Following fundraising throughout the duration of last season’s Hospital Cup tournament, Bolton Wanderers were delighted to present a cheque for £10,000 to local charity High Five on behalf of the competition’s committee on Thursday morning.
A charity competition which has been running across the Bolton area since 1934, it is one which consists of 16 local teams with the final being played at Burnden Park and now Macron Stadium.
During the course of the tournament, bucket collections were held and each team made a donation to chosen charity High Five, while all proceeds from the final itself between Tempest United and Atherton LR on May 8, including gate money, were donated to the total.
Based in Chorley, Lancashire, High Five is a group run by volunteer parents, providing activities for children with severe learning and physical disabilities and their families.
They are a non-profit organisation whose aim is to provide activities which meet the needs for all the family and support those in similar situations.
Speaking following the reveal of the funds raised, Nannette Holliday - a trustee with High Five - said, “We really didn’t expect this much money, but we’ll be able to make such a difference over the next 12 months with it, we really will.
“As an organisation, we’ve grown quite a lot during the course of the past 18 months. We started off just over three years ago with six families and now we have over 60 which has meant that we’ve had to limit some of our activities.
“Over the six-week holidays, that really isn’t ideal and when you’ve got a severely disabled child, you rarely get to do things as a family.
“We try and keep everyone together though and have a range of activities that everybody can enjoy from days out to picnics in village halls. It is often easier to stay at home when you have a child with disabilities, but we don’t want that.
“Our costs vary, but this money will mean that so many people can benefit from our help.”
She continued, “It’s hard as a small charity to raise money and we really enjoyed coming down to the Hospital Cup Final back in May. The children got to come to a football match which many of them haven’t done before and it was just a brilliant experience to be a part of.
“We had £2,000 for the summer which across all of the families doesn’t go very far at all, but this money will give us such an amazing platform to really grow as a charity.
“We’ve got an incredible group of people and everybody just helps everyone out – it’s a real family and we can’t wait to see that grow.
“We have a great team of volunteers and I’d like to thank everybody for their support.”
Lorraine Jenkins, a volunteer with the charity, added: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed that we’ve got £10,000. We didn’t expect that amount of money at all and High Five will be able to do so much with it.
“It will make so many children and their parents so happy. I help out with the charity and fundraise where I can, but I take my son to many of the events that the charity organises and it’s just wonderful.”
Helen Connolly also echoed Lorraine’s thoughts, saying, “On behalf of all the families at High Five, I’d like to say thank you to Nannette, Sarah and the team because what they’ve done, bringing families together, it just works and is a huge help.”
Andrew Dean, Promotions Manager at Bolton Wanderers and a man who has been at the forefront of the Hospital Cup for many years, simply couldn’t hide his delight after the presentation of the funds raised.
“It’s fantastic to hand over such a large sum of money to High Five,” he said. “The Cup has always been a great way to help the local community and charities.
“Originally, it was created to help set up the radio broadcast from Burnden Park to the Bolton Royal Infirmary and subsequently Royal Bolton Hospital to allow patients to listen to commentary of the club’s home games throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
“That continued until the late 1970s, but the Hospital Cup has remained a part of the town ever since.
“With High Five, we always look for charities which aren’t as high profile as some and High Five were perfect. They’re put a tremendous amount of effort into the competition this season and they’ve been rewarded with an amazing donation to the organisation.
“All in all, we raised around £7,000 from the competition as a whole and then it was a wonderful gesture from UK Health to round that up to £10,000 for High Five which we are hugely grateful for.”
For more information on High Five, please visit www.high5lancashire.com.