Guernsey Press

Charities Fete a great chance to showcase third sector

Swarms of people took to the gardens of Government House yesterday to show their support for local charities.

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Jason Cook, left, and Dave Smith of Guernsey Kidney Patients Association during yesterday’s Charities Fete, which was held in the grounds of Government House. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33356347)

Channel Islands Air Search circled the area in its aircraft, Guernsey Fire and Rescue displayed one of its appliances and there was a display by Guernsey Majorettes.

Guernsey Scouts were also directing the parking within the grounds and at Beechwood.

‘It’s an important day for island charities large and small to come together in this wonderful venue to showcase what they do and the contributions they make,’ said Association of Guernsey Charities director Malcolm Woodhams.

‘Those contributions are more important today than ever. It comes at a time when charities are struggling but face increased demand. Those charities are the reason why the AGC has launched its #WithoutUs campaign. It illustrates that the island would not be the same without the people who give time to good causes,’ he said.

Claire Backland, founder of Ernie’s Angels, and also Ernie’s mum, said that the charity was set up to support families during the end of a child’s life.

‘I’m really thrilled at the people who have come. It’s a lovely event and we’re blessed to have so many different and diverse charities in Guernsey,’ she said.

‘The fact it is a free event and the publicity has made it much more doable for us.’

Guernsey Kidney Patients Association treasurer Jason Cook was manning a stall, which featured a ‘guess how many kidney beans are in the jar’ competition, as well as a lucky dip and a display of liquid limitations.

‘The charity has existed for 25 years but if you asked, I’d say about 90% of people here have never heard of us before,’ he said.

‘The charity was set up to provide monetary assistance to people with things like dialysis treatment.

‘If someone wanted to go on holiday, they can’t stop doing dialysis or they’d have six to seven days left to live.’

The charity provides grants to people needing kidney transplants, which take place at St Thomas’ hospital, where they would need to remain for three months.

‘If they had a family or children, the States don’t pay for that anymore. We want to educate people about chronic kidney disease, but also that 40% of people with diabetes go on to get kidney disease,’ said Mr Cook.

Friends of Maggie’s held a soft toy raffle and explained to the public what they do.

‘We help support people with cancer, their carers or family members. If they go off-island to Southampton for treatment we liaise with the centre there.’

This year was the first year that Creative Sark had a stall at the fete, with the Lt-Governor being its patron. It aims to support artists in Sark and regularly holds events to raise money for other charities.

‘We are a charity promoting all things creative and supporting local residents,’ said committee member Amanda Petrice.

‘We raise money through raffles and events and that money goes towards leading workshops.’

Plant Heritage Guernsey said it had seen a slow but steady interest from people, but found it ‘lovely’ to have a presence among the other charities.

‘We try to do things that are a little more unusual and not widely available,’ said Maggie Thompson.

‘The best thing is about being here together with the other charities.

‘We’re really lucky with what we have on the island. It’s very generous of the Lt-Governor to let us use his garden.’

The charity uses its funds to maintain its glasshouses.