Char­i­ta­ble cou­ple join hos­pices’ team

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Molly Mile­ham-Chap­pell

A char­i­ta­ble group has of­fi­cially t eamed up with Pil­grims Hos­pices.

Vic­to­ria Friar, the hos­pices’ Ash­ford fundrais­ing man­ager, has in­vited Ash­ford Char­ity Funds (ACF) to be­come an of­fi­cial fundrais­ing group for the char­ity in Hythe Road.

The move has helped recog­nise hus­band and wife team, Gary and Mar­i­lyn Kir­ton, also known as Maz, for their long-stand­ing ded­i­ca­tion to the hospice.

ACF was set up in 2008 af­ter Gary’s heart surgery, as a way of giv­ing back by fundrais­ing for var­i­ous char­i­ties, es­pe­cially those he was grate­ful to.

Mr Kir­ton said: “In 2009, Maz joined the domestic team at Pil­grims Hos­pices and two years later I joined the main­te­nance team. This spurred our de­ci­sion to be­gin fundrais­ing for Pil­grims Hos­pices.

“Our first event for Pil­grims was a char­ity foot­ball match which raised £6,000.

“Then for the last five years we have been hold­ing reg­u­lar bingo evenings, the first of which raised £120 but now reg­u­larly raises more than £500 per night.

“To date have raised more than £19,000.”

Be­tween th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties, the pair have found time to or­gan­ise so­cial evenings and raf­fles, as well as sup­port reg­u­lar hospice fundrais­ing events, whether by dress­ing as the hospice mas­cot called Raf­fles, tak­ing part in the fire­walk or work­ing hard to help make the sum­mer fair a suc­cess.

When the new foot­ball sea­son be­gins in Au­gust, they will in­tro­duce their char­ity Pre­mier League foot­ball coupon to fol­low how teams are do­ing, raise funds for Pil­grims and of­fer par­tic­i­pants a chance to win the jack­pot.

The next bingo night will be on Fri­day, May 5 and the pair will also host a char­ity walk­ing foot­ball match on Sun­day, June 11 at Char­ing Sports Ground.

For more de­tails or to book a bingo ta­ble, call Gary on 07850 747198.

Gary and Mar­i­lyn Kir­ton, who set up Ash­ford Char­ity Funds

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