed Lloyd-Jones brought bags full of Easter Chocolates to be given to the families currently looked after by the Food Hub.
“Our office is just around the corner and we’ve been meaning to contribute to the community for a while,” said Stephanie. “A recent Facebook post about the food hub reminded me. Seeing the great set up we know we will be back.”
Volunteers Urszula Haines and Christoph Fischer received the donation on behalf of the Food Hub.
“It’s great that the families get to enjoy that bit of seasonal luxury and we can’t thank our donors enough,” said Urszula.
Donations for the Food Hub can be dropped off at the Llandeilo Rugby Club every day between 2 and 4 pm. For deliveries out of hours contact LlandeiloCovid19@mail.com
Wiltshire Farm Foods ‘Brings Sunshine’ to Torvill and Dean Fan
THE UK’s leading provider of ready meals, Wiltshire Farm Foods, has gifted one of its customers a signed photo and hand-written note from Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, as part of its ‘Bringing Sunshine’ campaign to brighten the lives of its customers in lockdown.
Dinas Cross based, Sheila Lester, 89, has long been a fan of the notorious ice-skating Olympians and, since watching ITV’s ‘Dancing on Ice’ this year, expressed her admiration for the duo’s friendship in a competition launched by the company in a bid to lift its customers’ spirits.
Encouraging a selection of customers to share an experience that would ‘bring them sunshine’ with postcards sent out alongside their regular deliveries, Wiltshire Farm Foods was overwhelmed by the responses.
In what has been an incredibly challenging year for many, it was evident that customers had been missing the simpler, more authentic things in life, such as walking on the beach or eating out again.
Many of the hand-written postcards also expressed the need to see loved ones again and cherish those all-important cuddles with grandchildren.
Sheila had no idea she was receiving the framed photograph until her regular driver, Gavin, arrived on her doorstep with her meals and the gift wrapped present.
“It was such a lovely surprise! When I wrote it on the postcard, I had no idea it could happen. Knowing that Torvill and Dean took time out of their busy schedules to write to me means the world; this photo will be treasured. It’s also cheered me up no end, and we all need a bit of that at the moment, don’t we?”
Aiming to bring sunshine to customers’ lives with its good old-fashioned delivery service and delicious range of frozen ready meals, the recent television advert from Wiltshire Farm Foods includes the iconic song, ‘Bring Me Sunshine.’ This much-loved classic will resonate with many as they reflect on happier times, watching a comedic duo lift the nation’s spirits; which is exactly what the company wanted to achieve for its customers with the ‘Bringing Sunshine’ campaign.
Ann Brinkworth, who runs the Carmarthen branch with her husband, Alan, says: “Knowing how tough Covid and the ongoing lockdown has been for many of our customers, we were keen to surprise and delight them by carrying out authentic experiences which would brighten their lives. We’ve been having to get creative as many businesses remain closed, so some activities have not been possible to execute. We’re excited to see what else we can achieve in the coming weeks – it looks like virtual experiences will be the way forward!”
Care home residents treated to St David’s Day online concert
RESIDENTS in care homes across Carmarthenshire are being treated to a free virtual St David’s Day concert.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s theatres have partnered with Loud Applause Productions to produce the online event which will showcase a wealth of Welsh talent on Monday March 1 at 7pm. It will also be free to care home residents in Pembrokeshire.
This is the second time Carmarthenshire Theatres have arranged for care homes in the two counties to access a digital show, with every care home receiving a free copy of a Christmas concert, ‘The West End at Christmas’ over the last festive period.
Filmed at The Ffwrnes Theatre Llanelli, the St David’s Day celebration is a digital 44-minute concert which all audiences can enjoy at home.
It will be presented bilingually by local broadcaster and author, Alun Gibbard and features some traditional Welsh songs that everyone will recognise and enjoy including Ar Hyd Y Nos as well as popular songs from musicals like Bring Him Home from ‘Les Misérables’.
There will be performances from the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Alis Huws, also a rising star in the world of musical theatre, singer Samuel Wyn-Morris, who’s most recently been performing in the West End production of ‘Les Misérables’.
Carmarthenshire based actor, Julian Lewis Jones, who has appeared in Hollywood film Invictus and is a regular face in the Sky TV series, Stella, will be the guest reader.
The concert will also feature performances from two young local singers, Osian Clarke and Lauren Fisher, both members of the Loud Applause Rising Stars programme.
Last year the council donated over 100 iPads to its care homes so that residents could keep in contact with their loved ones throughout lockdown.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “We are delighted to be able to offer all our care home residents a free viewing of our St David’s Day online concert. This concert promises to be a very exciting one with a wealth of local talent taking part. The Christmas online event was very popular and we hope that as many people as possible will join us from home for this one and show their support for our local artists.”
Tickets for the concert are on also on sale to the public via Carmarthenshire Theatre’s website www.theatrausirgar.co.uk Those purchasing a ticket will receive a direct link to watch the show which will be streamed on the theatre’s website. The concert will be available to view via the link for three weeks following the release. Tickets are priced at £5 per household.
To see the Carmarthenshire Theatre programmes of digital shows visit their website.
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