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Carmarthenshire’s Xcel Bowl raises more than £1,500 for Macmillan

A Carmarthenshire bowling centre has raised more than £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support following a weekend of community events, which saw it host a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning last Friday and a family fun day last Saturday as part of its ongoing efforts to support the charity.

Xcel Bowl, on Llansteffan Road, Johnstown, already provides vital services in the community, with its profits supporting local people in need through Carmarthen Foodbank, Community Money Advice, and Xcel Furniture and Community Shop, as part of Xcel Project, a social enterprise run by Towy Community Church.

The initiative has also supported Macmillan Cancer Support throughout the year with its fundraising, including hosting a Macmillan’s Coffee Morning on Friday 30 September, as well as a family fun day on Saturday 1 October. This, combined with other fundraising organised by Xcel, has lead to a total of £1,540 being raised so far, with the profits from a raffle still to come.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, thanked Xcel for its support, adding that the money raised will help Macmillan to carry out its work supporting people in Wales from the moment they are diagnosed.

He said: “Our heartfelt thanks to Xcel Bowl and Xcel Project for supporting Macmillan Cancer Support with these two events. It’s great to see the local community uniting to help raise an incredible amount which will directly support people living with cancer and their loved ones.”

Carl Jones, Host Team Leader at Xcel Bowl, said the events had been a huge success with highlights including a passionfruit cake from local bakery Lily and Pips selling out within 20 minutes at Friday’s coffee morning, and seeing the children enjoying the visit from the fire service, police and army at Saturday’s fun day.

He said: “Thank you to everyone who helped on the day, our staff and volunteers. A special mention must go to my partner Zoe, who has MS, and who was in charge of four stalls. We also had a former Xcel area manager who popped in to say hello and who ended up helping out all day. Thanks also to the local businesses who supported us with donations of cakes and money. If it wasn’t for everyone’s involvement the event would never have happened.”

Every year in Wales around 20,000 people are diagnosed with cancer – a diagnosis that can turn their lives upside down. Macmillan offers support at every stage, with its team of healthcare professionals, who work in hospitals, hospices and the community; benefits advisors who provide advice by phone; and the charity’s information and support services which provides free, confidential support and advice in every local health trust.

The cancer charity relies almost entirely on public donations to fund all of this vital support, which is why events such as these are so important in keeping services running.

Richard Pugh added: “Macmillan’s Coffee Morning is our biggest annual fundraiser and plays a huge part in funding our services. We are still awaiting a final total for this year’s event but in 2021 it raised more than £11 million – £387,406 of that was raised by coffee morning events in Walesand we hope to top that this year.”

He said: “We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone across Wales who has supported a Macmillan Coffee Morning. Whether it was a traybake with pals in the garden, a virtual Coffee Morning by screen, a cuppa and cake in the office, or a big community event, every penny raised helps Macmillan to provide the local services that people living with cancer desperately need, especially at the moment.

“Going through cancer treatment or getting a diagnosis is tough enough to deal with, and now the cost-of-living crisis is increasing people’s anxiety, on top of worries about waiting times in Wales and the treatment backlog. It’s never been more important for people living with cancer to get the urgent help they need.”