As a local, family owned business, we are keen to ensure that the money we raise for charity is kept within the local community. During the first quarter of the year, the Your Voice forum representatives decided to raise money for children living with illness and disability in our area. This decision was communicated to the staff, who put forward various suggestions of good causes we could support.
Although we had made the decision to keep the money we raise close to home – our latest donation couldn’t really get much closer! Amelia Calloway is the 16 year old sister of We Plan Group employees Laura and Mia, and it was Laura’s teammates who nominated Amelia to receive our support in quarter one.
Amelia suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa. This rare genetic disorder has meant that overtime Amelia has lost her peripheral vision and now relies on her guide dog, Libby, to help her move around safely.
Amelia, who is the youngest guide dog owner in Wales, trains with Disability Sport Wales and is a British Junior champion in discus and shot put. In a recent interview with the South Wales Argus, Amelia described how Libby has given her the freedom and confidence to pursue her passions:
“Libby has given me an incredible sense of freedom and my confidence has soared. I can now go to the gym by myself and feel confident when catching the bus and train on my own. I no longer need to rely on others to get out and about, which is a great feeling.”
As wonderful as it is for Amelia to have the guidance of Libby, there’s one thing Libby cannot help with, and that is reading.
Amelia has been fundraising to try and raise the money needed to buy a Braille machine, which she needs in order to attend college. A braille machine costs £4,500, and whilst the government will pay £2,300 towards it, her family is expected to fund the rest.
That’s where we come in – as we can proudly announce that We Plan Group has raised £1,500 towards the cost of the Braille machine!
We invited Amelia and Libby down to our office to collect the cheque, and we discussed how important the money raised is:
“Owning a braille machine means I can attend college as any other 16 year old would – and I am so excited for September!
I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who nominated me, and who has raised such an incredible amount of money for me.”
We wish Amelia the best of luck for September, when she starts Sports & Recreation, Audio Media Production and Psychology at the Royal National College for the Blind.
We are thrilled to be able to support a local young person as they move into further education – but we hope Amelia knows she will always have a place at We Plan Group if she ever wants a career in the financial services industry!