Shropshire Star

Fundraising football event scores big for charity helping tackle loneliness in terminal illness

A charity football event raised over £3,000 for people battling terminal illness without the support of family.

The event raised more than £3,000 for the new charity

Last weekend saw the second successful fundraising event for a new charity, Merle’s Wish, with its inaugural five-a-side football event.

The charity was launched in the name of Cleobury Mortimer resident Merle Williams, who died in May this year aged 61.

Established by Merle and her family shortly before her death, the charity hopes to help those who are battling a terminal illness but do not have family or friends to support them.

Merle's daughter, Lisa Henning, said: “Whilst mum was ill she received lots of support from family and said she couldn’t imagine going through what she had to go through on her own.

"She said that the most valuable treatment she received following her diagnosis was the time and the company of family.

"We therefore decided as a family that we would like to help raise funds and provide support to those who are undergoing a terminal illness on their own and without the help of family and loved ones, and launched The Merle’s Wish Charity.

“Mum chose the purpose of the charity, and the design and colours of the logo, with the heart representing herself and the four smaller hearts representing us, her four children.”

The charity aims to support those suffering from terminal illnesses, including support with appointments, daily drop-in sessions to the home, shopping for essentials once a week and providing books and magazines to support chemotherapy sessions.

Over the August bank holiday weekend, 84 football players gathered at Cleobury Mortimer Sports Field for the inaugural five-a-side football event, which the charity hopes will become an annual event.

Signed football memorabilia and VIP horse racing experiences were also auctioned off at the event.

More than £3,000 was raised at the football tournament and will be put towards helping those with terminal illnesses with transport costs to attend important hospital appointments.

Lisa added: “We believe that the funds raised will help around 60 people to attend lifesaving treatment appointments.

"People think that the costs of getting to hospitals for treatment are covered by the NHS, when in fact it’s not always guaranteed.

"It’s really hard for those with low incomes or have no family support to fund taxis or other forms of transport to get them to and from hospital. These funds will be a great help to those who need it.”

The family is in the process of formally registering the charity, which will help them apply for grants to ensure they can continue their good work.