Halloween party to raise funds for men’s mental health charity Calm in memory of Gosport and Fareham RFC player

A CHARITY Halloween party is set to raise funds in memory of a young man known as the ‘life and soul’ of his rugby club.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 12:17 pm

Gosport and Fareham RFC is hosting a fancy dress night on October 30 with food, music, and games to raise funds for a men’s mental health charity.

The event has been organised by Donna Lovegrove, a member of the Gosport and Fareham RFC ladies team, in memory of her friend Tom Bell.

Known to his club mates as ‘Belly’, Tom died by suicide earlier this year at the age of 26.

Tom Bell, known as 'Belly' to his club friends

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Donna said: ‘I met Tom when he first came to the club and I was going through a tough time.

‘The first day we met he immediately knew something was wrong and said ‘don’t worry about it’, bought shots at the bar and had me dancing to cheesy music before long.

‘Your worries kind of disappeared around Tom.

Gosport and Fareham RFC will host the event to raise funds for CALM

‘He worked the bar at the club too so was a regular fixture of the place whilst down here.’

Tom played for the club for four months before moving to Cheltenham.

Donna and Tom stayed in touch after he moved away, and the two remained friends.

She added: ‘I know Tom helped a couple of guys with their mental health down at the club and he was the life and soul of the place when he was there.

‘He worried about everyone else and didn't worry about himself.’

The event will raise funds for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), which is taking a stand against suicide by running services to help people who are struggling.

Donna said: ‘If the money raised saves just one life then it was all worth it.

‘I have two boys, I don’t want them to ever feel like they cannot open up.

‘I want them to know that it’s not ‘shameful’, ‘unmanly’ or ‘embarrassing’ to talk about your feelings, worries and problems. It is brave. Probably the bravest thing you can do when society has been saying for so long that you shouldn’t talk.’

While her sons are football fans, Donna’s daughter plays rugby.

‘I love the sport and have found it so inclusive,’ Donna said.

‘There’s a place for everyone in rugby.’

HARDDRIVE are playing on the night.

As well as live music, games, and a buffet, there will be a charity auction held at the Halloween event with items such as signed jerseys, local businesses’ vouchers, and beer up for grabs.

Donna said: ‘We have some fantastic support, including donations of signed goods from some of the biggest clubs in the UK.

‘The Harlequins won the premiership last year and they are sending a signed jersey for the auction.

‘The Ginfathers’ Dan Turner, is hosting on the night and it looks like it’s going to be a huge success.’

The event will be held from 7pm until late on October 30 at The Pavilion, and fancy dress is highly encouraged.

Entry is £5 for non-members and £3 for club members, with tickets are available from the club and Only Rolls and Sauces in Carisbrooke precinct.

Call Samaritans on 116 123.

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