Ahead of International Volunteer Day (December 5, 2022) Save the Children celebrates the contribution and commitment of Mrs Shirley Fleming from Aberdare as she marks 60 years of volunteering for the charity.

Eighty-seven-year-old Shirley is the President of the Aberdare branch, one of the oldest Save the Children branches in the UK established in 1954. A former chair of the branch she received the Princess Royal Award for her work and over the decades has raised thousands of pounds co-organising varied fundraising activities including a ball at Cyfarthfa Castle to celebrate Save the Children’s 75th anniversary in 1994. She was also instrumental to the success of the Women in Wales committee for over twenty years.

Truth be told when it comes to raising money for a charity which is so close to her heart, the sky is the limit for Shirley! Last year she braved the world's fastest seated line at Zip World Tower in Hirwaun raising over £3,600, alongside fellow supporters of the Aberdare branch.

“It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever done if I’m honest and I was nervous about it. Flying 1.5km over the old colliery at a speed of over 70mph whilst taking in the views of the Rhigos mountains was not something I expected to be doing in my late eighties! But it was exhilarating and absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed every bit of it!” said Shirley.

“I’m so saddened by what is happening in the world with so many children affected by conflict in places such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria; we see how hunger and climate change is impacting children in some of the poorest countries and it’s hard to believe that today, here in the south Wales valleys there are parents still struggling to feed and provide for their children.

“I’m so proud that Save the Children is delivering life-saving work in so many of the worst-affected countries and providing programmes here in Wales to help families struggling with the current cost of living crisis. I want to continue doing whatever I can to help raise money to support this important charity for as long as I can.”

Gwen Hines, CEO, Save the Children UK wrote a personal letter to Shirley expressing her heartfelt thanks and congratulations on her achievement in which she said. “I wanted to send my personal thanks and congratulations as you celebrate your 60th anniversary as a volunteer with Save the Children.”

“As you will know, the context in which we work is getting increasingly difficult and children are at the forefront. From the hunger crisis in Somalia to the cost-of-living crisis here in the UK, things have never been tougher for children. But if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that – when we work together – we can tackle the greatest challenges of our time and achieve remarkable progress.”

“We couldn’t do this kind of life saving work without brilliant volunteers and supporters like you.  On behalf of everyone at Save the Children, I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you for all your hard work and support.” 

Shirley and members of the Aberdare Branch are next geared up to take part in Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day next week on Thursday 8th December, a campaign which has raised £30 million to support children around the world since it started in 2012.

This year Christmas Jumper Day is set to reach new heights with the UK government’s Aid Match funding, which will double every donation up to £2 million. The money will directly support the charity’s work in Kenya to increase the quality and availability of essential maternal, new-born and child health nutrition services in Mandera and Turkana counties.

Donations raised by the Welsh public through Christmas Jumper Day will also go towards supporting Save the Children’s vital work in the UK including funding projects in Wales enabling lasting change for the children who need it most.

For more information and to sign up, visit – christmasjumperday.org

For further information on Save the Children’s work visits www.savethechildren.org.uk and on our work in Wales – our_work_in_wales_english.pdf (savethechildren.org.uk)

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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