Welsh farmers who took part in a sheep shearing competition have raised more than £61,000 for charity.
Cneifio Cylch held its annual sheep shearing family fun day at the Bull Inn in Llanerchymedd, Anglesey, to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance and St David’s Hospice in Holyhead.
The event, which has become an annual fixture in the calendar, sees people from all over Anglesey and neighbouring areas flocking to attend the fundraiser.
As well as the sheep shearing competition, there was a charity auction which raised more than £43,800 alone. The family fun day also included competitions, food and drink stalls, a bouncy castle, a rodeo bull, hog roast and entertainment by The Welsh Whisperer.
The group has been holding sheep shearing events for over two decades and in that time has raised money for numerous local charities including the Wales Air Ambulance.
Last year, committee members were overwhelmed to have raised £46,275. This year, the figure totalled £61,510.40, which will be split equally between the two charities.
Alun Jones, Chairman of Cneifio Cylch, said this year’s event had exceeded expectations.
He said: “Last year was the first event after Covid-19 and was held in memory of one of the original members of the group and we were all surprised to raise so much. We never thought we would ever raise anything like it again and when we were totalling up this year’s amount, we were all taken aback that we raised more than previous years.
“We decided to raise money for two charities this year as they are both close to member’s hearts. We have had a few members who have recently benefited from the care at St David’s Hospice recently, so we decided to extend our support to them.
“To raise that amount in one day is incredible and when we start planning the event, we don’t set out to raise high figures. The organisers put everything into it to ensure the best day possible for everyone.
“I would like to thank all the businesses and individuals for all their generous donations and support, we couldn’t do it without the help from everyone in the community. They ensure the event is a success year after year.”
Around 600 people attended the family day, and a presentation evening was held a few weeks after the event where charity representative were invited to receive a cheque on behalf of their charity.
Mr Jones said: “We very much kept the same format as last year as it worked so well. It’s a sheep shearing event but it’s very hard to find sheep shearers these days, so we used push bikes to help turn the shearing machine. We got members of the audience involved by inviting them up to cycle and help shear the sheep.
“The main fundraiser of the day is the charity auction where local businesses and individuals are very generous. We tend to ask people to donate items that people can use, such as vouchers or agricultural products. There were over 140 lots and I believe the highest one was £850 for a day’s labour. There is always a lot of banter and it’s always a lot of fun.”
Over the years the group has raised nearly £130,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance.
Mr Jones said: “The Wales Air Ambulance is an extremely vital service for us in Anglesey. We are an agricultural community, and it is a charity that is close to farmer’s hearts. The Wales Air Ambulance is vitally important for rural communities, and everyone is always keen to support it.”
The air ambulance service in Wales is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector Partnership. The Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies on public donations to raise the £11.2 million required every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.
The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.
Alwyn Jones, Community Fundraiser for the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Once again, Cneifio Cylch has exceeded all expectations to raise a phenomenal amount of money from its annual sheep shearing event. I am in awe that such a small community organisation can raise this terrific amount of money in such a short space of time.
“Thank you to all the individuals and businesses who helped to make this event such a success. Your support is very much appreciated and will ensure that Wales Air Ambulance continues its lifesaving missions throughout Wales.”