Spectators visiting the Nicky Grist Stages over the years have helped raise valuable funds for two local charities, the Tirabad Village Hall and the Brecon Rotary Club – and the event organiser, Quinton Motor Club, is proud to announce that these fund-raising ventures will continue this year when the event takes place on Saturday 14 July. In addition, the annual collection made at competitors’ signing on, together with a donation from Quinton Motor Club, will also continue, with all proceeds donated to Wales Air Ambulance.
Funds raised by the event have contributed to extensive repairs and renovations to the Tirabad Village Hall – with its members selling event programmes (750 programmes were printed last year, the cost of production generously paid for by Brettex Site Services) and manning car parks. The Hall has also given Nicky Grist Stages officials a warm place to stay and a very early breakfast, as it’s very close to the stages.
Brecon Rotary Club, like all Rotary clubs, brings together dedicated individuals to exchange ideas, build relationships and take action. Rotary is an international organisation with nearly 33,000 clubs worldwide, in 200 countries with 1.2 million members. In Britain and Ireland, there are more than 53,000 men and women who, as members of over 1,830 Rotary clubs, volunteer their time, talents, professional skills and energy to improving the lives of people within their local communities and in those around the world.
Since its launch in 2001, the Wales Air Ambulance has attended a number of incidents involving motorsport competitors across Wales. The charity recently upgraded its fleet of helicopters based in Llanelli, Welshpool and Caernarfon to the latest Airbus Helicopter H145 and now operates an Airbus H135 aircraft from Cardiff Heliport that specialises in adult and paediatric transfers throughout the UK. Thanks to its collaboration with the ‘flying medics’ of the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS), the charity’s helicopters now carry some of the most up to date equipment, drugs and blood products used by any air ambulance service in the UK and are crewed by advanced doctors and Critical Care Practitioners. The next challenge for the charity is to move to a 24/7 operation so that it can continue to deliver advanced medical care during the hours of darkness.
Anthony Jeffreys, Tirabad Village Hall Committee Secretary, said: “Over the past five years the Tirabad Village Hall Committee has been privileged to have been able to raise much needed funds by supporting rally sport on the Epynt hills and surrounding forests. Our income now depends on fundraising, and one of our main event benefactors has been the organisers of the Nicky Grist Stages. It’s been very timely, as the past five years have been particularly tough, as we have had to carry out extensive repairs and renovations to our hall to the tune of £130,000 – a daunting task for such a small isolated community such as Tirabad. However, the improvements made have enabled us to cater for overnight stays, bed, breakfast and evening meals for rally personnel who need that early start, and who appreciate that the Epynt stages are but a few hundred metres from the village hall.”
Owen Hughes, President of Brecon Rotary Club, said: “Over the last three years, by selling programmes at the Nicky Grist Stages, Brecon Rotary Club has raised over £5000, which has been added to our fund and distributed to various local good causes.”
Mark James, Wales Air Ambulance Trustee, said: “The motorsport community has always been very supportive of Wales Air Ambulance, as they know only too well the difficulty in getting advanced medical support to the most rural parts of Wales when it’s most needed. The expansion and enhancement of our service is only possible thanks to the support of individuals and organisations across Wales. I’m personally delighted that the Nicky Grist Stages has donated to us in this way and I hope that relationship will continue into the future.”
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Events like the Nicky Grist Stages rely on the goodwill of the local communities we pass through and we are delighted that we have been able to contribute to three very worthy groups over the last few years. Both Tirabad Village Hall and Brecon Rotary Club take a huge amount of pressure off our shoulders on rally day, knowing that they are there to welcome and direct our spectators is a huge comfort and knowing that the money raised goes back to the heart of the community we pass through is both an honour and a privilege. The one thing we hope we never need to use is the Wales Air Ambulance, but knowing it is there is an important part of the Event Safety Plan and so being able to make a small contribution to its running costs is the least we can do.”