Campaign for new minibus boosted by dip

Photo: David Hurst
Fleetwood Sea Dip. 
Organiser, Phil Gibson, Barry Whittaker and Neil Hendry are set off by Izzy Hendry the inspiration for the dip who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis

Photo: David Hurst Fleetwood Sea Dip. Organiser, Phil Gibson, Barry Whittaker and Neil Hendry are set off by Izzy Hendry the inspiration for the dip who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis

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A junior football club’s quest to raise cash for a minibus has hit the ground running.

Fleetwood Gym FC wants to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 for the vehicle, which will provide a transport boost for its 18 teams – a total of 200 players.

The Gym’s campaign has been given a handy push by the annual New Year’s day dip on Fleetwood Seafront, which saw a large number of hardy souls brave the chilly Irish Sea, many in colourful costumes.

It raised a final total of £1,360, with £1,000 of that fund going towards the Cystic Fibrosis Trust charity, and the remaining £360 being used to kick-start the Fleetwood Gym campaign

Barry Whittaker, chairman of Fleetwood Gym FC, was one of the organisers of the dip, along with Phil Gibson of Fleetwood Kite Club.

Barry said: “All the money from the New Year’s Day dip has now come in and it was a good total.

“The bulk of it will be going to our main charity this year, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which is a really good cause.

“But the rest will go to our minibus campaign. A lot of young people will benefit from the minibus.

“We have teams from ranging from Under-Six to Under 16 and a lot of those age groups have an A and B team, so we are talking about a lot of them.

“We are also setting up a new Under-18s side and they will be playing games as far away as Southport and Blackburn.

“At the moment people are trying to get to places by getting a lift in someone’s car but it’s not the best situation, because sometimes parents struggle.”

He added: “Our aim is also to take our young players out on day trips, to places like the Football Museum in Manchester.

“The world stretches beyond Fleetwood and it’s important we give them the chance to see that and widen their experiences.

“Over the next 12 months we aim to be holding lots of fund-raisers to come up with the money.”

Barry also has a cheque ready to present to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Izzy Hendry, the 10-year-old daughter of one of the Fleetwood Gym managers, Neil Hendry, has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Neil often supports fund-raisers for the charity, which funds research into the disease and provides information and support for patients and families

Neil said: “I’m delighted the dip raised so much, that was a fantastic total and again I’d like to thank everyone who helped.”

n Anyone who has any fundraising ideas to help Fleetwood Gym’s minibus campaign can contact Barry on 077759 28332.