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Basingstoke couple launch new sporting charity
A HOLIDAY home for seriously-ill children and their families has been given a welcome boost by a former Basingstoke couple, who know first-hand how vital the facilities offered there can be Gemma Hart, 29, and husband Tony, 31 launched their charity Sporting Foot-prints at the Sebastian’s Action Trust-run home in North Waltham.
The pair held a family fun day to mark the launch of the charity, which aims to buy sports equipment and offer sport-themed days out to families using the centre.
The couple said they wanted to give something back to the respite home having visited Bluebells numerous times with their three-year-old twins Freddie and Noah.
The youngsters suffer from a variety of respiratory problems, meaning they can find it tough to breathe and a simple cold can leave them on a ventilator.
Dad Tony said: “I was overwhelmed by the level of care that Sebastian’s Action Trust have given me and my family and I wanted we wanted to give something back and do something for an already great service.”
The launch event helped to bag £1,000 for Sporting Footprints, and founding members, Gemma, Tony, and family friend Dan Gill, 28, from Sherfield-on-Loddon, said they were delighted with the reception.
Tony said: “The turnout was amazing. It was much better than I could have expected, and to raise close to £1,000 through tickets and the raffle is exceptional. Now we can get started straight away.”
Gemma added: “It has been better than I could have imagined. Bluebells has been a real lifeline for us as a family and we really wanted to give something back to them for all they have done for us.”
The couple have recently relocated from Popley to Lancashire, but have said they will still do all they can to help Bluebells.
Sebastian’s Action Trust fundraiser Debbie Loveridge said: “It is fantastic the way they are supporting the trust.
“At the moment, we are trying to raise our profile in Basingstoke, and events like these help us to do that.”