Successful fund raiser at Alport
Tue 28th November 2017 | Whitchurch Alport | By Martin Wild
Whitchurch Alport recently backed a fund raising campaign for a charity backed by a young Wrexham woman, Catrin Pugh, who survived despite suffering 96% burns in a horrific coach crash four and a half years ago.
Catrin was returning from a ski season when the accident happened - leaving her with less than a one in a thousand chance of survival.
One of Catrin's best friends, Grace Thorne, was invited along to Yockings Park at the recent home game against Cheadle Town to help raise some much needed funds for her chosen charity, the Katie Piper Foundation, which has supported Catrin since her accident.
Alport host the Commander Ethelston Cup annually and their committee - many of whom are on the Reds committee as well - presented a cheque for £250, with a bucket collection and raffle on the day topping up the donation to almost £400.
Grace will attempt the seven day trek along the Lemosho route of Mount Kilimanjaro for the Katie Piper Foundation in February next year. Catrin is an ambassador for the charity which has been a Godsend in terms of her rehabilitation, providing constant support to her and her family.
They funded a trip for Catrin to attend a Rehabilitation Centre in France, and hope to improve rehabilitation for other burns victims in the UK.
"It's easy for me to say how much of a positive person she now is, and in fact, she's one of the most positive people I know," said Grace. "Catrin won't mind me saying, however, that leading up to this point she has suffered enormously, and she's worked tirelessly to learn how to live a 'normal' life again.
"She has undergone hundreds of surgeries, and had to re-learn the basics, the simple things like walking and using your hands, which I'm we all take for granted. It blows me away how far she has come, and I'm so proud to have been able to share this journey with her.
"Her every day achievements are inspirational, and I just wanted in some way to do something to show her just how proud and grateful I am to still have her in my life. This is why I have chosen to take on such a monumental challenge for this charity early next year."
Grace has already hosted two concerts, organised a pub quiz, an open mic night and spoken at a local school. She's grateful for the support she's had from local businesses as well as organisations like Alport.
"I'd like to thank Club Chairman, Ryan Jardine, Secretary Andy Hough, and Ethelston Cup representative, Kim Marchbank-Smith, for inviting me to the ground and helping me to raise the profile of Catrin's plight. The total raised to date is pushing towards £5,000 which is fantastic so a huge thankyou to everyone involved at Alport for having me along."
Alport Secretary, Andy Hough, was proud of the way the club had once again supported a cause outside of its own community having done similar things last year against City of Liverpool and St. Helens Town.
"Having attended two fund raising events hosted jointly by Catrin and Grace, I was overwhelmed, firstly by Catrin's obvious determination to not only survive her ordeal, but to try and generate financial interest to help support the Katie Piper Foundation, rather than create personal benefit.
"Secondly, I was saddened by the lack of public uptake at both the events that I attended, despite the tremendous commitment that Grace had made to stage them. Knowing the tremendous community spirit that we have within the Whitchurch area, it was a natural reaction to approach both the Commander Ethelston Cup and Whitchurch Alport Committees to see what support they could offer.
"As I hoped, the desire of both these organisations to help worthy causes is second to none. This can be seen from the amount of funding raised all within one afternoon. On behalf of both Committees and I am sure on behalf of both Grace and Catlin, I thank the Whitchurch Alport supporters for their ongoing generosity."
Whitchurch Alport Chairman Ryan Jardine is pictured presenting Grace Thorne with a cheque for the Katie Piper Foundation (photo credit: Kevin Warburton)