A GROUP of Wrexham volunteers are celebrating two decades of dedicated fundraising with a birthday party bash which will raise even more funds for Hope House Children’s Hospices.

The charity’s Wrexham Friends Group set up 20 years ago by the late Gwyneth Owen of Ruabon, has just past the £100,000 mark and members say they have no plans on stopping their fundraising any time soon.

Edna Jones, of Wrexham, who was one of the group’s original members, says what began as a fundraising coffee morning developed over the years and they are now holding a special party at Brymbo Sports and Social Club tomorrow to celebrate 20 years of fundraising.

She said: “We began by holding coffee mornings at each other’s homes to raise a few pounds but that quickly developed into all sorts of fundraising schemes. We’ve had members do things such as abseils.

“We also attend local events such as dogs and horse shows and community fetes where we have a stall and sell toys and teddy bears. We also hold fashion shows and of course volunteer to act as marshals at events such as the Llangollen Canal Walk, the Lantern Walk or manning the Village Bakery half-marathon water stations. In truth we will do anything to support Hope House.”

Fellow member Helen Jones, who also volunteers at the town’s Hope House shop, says the target is to raise a minimum of £2,000 through Saturday’s party night.

She said: “We have local band Lady and the Tramps playing and we have all sorts of fun stuff going on. There will be a monster raffle, the chance to win a bottle of whisky by landing a £1 coin nearest to the bottle and lots of other wacky fundraising ideas.

“It’s going to be a great night and I hope as many people as possible come along and support us and of course Hope House Children’s Hospices.”

Adreene Parry said: “Sadly after Gwyneth Owen passed away quite recently fellow member Audrey Crawford also passed away but her daughter Karen Price, her husband Steve and daughters Kate and Megan are still involved and do an amazing amount of fundraising work.

“Helen Jones’ niece Skye Bradley, 13, also helps out.

“Also Megan Price regularly goes into our Hope House Hound costume when required and other members Emily Griffiths, 18, and Atlanta Smith, 23, also join in the fun. It’s a friendly but hard-working group and we are all close friends.”

Angie Smith added: “We have all visited Hope House and it’s nothing like you’d expect. It’s not a sad place in fact it’s full of life, it’s such a happy environment.”

Hope House Children’s Hospice area fundraiser Catrin Dowdeswell says the support of the Wrexham Friends Group is massively appreciated by everyone at the charity.

She said: “The group never says no. They are always there willing to give up their time to attend and help out at events. And of course they run their own fundraising events too.

“To raise £100,000 over the past two decades is just wonderful and I can’t thank each and every member enough for their wonderful and ongoing support.”

She added: “Sadly, every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies. Hope House Children’s Hospices cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own.

“When they are facing the most devastating loss of their lives we must be there. We need to reach every child, mum, dad, sister and brother and to do this we need to raise more money so we can offer even more services.

“We need to raise in excess of £6m a year to support all the children and families we help from across North Wales, Shropshire and parts of Cheshire.

“That’s why it’s so important we have as much help as possible from groups like the Wrexham Friends as well as communities and businesses across the region.”

Tickets for today's event are £5 each and are available from the Hope House shop, Wrexham or call Cat on 07391 865 489.