AN ONLINE community are raising money for charity through the power of social media.
Voice 4 Portchester is a Facebook group run by two residents from Portchester with the aim to bring the local community together.
Sam Willis, one of the people who runs the group, said: ‘Claire Goldstone came up with the idea for having a Facebook page in 2015 and when she got to 300 hundred members we decided to run it together.’
The group now has 5,500 members who regularly post and chat with each other..
She added: ‘After a while people started to share their pictures so we took it upon ourselves to make a charity calendar and make something for the community to do together and without questioning it, we decided it would be for charity.’
V4P member, Andrew McCarthy volunteered to design the charity calendar and has also previously desgined the logo for the site as well.
Sam said: ‘It was put to a vote on our social media page about what charities we would support and the members will also vote on each picture for the calendar and we have businesses to sponsor each month as well and they have helped to pay for the printing. .’
The three charities chosen by the members are For Reuben and Zachary, Leah’s Lifeline and QA neo-natal department. For Reuben and Zachary is an online donation page for brothers Reuben and Zachary who both have complex medical needs. The family appeared on DIY SOS on BBC One back in 2013.
Hannagh Smith,mum to Reuben and Zachary, said: ‘Reuben and Zachary are identical twins, born very prematurely in 2009 and fought meningitis and coped with the effects of brain haemorrhage to survive yet they are left with life long health difficulties.’
Reuben was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and Zach is severely deaf, has a spine disorder and also has cerebral palsy.
She added: ‘The twins will benefit hugely from the very kind people organising this project and anyone who buys a calendar.
‘We are hugely grateful for everyone’s generosity and hard work.’
Leah Boxall has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which means her spine is unstable currently crushing her brain stem and she requires surgery.
She said: ‘It feels so lovely to be chosen because it’s local support like this that helped me achieve my first surgery target.
‘There are so many worthwhile causes that I feel very privileged to be selected.’
Sam said: ‘The members of Voice 4 Portchester are very much in to community spirit and some have asked a few times to do a meet up.
‘So we will be holding a pop-up cafe on September 23 from 4pm until 6pm for people from Voice 4 Portchester to meet each other.’
There will be a raffle at £1 strip with donated gifts, tea, coffee and homemade cakes as well as the calendars on sale for £10.
Sam added: ‘ We don’t get paid to run the page and we both have jobs and children but we do it because we want to for the community.
‘It is really important to me and Claire that we get the community together and hopefully it will continue.’
To purchase a calendar and for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org