Category Archives: Charity

Country and folk music concert for cancer charity this Sunday

Chuck and Janet Micallef.
Chuck and Janet Micallef.

This Sunday 6 November a very special Charity Concert will take place at the Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre connected to Bloxwich Library.

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Chuck Micallef is joining forces with his friends Pete Kelly, Tony Barrett and Enchante’ to help raise money in honour of his late wife Janet Griffiths Micallef, who lost her own battle with lung cancer three years ago at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Proceeds from the performance will be donated to Keele University Cancer Research, which is under the direction of Dr. Josep Sule’-Suso.  Dr. Sule’-Suso is one of the Oncologists that cared for Janet throughout her cancer treatment.

When Janet and Chuck found out that Cancer Research was being carried out between the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and Keele University, Janet asked Chuck to help raise funds for their local cause.

Event organiser Chuck Micallef said “My friends in the Bloxwich music community have all rallied around to make a special effort and offer their time to perform this coming Sunday afternoon. I am committed to continuing these events to honour Janet’s memory and my word I gave to her that it will be done.”

He went on “With your support we can help fund Cancer Research on a local level and enjoy life through live music in our community at the same time.”

Dr. Josep Sule’-Suso will be a guest speaker at the concert, which is supported by Bloxwich Library Forum, the local volunteer group which manages the theatre.

Tickets for the concert are just £5 and are available now at Bloxwich Library in Elmore Row, Bloxwich.  Doors open at 3pm and the music starts at 3.30pm.

Telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to book, visit the library to purchase tickets, or for more information please call 07751 791 724.

Final countdown for Mayor’s Challenge 100

Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall
Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall

Walsall’s Mayor is asking people for a final push towards his novel fundraiser – with just ten more registrations needed for his Challenge 100 initiative.

Councillor Garry Perry appealed for 100 businesses, groups or individuals to pledge £100 in 100 days to bring in £10,000 for his Charity Appeal.

And with the finishing line in sight this Sunday, he is hoping that the final ten needed for his target 100 will come forward.

The Mayor said: “The response so far has been out of this world with people doing all sorts of things in the name of my three chosen charities.

“We’ve had an 80’s night, an open garden event, sponsored head shaves, cake sales, dances and bike rides, a dog wash, raffles and donations – the list is endless.

“I am so grateful for everyone who has played a vital role in Challenge 100.

“I just hope we can meet our target by this Sunday’s closing date and am making this appeal for another ten groups or individuals to get on board.

“The money pledged so far will help to make such a difference to young people’s lives. But just think what we can all achieve if we can go that little bit further.”

The Mayor is raising money for The Creating Chances Trust, The Swing and PROUD (Parents Relatives and Others Understanding Down’s Syndrome)

The Creating Chances Trust is a partnership between the four Black Country authorities and has been set up to support the education and training of children in care and leaving care.

The Swing improves the futures of bereaved children and young people and was established by Walsall Bereavement Support Service.

PROUD is a parent-led Down’s Syndrome support group that encourages individuals with this condition to lead full and rewarding lives and raises awareness.

To take part in Challenge 100 complete the eform at, contact Jo Whitehouse at, or contact the Mayor’s Office on 01922 652072.

Those who register for Challenge 100 will be invited to a special reception in Walsall Town Hall and the top three fundraisers which bring in the highest amount will be treated to a special visit at their home, school or place of work by the Mayor.

Walsall Recyclers trash Binmen in footie dust-up

The victorious Walsall Recyclers and their match trophy (Pix: Stuart Williams)Walsall football fans had an exciting alternative to the Stoke vs Man. City battle, on home ground, Saturday last at 2pm, when the borough’s Binmen challenged their colleagues the Recyclers to a charity football match in Bloxwich aimed at raising funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The hard-fought ‘local derby’ between the friendly rivals from Walsall Council’s waste management department took place at Bloxwich United AFC’s ‘Old Red Lion Ground’ in Somerfield Road, the scene of many a dust-up between top amateur teams from across the country in recent years.

Get in there!  A Walsall Binman (in blue) skilfully out-manouevers his opponent

Both sides showed energy and passion in a good-natured but highly competitive game that saw much charging up and down the field together with a lot of smart footwork, agility and strong tackling which resulted in considerable excitement and tension right from the kick-off, with the Binmen playing from the downslope end of the pitch (south) and the Recyclers from the top of the pitch.

Players on both sides gave it their all, but it has to be admitted that the Binmen struggled with the slope at times, and by half-time the Recyclers, who just kept on coming back for more, were on top with a score of 3-0 in their favour.  Keepers on both sides fought hard to bolster the defence, with mixed results offering the crowd both heroism and tragedy in equal measure.

Saved! The Binmen’s keeper takes to the air

It was a game of two halves, however, and when the sides changed ends the tables were partially turned, with the Binmen stroking in two fine goals, but the Recyclers poured it on again before long and there was just not enough time for the gallant Binmen to put them on the tip, giving a result of 4-2 at the final whistle.

There were one or two minor injuries and the occasional penalty awarded, but no cards or sendings-off from match officials Brian Heath (referee), Alan Dillon and G. Edwards (linesmen).

Head-to-head in the Recyclers’ goalmouth

The two teams showed their good-natured but competitive spirit right to the end, when they joined together for a mixed team photo with the victorious Walsall Recyclers nonetheless hanging tightly on to their well-earned trophy!

