Towards the end of last year a friend and neighbour of Poppy and her family, Lynne Malcolm, contacted us. She informed us that not long after Poppy’s 6th birthday she very suddenly contracted Acute Flaccid Myelitis. This is a very rare condition and is a complication of a common virus and causes inflammation and damage to the grey matter of the spinal cord and the nervous system. This tragically left Poppy paralysed, unable to speak and using a tracheostomy to breathe. As a result Poppy has been in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh since Sept 21st 2016 and it is likely that she will remain in hospital for at least a year.
The family being based in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland tweeted golf pro and Sky Presenter, Andrew Coltart, asking him to retweet their fundraising page. We were asked for our help to raise funds to help Poppy’s family purchase the specialist equipment needed to enable Poppy’s communication and mobility. Their target fundraising figure was £40,000.
After discussion it was decided that the best way we could help in this instance would be to hold a one off event to specifically raise funds for Poppy as any amount we could approve as a grant wouldn’t scratch the surface of the funds needed. This is the first time we have run an event to raise funds for a one off cause but agreed to do so due to the golfing links between Peter, Andy and Lynne.
Andy Coltart very kindly agreed to take part in this fundraising event and provided us with his availability and the event was booked around this. Lynne’s husband Fraser is a PGA professional with close connections to North Berwick West Links prestigious championship golf club and was instrumental in securing the venue. Golf pros John E Morgan, Jamie Elson & Andrew McArthur also all kindly agreed to take part in this event alongside Andy Coltart. 25 teams of 4 entered the event with a shotgun start. To maximise fundraising various local companies sponsored the 18 holes, there was a live auction and raffle, a kid’s competition held in the morning and a limited amount of individual places to play against the pros were raffled off. Due to everyone’s generosity this event raised a whopping £15,260!!
We have been overwhelmed by people’s kindness and were blown away by the fabulous items that were donated for the auction, team prizes & raffle! We cannot thank everyone involved in this event enough from the venue, the golf pros, hole sponsors, to everyone who donated auction, raffle & team prizes and to everyone who took part on the day! You ALL helped to make this event such a success! Poppy is a very brave, courageous young girl who deserves every penny, which we hope will give her a much-improved quality of life – we wish you a steady and healthy recovery!