As with similar charities Longfields relied heavily on public support. Fundraising activities and the backing of community groups played a significant part towards the success of the Association. The support from these sources was demonstrated as the Chairman’s Report of 1980 revealed.
Over the years, the Association had dealt with different setbacks but there was a bleak financial situation in 1979/80. A ‘severe cash crisis’ meant that monthly expenditure exceeded the income for many months. The transport of the Association which was a high cost, had been subject to heavy wear and maintenance costs. Contract work from local factories had also dropped off. These issues contributed to the financial problems.
The Association looked to cut back on expenses and also to substantially increase its income. As happened in the early days, when setting up the Association, they went on a publicity drive. The Chairman reported:
through the Local Press and later the radio, our predicament was given considerable publicity and the response from the public, from individuals and organisations of many kinds, was most gratifying.
The Association paid particular thanks to South Wales Evening Post for ‘excellent articles on Longfields, to Swansea Sound Radio for ‘its broadcasts and special Easter Appeal’ and to ‘many benefactors too numerous to mention’.
Support also came from the Mumbles and Swansea Round Tables who together embarked on a fund-raising campaign to buy a new bus for the Association. Amongst the fund-raising events put on by the Round Tables was a Fayre and Gala in Singleton Park on Bank Holiday Monday, May 5th. Undeterred, the Ladies Guild also started to fund-raise for a second bus.
The Association weathered the storm and an emergency grant from the national charity ensured that Longfields remained open and gave them some time recover. They started to plan ahead to 1981 for activities to mark the International Year of Disabled People. The Chairman extended warm thanks to all who contributed to the work of the Association saying that:
In our 25th year at Longfields we have faced our most challenging crisis and are overcoming it with the help and goodwill of many people.
May their interest and concern continue as Longfields needs constant and continuing support.
Have you been a member of the Mumbles and Swansea Round Tables? Do you have memories of fundraising for Longfields? If so – please get in touch!