The 3-Way Charity Golf Day organised late last year by members of Reigate Heath Golf Club, the ‘little gem’ so admired by Peter Alliss in his original Round With Alliss television series, has eventually raised nearly £21,000 for three charities.
Thanks to club members, sponsors like Reigate-based Brewin Dolphin, one of the UK’s largest private client Investment Managers, Merstham-based food marketing specialists Winterbotham Darby, and numerous other supporters, the resulting donations exceeded the club’s original expectations.
The funds were split 60% to Cancer Research UK, 20% to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) and 20% to Riding for the Disabled (RDA Godstone Branch). The QEF is the charity chosen by Neil Gayner, the current Mens Captain, and Riding for the Disabled is that of the current Lady Captain Jill Stammers. All three charities were delighted with their amount and the money will go to specific equipment and facilities in the case of both the QEF and Riding for the Disabled, and towards specific research on brain tumours in the case of Cancer Research UK.
The driving force behind the 3-Way Charity Golf Day, Bob Cooper
Club member Bob Cooper, the driving force behind The 3-Way Charity Golf Day at Reigate Heath GC, went to see all three charities’ local representatives and present each one with a cheque from the club. “From the start, this has been something of a life-changing experience. Inspired by the loss of my brother to brain cancer, it was an idea that rapidly gained support at the club with some other members who formed the fund raising committee. From thereon, it snowballed and culminated in the golf day and the evening auction dinner at which so many people gave very generously to three wonderful and very deserving local causes.
“Once all the donations had been collected, we then had the job of presenting each charity with their cheque, an experience which I found very moving as it made me understand better what these charities are achieving. A visit to the QEF’s facilities at Dorincourt was typical, in that it was both inspiring and humbling – inspiring to see the independence and spirit of the residents and humbling to see how they are overcoming their difficulties.”
What the funds are going towards
While raising the money has been impressive, Bob Cooper has found it illuminating to learn about the impact the funding will have on the local charity organisations. QEF’s Sue Pressey explains what their cheque will go towards.“The QEF team at Dorincourt in Leatherhead will buy a frame that residents such as Leonore can use to support her so she can stand up and have a face-to-face conversation. Being in her wheelchair most of the time, she has to look up at people and is unable to share eye-to-eye contact.”
“The DELTA Stander is a vertical standing frame designed to lift individuals from seating to standing, seeing the world from a totally new prospective. A daily standing program helps improve circulation, increases bone mineral density (thus making bones stronger) and builds confidence. So to get a cheque like this from Reigate Heath GC is simply wonderful, both for the QEF and its residents.”
Speaking on behalf of Cancer Research, local organiser Jeannie Pitt said: “The money raised from The 3-Way Charity Golf Day will be supporting Cancer Research UK’s vital research to develop better diagnosis for brain cancer.
“Every year 9,300 adults and children in the UK are diagnosed with brain and central nervous system tumours. The research that we are supporting is looking for innovative imaging techniques to improve ways of assessing people with low grade gliomas, a common type of brain tumour. This could help doctors detect and diagnose these kinds of tumours more accurately and might ultimately help doctors to find more efficient and specific treatments.
Riding for the Disabled Association
The Godstone branch of Riding for the Disabled Association was equally passionate about the impact the money raised by Reigate Heath GC will have on their own activities and facilities, as their Chairman Verity Jones explained: “Godstone Group Riding For the Disabled would like to thank Reigate Heath Golf Club members, sponsors and supporters for the very generous donation from their Charity Day. We have, like many other charities, been running with limited funds over the past few years in spite of our own efforts at fundraising.
“This wonderful donation will enable us to improve our activities in so many ways. It will enable us to fund the necessary insurance of one of our horses, finish paying for some floodlighting, and replace badly needed specialist games equipment which is vital to encouraging movement in the riders, such as stretching, bending, colour and number recognition. It also adds a little fun to the lesson!
“Reigate Heath GC’s donation has already and will continue to be extremely beneficial to our Group. It allows us to provide things and improve facilities that are really necessary to enable us to continue offering this highly regarded riding activity to so many disabled children and adults from the local area.
“The Trustees, riders, parents and helpers are all so very grateful for your support and extend a very warm invitation to any members of the Club who would like to visit us. It will be seen then just how your donation has been put to such good use and how very much our riders all enjoy their lessons.”
Reigate Heath Golf Club www.reigateheathgolfclub.co.uk