A five-a-side football tournament, organised by Milton Keynes-based gaming company Praesepe, which took place on Saturday has raised over £18,000 for CHIPS – the charity founded by the casino and gaming industry to provide specialised powered wheelchairs for young people with severe mobility problems.
‘Bedz Boys’, a team representing staff from Cashino Bedford, took the glory after beating off competition from over 20 teams from up and down the country.
The final saw them beat ‘Seamers’, who represented J Seamer & Son Ltd, the family joinery business that is Praesepe’s main contractor for refurbishments.
A separate women’s competition was also held and it was two Cashino teams who made it to the final, with ‘The Giants’ beating ‘Jackpot Gems’ from Birmingham and Coventry.
Simon Coombes, marketing manager for Praesepe said: “This event gets bigger every year, and once again generous sponsorship and support from various suppliers, customers, employees, their family and friends was astounding. That said, none of us anticipated raising anywhere near the £18,000 we eventually collected for CHIPS.”
Thanks to the joint fundraising of staff and customers Praesepe, which operates Cashino and sister company Beacon Bingo, has so far raised over £650,000 and presented over 115 custom built wheelchairs to children up and down the country since it began working with the CHIPS charity in 2005.
At this year’s event, held at Powerleague in Fyfield Barrow, nine year old Faye Baggaley was announced as Praesepe’s official CHIPS ambassador, and was presented with a certificate to thank her for her work with CHIPS. Faye was the company’s 100th recipient to receive a customised powered wheelchair.
Faye suffers from a severe form of cerebral palsy and is unable to walk unaided or use a manual wheelchair. Having outgrown her previous powered chair, also provided by Cashino, Faye needed a new one but chairs available on the NHS were not adequate for her needs.
Nick Harding said: “It was great to officially announce Faye as our first CHIPS ambassador; she’s an amazing girl who has done so much.”
Co-founder of CHIPS charity, Linda Lindsay added: “It’s thanks to these fundraising events that we are able to help so many young people, like Faye, change their lives. It is such a fantastic total which is truly appreciated by all of us here at CHIPS and the wheelchair recipients themselves.”