Cheque this out! Friends auction themselves to raise �2,700 for Wisbech hospital

SQUASH players will spend time farming, gardening and cooking next month after auctioning off their services to raise money in memory of a friend.

The group raised �2,763 for the Palliative Care Centre at North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech, in memory of Pete Bell, who died from cancer in June.

The staggering total was reached thanks to a special auction, which saw bidders attempt to win three hours of service from fundraisers Philip Kitchen, Mark Buttriss, Mark Eves, Steve Ward, David Means, Geoff Carnell, Seth Walpole and Ben Human.

Mr Kitchen, 50, a farmer from Tilney All Saints, said: “We went up for auction for three hours of work for whoever wanted it. We thought we might get �40 quid or so but most of us went for more than �100. We couldn’t believe it.

“I’ve got to go and do three hours work on a farm in Norfolk - quite what I’m doing yet I don’t know.

“One of us was bought by about three couples and they’ve got him to go to the houses of elderly people in Terrington to help them with gardening.

“I think my brother-in-law has got to go to his buyer’s house on New Years Eve to cook a meal for them!”

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Mr Kitchen and his friends have played squash together for more than 10 years. Mr Bell used to be in charge of the small club’s “kitty”.

Mr Kitchen said: “When he died this money had built up to just over �500. We had a bit of a get together to think about what to do with it. We thought we could use it to put on an event and see if we could raise more money for charity.

“Pete would have thought it was fantastic. He was the type of chap who worked hard and liked to enjoy himself. He would have loved it.”

The fundraisers joined Mr Bell’s widow Jackie to present hospital staff with the cheque.

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