Sport Relief making life miles better

Daily Echo: Beryl Hatchley, right, with Vera Culley. Beryl Hatchley, right, with Vera Culley.

A GROUP for elderly blind people is giving a big cheer to everyone running in this weekend’s Sport Relief Mile.

The Totton and Waterside Club for the Blind hosts get-togethers every month and says the £1,000 grant it received from the charity has helped “keep our heads above water”.

The club has forty members and the money went towards the minibus that picks them up to attend meetings at the Totton and Eling Community Centre.

Organiser Beryl Hatchley is urging runners to get involved for the sake of all the clubs that are helped by Sport Relief in Hampshire, across the UK and in the world’s poorest countries.

“If only I could run I would do it,” she said.

“It’s great that people are getting involved for all the groups which benefit.

“I’ve seen how important these groups are.”

The efforts of fundraisers who will walk and run the mile this Sunday will go towards grants, including the £50,000 that the Daily Echo is helping to distribute to groups like Beryl’s. Their meetings include movement to music, bingo, information days with police and advice on keeping warm in winter.

“The money has more or less helped keep our heads above water,” Beryl said. “We’ve been able to continue without putting the fees up.”

Beryl said many members do not get out apart from attending the meetings.

She said: “It’s about keeping them active and involved. You become very isolated when you are elderly, living alone and you can’t see very well.”

Club members’ ages range from 70 to 97.

Vera Culley, 88, said she looks forward to the monthly meetings.

Vera, from Totton, said: “It means a lot to me and everybody else there.

“We all enjoy it and get the chance to have a good old talk.”

The club meets on the second Sunday of the month, for more information call Beryl on 02380 782742.

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