VOLUNTEERS from the Vale of Glamorgan are braving the world’s fastest zip wire ride.
Today (June 3) adrenaline-seeking volunteers from across Barry, Penarth, the Vale and beyond – including charity worker Ruth McDonald and husband Paul – will be supporting Save the Children.
They will be taking on the zip line at Zip World in North Wales by zipping down the Velocity 2 wire at speeds of up to 100mph.
This is part of National Volunteers’ Week which presents an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic contribution volunteers make in so many ways by raising vital funds, helping in retail stores, campaigning, and helping with work in communities.
The money raised from this challenge will help children facing rising poverty, hunger, and loss of education worldwide due to the pandemic.
Children in Wales have also been impacted by economic hardships and the charity has been able to help by providing emergency grants for food vouchers, essential household items and learning resources and devices to help with home learning.
Ms McDonald, who works as a Practice Development Advisor for Save the Children in Wales, has heard from low-income families how the Covid pandemic has impacted their lives – financially, mentally, with some lacking the tools, resources and skills to adequately support their child’s learning and development at home.
The charity was able to help by delivering emergency grants to help buy basic household items and food vouchers for families most affected by the crisis.
Ms McDonald said: “Over the past year I have seen first-hand the difference our Emergency Response grant programme has made to more than 1,200 families in Wales since the start of lockdown.”
She continued: “Since the start of the pandemic many parents have lost their jobs and found themselves drowning in debt, needing to claim benefits and relying on food banks.
“I’ve cried over tragic stories of parents who have gone without food themselves to feed their children or who sleep on the floor because they don’t have enough beds or bedding.
“Some families don’t even have a washing machine or other important essential household items – all of which has been exacerbated by the crisis. It’s stories like this that make me want to join our wonderful volunteers to help even more families and children through our work.”
Ms McDonald and her husband Paul are also taking part in the challenge as a tribute to their adventure-seeking son, Ben.
Ben died suddenly and without any warning on October 7, 2018, aged 25. He went into cardiac arrest (SADS) as he crossed the finish line of the Cardiff Half Marathon.
“I’m also dedicating this very scary ‘one moment’ to my awesome son Ben because it’s something he had wanted to do, but sadly never got the chance,” said Mc McDonald.
“Ben was always up for a challenge! I’m not brave or adventurous like him but he constantly inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
“He loved hearing about my work and telling me about his. He passionately believed that every child deserves the best start in life.
“As a newly qualified schoolteacher he had already left his mark in some of the most challenged schools in Cardiff. He made learning fun and loved seeing children achieve their potential, often against the odds.”