Friends take to stage for charities close to their hearts

BEST FRIENDS: Laura Venables (right) and Eleri Buck are hosting the fundraising concert in tribute to their families. PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (6107893)

BEST FRIENDS: Laura Venables (right) and Eleri Buck are hosting the fundraising concert in tribute to their families. PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (6107918)

First published in News

TWO brave young dancers are taking to the stage to raise money for charity and ‘give something back’ to their families.

Best friends Laura Venables, 21, and Eleri Buck, 19, are hosting the fundraising concert in aid of the HOPE MS Centre, in Neyland, and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Eleri’s mum Nina died of Sudden Adult Death syndrome in 2008, aged just 41.

“She wasn’t ill at all, I kissed her goodbye before I went to the cinema and I came home and she was gone. There was no warning,” said Eleri.

Eleri said the experience of losing her mum so suddenly was very difficult to deal with growing up, and has prompted her to raise awareness of sudden death, so other families can get checked out.

“I would never want anyone else to go through what we have,” said Eleri.

Laura’s dad Nigel, who is 54, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 14 years ago.

Confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk clearly, he relies completely on his family to look after him, and the physiotherapy he receives at HOPE is vital to keep his muscles moving.

“It’s had a massive effect on what we can do as a family,” said Laura.

“Especially when I was younger, I didn’t really understand. I don’t think I would have coped without my brother and my mum Christine.

“She does an amazing job; I don’t know how she does it. She works, she brought us up, she looks after dad; she does everything a mum and a dad would do.”

“Our parents have done everything for us,” said Eleri. “They always paid for us to be able to dance, so it’s nice to give back and show how their money was well-spent.

“We think it’s a nice way to mark being friends so long, and we hope our parents will be very proud.”

Acts taking to the stage at the Torch Theatre next month include local dance companies On Your Toes, Unison and Groundswell Dance Company. Laura and Eleri will also be performing, along with Eleri’s younger sisters Fleur, Lucy and Daisy.

Completing the talented line-up will be local bands The Review and 2’s Enough and local singers Ian Evans, Amber Aldridge, Carys Evans, Kamille Tiglao, Rosanna Cale and Laura’s twin brother Mark.

Laura and Eleri’s ‘Pembrokeshire Talent Charity Show ‘ will take place at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven on Saturday, June 14.

Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for children, and are available by calling the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267.

Raffle tickets are also currently on sale for 50p, with prizes including days out, meals, hampers, gift vouchers and more.

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