Robert Buckland MP and Justin Tomlinson MP joined dozens of volunteer helpers from CALM, the Swindon Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Movement, on 23 December to relieve the burden of the Christmas rush by helping to pack the bags of customers at Morrisons in Haydon Wick to raise money for a Swindon children’s cancer charity.
By the end of the day’s bag packing CALM hope to have matched last year’s total donations of £2,000. The independent charity cares for the needs of families within the Swindon and Marlborough NHS District who have been affected by cancer or leukaemia. CALM is entirely run by parents and all money raised goes to helping families with a child receiving treatment or in recovery.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said, “I’m delighted to help CALM. It’s such a great cause run by volunteers who have been touched by childhood cancer. Every day, 12 children throughout the UK are diagnosed with either cancer of leukaemia and the effect this has on their families can be devastating. Among other things, the money will help fund short breaks for families who cannot plan ahead and take holidays as normal”.
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, packing bags without argument with his fiance Jo Wheeler, added: “Morrisons shoppers have been very generous for CALM; I do hope that they will raise a lot of money to help families get through what can be a very difficult and expensive time when they have to travel to specialist treatment centres and perhaps have to stay overnight."
The Morrisons bag pack was started by employee Sam Goodchild after her daughter Charlie died after a long battle with cancer on 22 December 2005.
CALM chairman Richard Crowley said: "The Christmas bag pack at Morrison in Haydon Wick is one of our biggest fundraisers. The volunteers really get into the spirit of the event and the customers are always very generous. Hopefully we can achieve another great total.
"This year it’s great to welcome Justin and Robert and also Dan Wilkinson and Mark Brodie from 24 Squadron at RAF Lyneham who are presently transferring to RAF Brize Norton, but have supported CALM in lots of different ways for over five years."
Pictured top, Morrisons checkout lady Teresa Hughes, with from left, Sam Goodchild, Flt Lt Dan Wilkinson and Flt Lt Mark Brodie of 24 Squadron, MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson.
Below, volunteers collecting for CALM