‘Unsung hero’ praised for raising £22,000 for a children’s charity

Brad Groves, centre, with his own family, the Codling family, and tournament players. 
Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170716-225605006
Brad Groves, centre, with his own family, the Codling family, and tournament players. Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170716-225605006
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The parents of a young boy who died of a brain tumour want to thank the selfless 24-year-old who over five years, has raised £22,000 for their son’s charity – Charlie’s Beach Hut Fund.

After four-year-old Charlie Codling died in 2012 his family set up the charity in a bid to provide children like Charlie, and their families, with the chance to make forever memories at a Cornwall beach-hut style caravan.

Steve Codling, Brad Groves and Karen Codling.

Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170716-225630006

Steve Codling, Brad Groves and Karen Codling. Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170716-225630006

Every year Brad Groves, from Cowplain, arranges charity football tournaments to support the running of Charlie’s Hut in Perranporth.

More than 80 people took part in this year’s tournament at Goals, on July 2, which raised £3,000.

Now, Charlie’s parents Karen and Steve Codling have dubbed Brad as an unsung hero for his long-standing fundraising efforts.

Karen, 44 and from Stubbington, said: ‘In 2012 Brad raised thousands of pounds to send Charlie to Disneyland, but he was too ill to go.

‘We used the money to make Charlie’s last months of life amazing, but after his death much of it was left.

‘We were inspired by Brad and everyone else who had helped us to ‘find the wonderful in today’, which is our charity’s motto.

‘It was then decided we’d use the rest of the funds to set up Charlie’s Hut, so other families could do the same.’

Everyone who took part in the July tournament paid £30 to play, with donations coming from others, meaning the total raised was £3.018.

Brad began fundraising after Charlie’s sister Hannah Codling told him about the young boy in 2012.

Karen added: ‘Brad is an unsung hero and we want everyone to know about everything he’s done for us.

‘He’s had such an impact on our lives because he’s totally selfless, he gains nothing from all the effort he makes – it’s all done because he has a heart of pure gold.

‘Charlie lost the ability to walk and talk after he was diagnosed but he smiled with his eyes and when he saw Brad, they would beam.’

Back in 2012 Brad even arranged for two then Portsmouth Football Club players to visit Charlie.

The painter and decorator said: ‘Organising the tournaments is stressful, but worth it. The Codling family are the strongest people I’ve ever met, they’re so inspirational.

‘It feels great to know I’m helping children like Charlie, and I want to thank everyone who took part or helped.’