Boost for fund after chance meeting

Published on: 03 Aug 2013

A CHANCE meeting at Pomphrey Hill Sports Pavilion is leading to another boost for the Downend charity Jack’s Fund.

Paula Banks, who is aiming to raise £100,000 for Bristol Children’s Hospital, where her son Jack was treated before his death five years ago at the age of nine, got talking to two trustees of the playing fields, Andy King and Pete Brown.

They offered her the chance to run stalls at a beer and cider festival on August 10 in support of youth cricket and football teams.

Andy, first team captain of Carsons and Mangotsfield Cricket Club, and Pete, secretary of Mangotsfield United FC Juniors, said that as clubs with hundreds of young members it seemed appropriate to support Jack’s Star Tribute Fund for the Wallace and Gromit Appeal.

Andy, who has two sons aged eight and ten, said he had been impressed to hear about Paula and her family’s fund-raising efforts.

“We can help her and she can help us by offering an extra attraction for visitors to our family event.” he said. Paula plans to run a kids’ cake and biscuit decorating stall and a tombola and hopes to find someone who can do facepainting at the event, which is on from 2pm to 10pm.

It includes a barbecue, bouncy castles, table tennis and pool as well as beer and cider and cricket and football matches.

The festival will also be raising money to support the two sports clubs. Carsons and Mangotsfield Cricket Club has about 130 young members, boys and girls, ranging from under-sevens to under-17s, who train weekly. The older teams compete in the Bristol Youth Cricket League. The club needs to raise £1,000 a year for ongoing maintenance of its cricket nets .

MUFC Juniors run 27 teams, from under-sixes through to under-18s. These range from five-a-side to 11-a-side and include three girls’ teams and three mixed teams. Teams from under-nines upwards play in local leagues and the club fields four senior sides. Pete said about 450 youngsters trained weekly with the club at Pomphrey Hill, Blackhorse and Page Park.

“We have about 60 coaches on board and we have gained chartered standard community level from the FA,” he said.

Fund-raising is needed to support all these activities – the club spends £2,000 a year on footballs alone. Pete, who has three sons who are all involved with the club, said: “We are happy to support Jack’s fund. What Paula is doing is fantastic.”

A Ladies Night held at Pomphrey Hill pavilion in July raised £1,655 and the fund has also received a surprise donation of more than £1,000 as a result of ‘green token’ donations in John Lewis in January. Paula is organising a Fancy Dress Party, again at Pomphrey Hill on Friday September 13, with the theme of movie characters. Tickets at £5 each will be on sale from the middle of August .

Tuesday July 23 marked the fifth anniversary of Jack’s death and Paula said: “I want to thank everyone for sticking with us, supporting our fundraising and, most importantly, for remembering Jack.”

Jack’s fund aims to fund a playroom and a conservatory as part of an expansion of facilities at the children’s hospital. The total is currently at just over £63,000.

To contribute, visit www.justgiving.com/jackbanks

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