Football-mad fundraisers enjoyed a day of healthy competition to show their support for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). Two matches were organised in Barkway, near Royston, and, incredibly, raised more than £8,000.
One game was for juniors and the other for adults and both were organised by the family of Tallulah Irish – a little girl who lived for just 19 days after being born by emergency caesarean in November 2013. She was immediately taken to neonatal care as doctors were concerned she was not responding well after birth.
Parents Keely Blows and Curtis Irish were hopeful Tallulah would start to improve, but a scan of her brain revealed extensive damage incompatible with life, later discovering it was most likely due to a stroke in the days leading up to birth.
She received end-of-life care at Milton and her family were supported by EACH. Keely and Curtis have become committed fundraisers ever since, raising in the region of £40,000. With more money to come, they hope their football day alone will end up raising more than £10,000 – a fitting total as Tallulah would have celebrated her tenth birthday in November.
“It was very successful and I can’t quite believe how much we raised,” said Keely, who, together with Curtis and children Teddy and Marlowe, cut the ribbon at EACH’s Royston shop when it opened in April 2021.
“It’s an amazing amount of money and we’re so grateful to everyone who came along and joined us on the day. People have been so kind and we’re fortunate to have such great local support.
“Lots of people know what happened with Tallulah. They know us, as a family, and are always keen to get involved to do what they can to support our fundraising. We’re also both fortunate to have big families and lots of great friends, who always get behind us.”
Keely said it was poignant to organise a fundraiser in the same year Tallulah would have been ten.
“EACH remains a hugely special charity to us and our family,” she said.
“We can’t throw Tallulah a party or buy her presents, but we always promised we would include her in our future and this day was a celebration of her.”
The charity matches took place on Sunday, 3rd September. Family and friends played and watched and there was also a tug-of-war, bouncy castle, tombola, raffle and refreshments.
There is still time to make a donation by heading here.