A DILTON Marsh couple now have a new feathered friend to help them continue their extensive fundraising efforts.
The barn owl Angel has joined Helen and Greg Bolwell, who have been busy raising funds for a number of good causes over the last three years, most notably with £3,000 raised for the Bath RUH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
During that time, the couple have fundraised with the help of their barn owl, Duchess, who was always a hit at fairs and events and helped the donations pour in.
Sadly Duchess died earlier this year, but Helen and Greg have now been joined by Angel, an 8-month-old barn owl. While she may still be learning the ropes, people have already seen Angel out and about fundraising over the summer months.
The couple started fundraising for Bath RUH’s Forever Friends Space to Grow campaign for the NICU two years after their daughter Charlotte died at the age of 23. When she was born, Charlotte spent 16 weeks in the care of the unit.
Helen said, “Our daughter died five years ago and that was like being hit by a tonne of bricks. I didn’t do anything for two years because we needed to get over that, then I felt I needed something to get me back out there. Now I can’t stop!”
The Bolwells do not keep a tally of the other sums they’ve raised but their efforts have also raised much-needed cash for causes including the Trowbridge cyber cafe, which provides disabled people with help and training on computers; Freewheelers EVS, a charity that provides a free out-of-hours motorcycle service to hospitals; Dorothy House Hospice Care, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Children in Need.
Most recently, the couple have started raising for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity dedicated to supporting the children of men and women killed whilst serving in the British Armed Forces. The charity provides treats, trips, and activities for families of the fallen with the aim of offering a respite – however brief – from the daily ups and downs of coping without a loved one.
A Christmas Fair at Dilton Marsh Memorial Hall on Saturday 10th December raised £151, which all went to the charity after the hall was kindly paid for by a donation. It brings their total for Scotty’s Little Soldiers to £650.