Bridgnorth cricket duo's exercise challenge goes global and raises £10,000 for Severn Hospice

Two members of Bridgnorth Cricket Club were helped by their teammates, family and friends across the world who got moving to raise more than £10,000 for charity.

Matt Martin and Sam Whitney with Hannah Gamston at Severn Hospice, Shrewsbury
Matt Martin and Sam Whitney with Hannah Gamston at Severn Hospice, Shrewsbury

Following the cancellation of the annual Bridgnorth Walk, in which the town’s cricket club always enter a fundraising team, Matt Martin and Sam Whitney organised a sponsored exercise challenge to raise funds for the county’s Severn Hospice.

The annual walk was called off because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the pair, both from the town, originally planned to get 24 friends each doing an hour’s sponsored exercise instead.

However, as word spread online they were inundated with support from teammates, family and friends from as far away as New Zealand, California, Australia and Vietnam, who all wanted to be part of the fundraising team.

Eventually, more than 50 people performed a range of timed exercises over a 24-hour period, across all time zones, including walking, running, cycling and swimming – raising a total of more than £10,000 for the charity.

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Sam said: “We play with and against so many cricketers from across the region, many of whom know people who have benefitted from the hospice, and this charity is especially poignant to myself and Matt as my mother, Helen, and Matt’s father, John, spent their last days being cared for so very well by dedicated staff at Severn Hospice. This charity is very close to our hearts.”

On receiving the funds, Severn Hospice fundraiser Hannah Gamston added: “This is a fantastic effort by a group of people apparently ranging in ages from toddlers to pensioners, and from all across the world.

“This very generous amount will make a huge difference to the patients and families of the hospice, so we are hugely grateful to Bridgnorth Cricket Club and its supporters for their amazing efforts and this large donation.”

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