A TRIO of events drew to a close at a football match to raise money for a children’s hospice.
Over the weekend a ladder climb covering the height of Mount Everest, a five-mile family walk, and six football matches made up an epic community campaign to raise money for Naomi House and Jack’s Place.
Football For Cancer was started by 32-year-old Raymond Ogilvie, in 2008, after he lost close friends and family to cancer.
Fast-forward six years where £165,000 has been raised, the event has grown to include a walk and this year a ladder climb.
Mr Ogilvie, of Stirling Street, Buckland in Portsmouth, says: ‘Each year support keeps building for Football For Cancer and that’s amazing.
‘We were so grateful for the good weather, as we had a lot of people turn up for the football matches and welcomed those who took part in a walk.
‘Each year we have a right good laugh and every footballer raises sponsorship money.
‘But it’s not all about raising cash, it’s also about having good fun.
‘We pick a different charity each year and this time we thought we would help children out and went for Naomi House and Jack’s Place.’
Charities chosen in the past have included The Rowans Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Yesterday, Fareham Town Football Club in Palmerston Road played host to six games – two that lasted 90 minutes, two that went on for an hour, and a beginner level of two 20-minute matches.
Players buy their place on a football team, which are held in memory of a lost loved-one.
Initially there were 80 places when it started in 2008, but now there are 162 spots up for grabs.
And 160 people took part in a five-mile walk, which started from the Marriott Hotel in Southampton Road, Portsmouth.
Walkers wore Football For Cancer charity T-shirts, while some chose to wear fancy dress.
Ava Saunders, five, was dressed as the Naomi House logo and took part in the walk with her mum Rebecca, 30.
Mrs Saunders, of Cosham, says: ‘It’s the first time we have taken part in the walk, and it was a great route.
‘My husband Damian took part in the football matches last year and we thought we would try and help with this walk.
‘It’s raising money for a great cause and we all had fun making Ava’s outfit.’
Mr Ogilvie, a telecommunications engineer and DJ at nightclub Tiger Tiger, says the walk was introduced so women could take part in the fundraising.
He says: ‘Women didn’t really fancy playing football, so we created a walk.
‘It ends at the football ground, where play was stopped to get the walkers on the pitch.
‘It’s a great scene to see everyone applaud those who took part.’
As well as the match, and return of the walkers, a fun day was held.
This included a bouncy castle, gladiator duel, face-painting and a raffle draw.
Jennifer Fletcher, 35, of Horndean, took her son Fletcher Cotter, seven, along.
She says: ‘There was plenty to do for children, and Fletcher had a great time.
‘The money raised goes to a good cause and it’s a great day in a safe environment, which appealed to us.’
Around £20,000 has already been raised, but the final total is not yet known.
Sarah Hudson, area fundraiser, says: ‘I came to the event last year, to give a talk about Naomi House, and thought it was absolutely fantastic.
‘What was so inspirational to see was the community spirit displayed by all.
‘And we were very grateful to be chosen.’
On Saturday, firefighters and their friends took part in a ladder climb – the equivalent height of Mount Everest.
Waterlooville watch manager Craig Sadler was joined by three other firefighters and four friends for the climb, which took place in Waterlooville town centre.
Each person took it in turns to scale the 45ft ladder to reach the summit of 29,000ft in a relay of 650 times.
Money raised from the ladder climb will be split between Football For Cancer and the Fire Fighters Charity.
To find out more about signing up for next year’s event, go to donate, go to ffcevents.com