STAFF at two opticians in Torfaen have helped donate almost £20,000 to the Welsh brain injury charity Cerebra, following a year of fundraising.

The Specsavers stores in Cwmbran and Pontypool joined forces with 38 other Specsavers stores across south and mid Wales, to raise as much as possible in a year for children with brain conditions and their families.

The fundraising activities included bake sales, fancy dress days, cycle-thons and a climb to the top of South Wales’ highest peak, Pen y Fan.

Over the course of the year, Specsavers staff raised a total of £19,121.54 for the charity.

Mark Edwards, Specsavers store director in Cwmbran, said: “The support provided by Cerebra is, sadly, much-needed by many families across Wales.

“During our time working with Cerebra, we’ve learnt the advice and information it provides to families goes far beyond leaflet sharing.

“It offers practical help and guidance to families to get the financial and social support they so desperately need when raising a child with a brain condition.”

Cerebra offers support to more than 4,500 families with children who have brain conditions such as Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy.

The charity aims to help them live full and active lives.

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A bake sale at Specsavers Cwmbran. Picture: Specsavers.

In addition to its support services and research work, the charity also has an Innovation Centre based within the University of Wales Trinity St David, where bespoke equipment is designed and created, free of charge, to make children’s lives easier.

During the partnership, Specsavers worked with the team at the Innovation Centre to help six-year-old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, of Caldicot, who has cerebral palsy, to climb Pen y Fan for the first time.

A group of more than 40 people, including Specsavers staff, army staff and charity workers, helped Imogen summit south Wales’ highest peak.

Mr Edwards added: “We’re proud to not only have donated money to Cerebra but create a lasting memory for Imogen and her family.

“It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without the commitment of our staff, who have continued to fundraise for Cerebra, and the generosity of our local community for supporting our efforts.”