YOPEY has held its first fundraising day at a golf club. The charity’s founder Tony Gearing MBE plays golf so this was a way for him to fundraise for his charity while enjoying his hobby.
About £3,000 looks like being raised for YOPEY’s befriending partnerships between care homes and schools by Gosfield Lake Golf Club near Halstead in Essex.
Over 50 players, men and women, took part in the competition. Most were members of Gosfield Lake but other clubs were represented including Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.
“This was our first fundraiser at a golf club and it went really well,” said Tony. “I hope other golf clubs in the East of England invite us to put on a charity day for them.
“Post pandemic it’s harder to win grants from foundations,” added Tony. “So charity golf days could become a vital alternative source of funds for YOPEY.”
After the match and lunch, Tony and a young YOPEY Befriender told the golfers about the work of the charity.
Seventeen-year-old Emily Ward – a sixth-former at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard who visits residents at a Sudbury care home – said volunteering with YOPEY had increased her confidence.
Emily spoke about “why I love Befriending. The main reason being able to make people smile – something which I cherish dearly.”
The teenager obviously had an effect on her audience. “Golfers approached me after my speech to thank me. One man told me that the speech meant a lot as his mother had just moved into a care home. I was touched by this.”
Gosfield Lake captain Les Turner, who chose YOPEY as his charity for 2023, said: “Like many other golf clubs, we at Gosfield Lake have lost members to dementia in recent years.
“I thought it appropriate to support a local charity during my captaincy year. YOPEY Befrienders visit those suffering from any of the many causes of dementia to provide some companionship and social contact.
“To date, with the support of club members and helpers, we have raised about £2,700 towards this great cause.”
At least one more event at the Essex club is planned to add to this total.
Prizes and auction items were described by one participant as “the best I’ve ever seen” with golf equipment, wine and spirits donated by YOPEY and Gosfield members. YOPEY trustee Joanne Gearing is a keen potter and made a championship plate that was won by one Gosfield member.
Giant cheque: from left, Jo Gearing, Emily Ward, Tony Gearing and Les Turner