Hospice ‘Blown Away’ By Donation From Berkhamsted GC Members

Hospice ‘Blown Away’ By Donation From Berkhamsted GC Members

LEFT: Lucy Hume, Head of Community at the Hospice of St Francis. RIGHT: David Bird, Men’s Captain of Berkhamsted Golf Club 2018-19.

It’s one of the most heart-warming moments of a Club Captain’s year – presenting the charity cheque at the end of a year in office.

And David Bird, outgoing Captain of Berkhamsted Golf Club, can feel especially proud after presenting the town’s beloved Hospice of St Francis with a truly spectacular donation.

At the end of his year as Captain, Bird presented a cheque which was giant in all ways to the charity’s Head of Community, Lucy Hume. The sum raised, £12,546.89, surpassed even the outgoing Captain’s most optimistic expectations.

“Everyone here is simply very proud to have helped raise such a meaningful sum of money” said Bird. “I think it is large enough to make a difference. The club has enjoyed a long relationship with the wonderful people at the Hospice, and my wife also works there as a volunteer. It felt like the natural choice.”

The free Hospice of St Francis, which is a Berkhamsted-based charity, has helped thousands of people to live their precious lives well since 1979. On 2nd June 2019 it received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

“We were blown away by this donation” said Lucy Hume. “It was absolutely amazing and we are incredibly grateful to David and the members at Berkhamsted Golf Club – especially in this our 40th Anniversary year. The golf club and the Hospice have worked together in the community for decades, but this is truly exceptional.”

When the amount raised was announced at the golf club’s Annual General Meeting in late April, there was a spontaneous round of applause from the 150 people who attended.

The 13th at Berkhamsted GC, at dawn. Image credit Andy Hiseman

No ordinary Club Captain, Bird has been learning to play the electric guitar since his retirement five years ago, shredding a few chords from AC/DC and The Who as well as indulging in his love of photography, travel and, of course, golf.

And it was his energetic encouragement which saw the club through to its impressive final total. “I nagged the life out of our members” admitted Bird. “In the end we raised over double what I was originally hoping for.”

Among a host of fund-raising events during the year, a couple stood out.

A charity auction last September produced over £5,000 worth of donations in a single night, with sumptuous prizes donated by members, local businesses and other local golf clubs. And EasyJet donated four fly-anywhere tickets with full baggage allowance, which raised over £3,000 on their own.

After 40 years working in the City, how does retirement sit with Bird? “To be honest, I haven’t felt retired recently” he said. “Being a golf club captain is very enjoyable, but my goodness it’s full on. Let’s just say that my wife and I are looking forward to enjoying a few more holidays now that I have passed the baton to Henry Tse, our new Club Captain at Berkhamsted Golf Club.”

Close to the western boundary of Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted Golf Club is seven miles from Hemel Hempstead and just 15 minutes from the M1 Junction 8 (St Albans).

The club, which is currently engaged in a major heather-regeneration project, maintains strong relationships with English Heritage, Natural England and the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, as well as with the local Berkhamsted community. It is laid out on public land in Hertfordshire’s largest expanse of natural gorse and heather, with over five miles of bridleways and pathways running throughout the golf course and its huge 560-acre estate, full of natural beauty. Contact Berkhamsted Golf Club on +44 (0)1442 865832 or see the club’s website at www.berkhamstedgolfclub.co.uk for all golf club details, including location and travel tips

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