Recently The Ashley Centre announced they were looking for a local charity they could support throughout 2017 with free space for fundraising in the Centre and help with promotion of their events.

Centre Manager David Beddows said: “We were delighted with the response we had to our request but we had a really difficult job shortlisting and choosing a charity. All those who applied were extremely worthy of our support, so much so that we have decided to support not one but two charities this year.”

The Sunnybank Trust provides a range of services to 250 adults and young people with learning disabilities in Epsom. Chief Executive Dorothy Watson said: “We are so thrilled to have been chosen as one of the charities for The Ashley Centre. Community is an important part of all of our lives and especially for those with learning disabilities. The Ashley Centre represents the very heart of our local community, so we are grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”

The Epsom Branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind is also being supported during 2017. Every hour another person goes blind, which means there is a need to train more and more puppies to become working guide dogs. The Ashley Centre aims to sponsor a puppy as it starts it's journey to becoming a life-changing companion for an adult or child with sight loss. Phillipa Jan the Community Fundraiser, said: "Guide Dogs for the Blind Association which now includes Blind Children UK is delighted and very honoured to have been chosen as a charity of the year for The Ashley Centre. The charity has been in existence for over 80 years and is dedicated to the support of blind and partially sighted children and adults. When someone loses their sight, the charity makes sure they do not lose their freedom as well. The charity motto is that they will not rest until people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else - it is quite a challenge".

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Submitted by Mary Zoeller