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Students' boost a nice Treat for hospital charity

SOME of the brightest young business brains in Wales are helping a Swansea charity make its dream come true.

Cardiff University has selected Treat Trust Wales for a special partnership that has seen top students "adopt" the charity for two weeks.

They have already started their in-depth studies of Treat, which aims to build a £10 million therapy centre in the grounds of Morriston Hospital.

At the end of the fortnight they will present a series of reports covering everything from a new business case to fundraising and publicity.

"It's absolutely fantastic," said Melanie Davies, who founded Treat Trust Wales and, with husband Mike, is now the driving force behind it.

"It's great for the students because they get hands-on experience with a real organisation, with the scope to cover everything from finance to construction.

"That's going to be great for their CVs when they finish their studies and apply for jobs.

"It's fantastic for us as well because we get a fresh set of eyes looking at what we do, and hopefully come up with ways of doing it better."

Treat's dream is to build a state-of-the-art specialist centre to help patients recovering from serious accidents and illnesses.

The charity, which has Port Talbot Hollywood star Michael Sheen as its president, has been looking to set up a centre for almost 10 years but has now stepped up its campaign.

Other supporters include Paul Potts, Rob Brydon, Paralympic legend Dame Tanni Grey- Thompson and former rugby star Gwyn Jones.

Melanie, originally from Port Talbot, but now living near Pontardawe with Mike, came up with the idea while recovering from breast cancer.

There are nine students involved, split into teams of four and five. They are currently studying for master of business administration degrees.

Mike and Melanie have already been to Cardiff to give a presentation to them.

"It's great they are coming in and looking to address the gaps we know we have in Treat but don't have the time or expertise to fix," said Melanie.

"For example, we don't want to pay to have a professional fundraiser and wouldn't want to go down that road even if we could, so they are looking to set up a donor database.

"We are so excited we are getting a younger generation in to help us perform to our maximum potential."

Paul Lews, South Wales Evening Post : Wednesday, 8th June 2011

SOURCE: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Students-boost-nice-Treat-hospital-charity/story-12731723-detail/story.html

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