Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pub regulars raise £16,700 for Mind in memory of beloved Welsh soldier

The dad of an 18-year-old soldier has helped raise more than £16,000 in his memory for Mind, alongside fellow pub-goers.

Jack Burnell-Williams from Bridgend was a member of the elite Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment who accompanied the Queen’s coffin during her funeral last year.

Jack’s father Dan Burnell, as well as his uncle and cousin, were joined by ten other regulars of The Star Inn Wick, Vale of Glamorgan, to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in his memory.

The group of mixed ages and genders came together to support Dan in the wake of his son’s death while also raising vital funds for the mental health charity.

The money raised will be used to fund mental health projects for those who need support in the Vale of Glamorgan at the wishes of Mr Burnell and the other runners.

Many of the group were first time runners who began training in February and completed the half-marathon on October 1st in a respectable time of just over three hours.

The wider community of Wick and Bridgend backed the fundraising efforts in Jack’s memory with the total raised announced at The Star earlier this month (December 2nd) where a glass was raised to the young soldier.

As well as sponsorship for the run, an auction night and casino night were held at the pub and fundraising took place at Wick’s Party on the Pitch.

Gareth Davies, who initiated the idea and led the training for the group, also ran 27 miles from Penarth Pier to the Party on the Pitch in Wick helping to bolster the total raised.

Jack’s Dad, Dan Burnell, said: “I am totally overwhelmed by the amount we raised as a small group of friends. It’s amazing how people got together to help us get to our final amount.

Organiser Gareth Davies said: “When I started this whole thing off it was really just to show support for Dan and his family to show we cared, and it just snowballed from there.

“I’ve been blown away by the generosity and help from the community of Wick and the efforts of the runners themselves. I couldn’t be prouder of both.”

Emily Francis, landlady of the Star Inn Wick, said: “They say that the village pub is at the heart of the community and we found out just how big our village’s heart is. Our locals and villagers have really come together for one of their own.”
Caroline Chapman CEO Mind in the Vale of Glamorgan said: “Your generous support for Mind in the Vale of Glamorgan speaks volumes about the compassion within our community”
The group’s running club is set to continue with many, including Jack’s dad, signed up to take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon 2024.

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