Vale of Glamorgan Council raises money for Alzheimer’s society
Vale of Glamorgan Council worker Rachael Slee brought a little of the north pole to Barry recently to raise money for a cause close to her heart.
The Facilities Manager organised a series of events for National Elf Day at the Civic Offices, an initiative that supports those affected by dementia.
Council staff dressed up as elves, decorated their desks, played games, sold cakes, competed in an auction and also held a raffle, with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.
But there was a more serious side.
Rachael lost her grandmother to dementia and it was that experience of the disease that prompted her to take steps to fight it.
“I was very close to my Grandma, being the eldest of the grandchildren, and watching Alzheimer’s take away her personality, her mobility and her mental and physical health was absolutely heart-breaking,” said Rachael.
“No-one should suffer like that and no-one should have to see a loved one slowly dying in front of them.
“I have fond memories of spending weekends with her in my childhood and making cakes but we also watched a lot of detective programmes and both had a passion for reading and would swap crime books as these were things that we both loved. I blame her for the fact that I’m addicted to cake!
“With the support of various colleagues who have also been affected by either losing someone to Alzheimer’s or are currently watching their loved ones living with the disease, the idea for Elf Day just snowballed.”
This isn’t Rachael’s first foray into fundraising as in previous years she has supported causes such as Cancer Research UK, The Wallich, NSPCC and also the British Liver Trust following the passing of a colleague.
Her step dad is former Barry and District News editor Ralph Phillips, while her mum Margaret Phillips also used to work there.
“For some years now I haven’t sent Christmas cards as I felt the money I spend on cards and postage could be put to better use,” added Rachael.
“Christmas is traditionally a time of giving so what better time to think of a charity to donate that money to instead?
“I choose a different charity every year and use the power of social media to wish my family and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
“I feel overwhelmed with the support that I have received in organising Elf Day. Katie Matthews has been amazing, approaching different people and agencies to get some donations for the silent auction and raffle.
“Carole Tyley and Symon Dovey have been equally fantastic, while Lynne Clarke has thrown herself into everything elf at the Contact Centre and is making a massive impact.
“Lots of colleagues have baked cakes, donated raffle prizes and bought tickets and my management team have also been so supportive from Lorna Cross, Ben Winstanley, Carys Lord and not to forget Managing Director Rob Thomas, Council Leader Neil Moore and Deputy Leader Lis Burnett.”