Charity Trailer Rides – Heavy Haulage Arena
The charity trailer rides at the Great Dorset Steam Fair have become a tradition at the show with the visiting public being able to get up close and personal to the big loads and the many engines & activities which take place in the Heavy Haulage Arena.
All monies raised from the rides is allocated to two designated charities on an annual basis.
GDSF Managing Director, Martin Oliver comments “We are delighted and honoured to be able to make significant donations to worthy local charities from our charity trailer rides each year. We also pay tribute to all the engine men and crews that assist with the rides and the many volunteer helpers without whom it would not be able to function.”
The chosen charities for the 2018 show will be announced in April.
Steam engine enthusiasts gathered en-masse at the Coppleridge Inn Motcombe on 9th October 2017 when Great Dorset Steam Fair Managing Director, Martin Oliver presented a cheque for £16,394 to Laura Kelly, Fund Raising Manager for Julia’s House the local children’s hospice which provides practical and emotional support for families caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. Laura said, “This contribution represents a truly magnificent effort on behalf of the Great Dorset Steam Fair and will help to provide care and support for our children and their families.”
Mr Oliver said “This is the largest charity cheque we have ever presented and it’s all down to the enginemen and volunteer crews who assisted with the trailer rides for the duration of the show: a truly magnificent effort which we will endeavor to match next year when we celebrate 50 years of the Great Dorset. Also a big thank you to the Coppleridge Inn for hosting the occasion and to Nick Baker for help with the engines.”
2016 recipients were the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance which received £10,266 and the Blandford Opportunity Group who received £3,265.
Fund raising co-ordinator for the Air Ambulance Leanne Colverson said, ‘”This cheque represents a significant contribution to our overall money raising efforts and is greatly appreciated.”
Sharon Kervern, group Leader at the Blandford Opportunity Group, a local pre-school for children from birth to 5 years who have been identified as having additional needs said, “This is a magnificent gift from the Great Dorset Steam Fair and will help enormously in our efforts to support young people in the area.”
In 2015, the charity trailer rides raised £10,877 for Dorset Macmillan Cancer Support and £4,420 for The Alfie O’Neill Cerebral Palsy Treatment Fund.
The Alfie O’Neill Cerebral Palsy Treatment Fund raises funds for eight-year-old local boy Alfie O’Neil who was born prematurely and suffers from cerebral palsy. Alfie uses a wheelchair, however to help improve his mobility he needs specialist treatment which is not available on the NHS and is fully funded by donations.
Dan O’Neal, Alfie’s father said of the donation received from the Great Dorset Steam Fair “It is a humbling experience being among so many people willing to help our son. My wife Pauline and I are eternally grateful.’
Macmillan fund raising manager for Dorset Chrissie Wathen-Neal said, ‘This is a huge donation which will go a long way to ensuring that Macmillan Cancer Support nurses remain in the front line of cancer care.’