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New Directions support local charity

On Friday 27th May we held a bake off and dress down day at the New Directions offices in Cardiff to help raise money for Caroline Newman, Head Teacher from Gladstone in Barry who completed the Wickets N Wheels two day charity cycle ride from Taunton to Miskin (120 miles) on 3rd and 4th June to support and raise money for a charity ‘2 Wish Upon A Star’.

The aim of 2 Wish Upon a Star is to raise funds to improve bereavement services in Wales. Emphasis will be on bereavement support for parents after losing their child suddenly and traumatically.

The charity was set up by a lady called Rhian Burke who suddenly lost her 1 year old son and then five days later lost her husband. At that time she realised that there was very little support, if any, for parents who find themselves in this awful position. She set up the charity and has achieved some amazing things including the opening of a new family room in UHW Cardiff just last week. They provide counselling, education and practical resources at a time when parents need so much support.

This year it’s even more poignant as Stuart Bates, who was a close friend of Rhian and one of the main organisers and fundraisers was killed himself along with his son, Fraser, last December in a road traffic accident in Llantrisant. Ironically the charity that he helped to establish is now supporting his widow.

Caroline Newman, Head Teacher of Gladstone Primary School in Barry commented, “2 wish upon a star is a local charity and we know families who have been supported through the work that they do. Losing a child suddenly is every families nightmare we just wanted to support in any way that we could. The cycle ride was a huge personal challenge for me too – I’m not naturally fit and really don’t enjoy sport or exercise in any form!!! Training in the hail and rain through the winter every Sunday morning was pretty grim but as the weather got better, the rides got longer and started to include coffee and cake stops! Happy days!!!

We’ve met some wonderful people and gained some fantastic new friends. Many of whom have their own personal involvement with 2 wish upon a star. The whole experience has been amazing and I’m definitely not giving up the cycling or my involvement with the charity – I’ve already started training for next year.

More important though is the raised awareness of the support needed for suddenly bereaved parents and families through the cycle ride and also the much needed fund raising that is achieved by the 250 cyclists who take part each year.”

Annie Leett, Account Manager at New Directions Education comments, “It was great to be able to support Caroline and such a fantastic charity. The New Directions Bake Off was a huge success, raising £154.54. I can’t believe how much cake the office got through so quickly!”

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