10:40AM, Monday 15 February 2016
The launch of a new partnership between Maidenhead Rugby Club and the Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service was attended by fans and friends of the club on Saturday.
The rugby club has adopted the soon-to-be-built children's hospice as its charity for 2016.
Despite the wind and rain, fans gathered ahead of the home match against Reading at Braywick Park to show their support.
The build-up included an exhibition match featuring junior players to mark occasion.
The partnership began thanks to a life-long member of the club who wanted to raise money for his ‘neighbours’.
Graham Chamberlain, who lives just down the road from the Alexander Devine hospice site in Woodlands Park, said: “It's a funny story really. We found out about the children’s hospice because all the neighbours were informed about the planning application.
“I got in touch with the charity because I saw Windsor Rugby Club handing them a cheque and I thought we can do that.
“We raised £300 at a match at the end of last season but our big event will be the charity dinner in September.”
Fiona Devine said: “Graham has really been the driving force behind the relationship; we’re delighted with the partnership between the rugby club and us.
“It’s invaluable to have the support of our neighbours, so it’s quite special.
“We’ve raised £4m so far but we still have £1m to go.”
Stephen Bough, chairman of Maidenhead RFC said it was the ‘perfect partnership’.
He said: “The charity fits perfectly, they are a local charity for local people and we are a community club for local people.
“Maidenhead RFC is very much a community club with members drawn from all over the county, and so when we were approached by one of the charity’s supporters we were delighted to accept the opportunity to get involved.
“Not only will we raise money for their charity, but we have a lot of members on our newslist and we can also raise awareness of the charity.”
The next event will be a performance by the Rock Choir at the match against Windsor on Saturday, March 19th.
A grand charity dinner will be hosted by the club on Friday, September 16.
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