Shropshire Star

Legacy of teenager Charlotte Hope tops £32,000 after memorial football day

A memorial football day has raised nearly £10,000 in memory of a county teenager.

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Charlotte Hope revisiting the Restart charity where she had previously volunteered

The event, at Market Drayton Town Football Club, was held in tribute to Shawbury 19-year-old Charlotte Hope, who was killed in a car crash earlier this year.

Fundraising on the day, through a collection and an auction, has raised £9,878.

Added to previous donations on a JustGiving page for Charlotte, the total has now reached £32,515 – a legacy that will benefit the charity Restart Kenya, which helps look after and educate homeless and orphaned children.

The focus on the game has also sparked a fresh wave of donations to the internet page, bolstering the total even further.

Charlotte had volunteered at the charity during a visit to Kenya, and had ambitions to return after completing her teacher training.

The memorial day was attended by hundreds of people and featured two football matches – one between friends of Charlotte's from Shawbury and Edge Hill University, and another between players from RAF Shawbury and an 'All Stars' 11.

Charlotte's parents, Wing Commander Neil Hope, and his wife Helen.

The event was played out under blazing sunshine, with plenty of laughter and entertainment across the matches.

A collection taken during the games was followed by an auction – featuring a host of top level sports memorabilia – after they had concluded.

Charlotte's father, Wing Commander Neil Hope, who is based at RAF Shawbury, said the family had been overwhelmed by the amount raised in his daughter's name.

He said they were hugely thankful for the support and generosity of those who had played a part in the fundraising, and the organisation of the event.

He said: "It is just incredible. It is almost like the whole fundraising has kicked on again because we had the event.

"We raised a ridiculous amount of money at the event and we never expected anything like that, but the way it has shot up, we thought we would be closing on £30,000, now it is £32,500."

He added: "At the start we thought we would not be talking about the huge amount of money we are. The amount of children it will put through education is huge."

Wg Cdr Hope said that donations to the charity would provide a fitting legacy for Charlotte, who has been described as a "selfless" and "'loving" teenager.

He said: "Her intent was to go back and volunteer, work in Kenya and volunteer at Restart. She was going to do it that way and of course she can't do that, that's why we decided this would be a lovely legacy for her."

Wg Cdr Hope said they have been moved at the number of people who had attended, from Charlotte's home of Shawbury, and from across the country.

He added that people had been "very generous" with bids, donations, and items provided for the auction.

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