Friendly rivals to the end: Binmen and Recyclers together

Mick Edwards, assistant area manager for recycling at Walsall Council, had said in advance of the match: “A number of our family and friends have received treatment at the hospital, so this charity game is a way of saying thank you for the care they’ve received.

Mick played for the ‘binmen’, despite working for the recycling team in his day job. He said: “I’ll be playing against my new team at work so that should be interesting!”

A great game, well-fought between two great teams, for a good cause and in our own backyard. What could be better?

Follow this link to a full match album including team photos for download on Flickr.

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Have Mayor – will travel!

Alex Murray prepares for a Mayoral haircut at Chatabox in Leamore (Pix: Walsall Council)

Walsall’s ubiquitous and always energetic Mayor, Councillor Gary Clarke, went into overdrive this week, spending two days flying across the borough from Bloxwich, Leamore, Blakenall and Coalpool to Aldridge and Walsall to work for businesses and schools while fundraising for charity.

The fun and frantic initiative, dubbed Mayor for Hire, was created by the Mayor in partnership with solicitors Addison O’Hare, with the aim of raising money for his Charity Appeal while giving him a taste of local life and work beyond the Council House.

Tuesday saw Cllr Clarke brushing up his customer service skills at Annette’s Pram Shop in Blakenall Lane, serving up lunch at Coalpool’s popular Edgar Stammers Primary School in Harden Road, washing hair, making tea – and chatting – at Chatabox Hair & Beauty in the Leamore Lane shopping precinct and meeting staff at Piquant Limited on the Willenhall Lane Industrial Estate in Bloxwich.

Kiran Patel and Jenny Turner await their food at Simply Sandwich, Bloxwich

On Wednesday, the Mayor tried his hand at sandwich making at Simply Sandwich Buffets at The Broadway, Walsall, became acting manager at Walsall Bus Station, served lunches at Cooper and Jordan Church of England Primary School and was interviewed by pupils at Castlefort JMI School in Walsall Wood.

All of the Mayor’s ‘employers’ have pledged donations to his Charity Appeal for Walsall Hospice and disadvantaged children, and Chatabox generously agreed to top theirs up by giving 20 per cent of the day’s takings as well.

The two days of fundraising and hard work, supplemented by a collection made by Walsall Hospice volunteers at the bus station, should net around £800 – a remarkable effort all round.

Cllr Clarke said: “I loved every minute of being put to work by everyone – it was an unforgettable two days.  I started at the pram shop and owner Annette Owles-Bryan was an absolute joy. Her business is a real asset to the area and she really goes out of her way to look after her customers.

“Later that day I had the privilege of working at Chatabox hairdressers where I met the charming Doreen Chivers, aged 64, who allowed me to wash her hair and declared that I had a gentle touch!  Owner Joanne Tidman has built up a gem of a business there and deserves to go from strength to strength.

No job too small: the Mayor makes tea at Chatabox

“I was also privileged to meet some of the hard working staff at Piquant Limited, another borough success story that we should all be proud of.   Shan Nagendram has established a fine sauce manufacturing business.

“Paul Keeling of Simply Sandwich had me hard at work in no time at all on day two and told me off for not putting enough meat on the bread. He wasn’t going to let me upset his customers.

“Centro made sure I carried out various checks at the bus station and took the time to listen to passengers’ experiences.

“The business community I met was loyal and committed and showed me just a small example of the talent we have in the borough.”

The Mayor was also asked to serve up lunch at Edgar Stammers Primary School – and did so resplendent in his white unform and purple cap.

He said: “What smashing children, teaching and kitchen staff I met at Edgar Stammers.  I was on Yorkshire pudding duty to start with and progressed to gravy, beans and custard as I got into my stride.  I didn’t stop smiling all the time I was there – although I understand I made service a little slower than normal. That’s partly because I was stopping to answer so many questions about my chain of office!”

The Mayor serves Ellie Fishwick her lunch at Cooper and Jordan School “On day two I went to Cooper and Jordan School where I had to arrive as a fairy godmother, complete with a wand and sparkly headband. The children were fortunate that I’d had some school meal practice and I think I managed to hold my own, again with grateful thanks to the kitchen staff.  Again, the children were fantastic. Some of them queued up at the end asking for my autograph which made me feel like a proper celebrity.”

At Castlefort School the Mayor was toured by Year 6 pupils who then joined in a question and answer session as part of work they have been doing on leaders.

“The school should be very proud of the polite, well-mannered and confident children it has at Castlefort,” said the Mayor.  They gave me a guided tour and showed me all the classrooms and the work that is going on this term.  They fired plenty of questions at me and kept me on my toes but I made sure I answered everything they asked.

“The two days were really enjoyable and I am delighted that I had the chance to meet some of the wonderful people who make this borough such a great place, ” Cllr Clarke concluded.

Anne Ward of Addison O’Hare Solicitors also agreed the two days had been a super success.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to make pledges and hope they all enjoyed the experience as much as the Mayor clearly did.  Mayor for Hire was always intended to be a memorable fundraising experience for everyone concerned while drawing the Mayor’s term to a fitting close.”

The Bloxidge Tallygraph would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Councillor Clarke.  We have attended many of the events he has supported as Mayor in Bloxwich and beyond, we have always been welcomed and we can’t remember a more active, friendly, supportive and enthusiastic Mayor – and Mayoress!

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