Wolves fans are being asked to back a local charity which was heavily supported by the late Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, at Molineux tomorrow.
A pre-match collection is taking place outside Molineux before the Blackburn game in aid of POWER PLEAS, the charity which provides wheelchairs and trikes to local youngsters.
The annual Wolves collections, in conjunction with Tettenhall Rotary Club, were started by Rachael, and the charity are labelling today ‘Rachael’s Day’ as they seek to continue the good work – and fundraising – which she spent so many years supporting.
Rachael, who passed away in January, was a patron of POWER PLEAS, now in its 30th year, and instigated the Molineux collections with Tettenhall Rotary Club over two decades ago.
The target for this year’s collection is to provide a STRIKEFORCE powered wheelchair to enable a local wheelchair footballer to achieve success at national level.
This wheelchair would go to a local player with Telford Powerchair FC – a club originally based in Wolverhampton and called Wolverhampton Warriors – and follows the donation of four electrically-powered wheelchairs by Rachael and the Lady Taverners back in 2011.
The powered wheelchair footballers were also helped in their early years by Wolves Community Trust.
Beneficiaries of previous POWER PLEAS fundraising were present at Monday’s Open Training Session to meet the players and help promote this year’s collection.
These included Rebecca Raymond Barker, pictured with Mike Williamson, who was an early recipient of an electrically-powered wheelchair which gives her freedom of movement at the touch of a joystick.
In the main picture with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Richard Stearman are Jack Smith, who plays for the wheelchair football team, Harry Evans and Callum McEvoy, who play for the Wolverhampton Wheelchair basketball team, and Scarlett Baker, who has received a bespoke trike.
As well as the pre match collection beneficiaries will also be involved in a parade at half time to thank supporters for their generosity.
“Hopefully supporters will be able to see at half time the scope of wheelchairs and trikes which they have helped us to provide – making such a difference to so many people’s lives – since Rachael initiated this collection in 1995,” said POWER PLEAS Chairman Keith Berry.
“We remain forever grateful to supporters whose backing means we can help these local youngsters for their generosity at our annual collections.
“It was all begun many years ago by Rachael, and it will be a poignant day as we hold our first collection since her passing.
“She will always be remembered by everyone connected with POWER PLEAS, and was so instrumental in so much of what we have done.”
* For anyone not at the game who would like to donate, they can visit www.powerplease.org and give online. Click here.