The Paycare team met for the first time in 18 months, alongside fundraiser Matt Rhodes (second left)

A team get-together for the first time in 18 months has raised £1,450 for a Midlands hospice.

Colleagues from Paycare – a Health Cash Plan and Wellbeing Training provider – got together for a rounders day on Friday (24th September), the first time they’ve met as an entire workforce since before the first Coronavirus lockdown.

As well as enjoying a day away from work playing sport at Worfield Cricket Club near Bridgnorth, the team used the day to raise funds for Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge.

The effort was in aid of Matt Rhodes from Quiss – the organisation’s IT company – who is fundraising for the hospice in memory of his fiancé Clare Lewis.

Clare sadly passed away at the end of 2020 after being diagnosed with cancer, and asked for donations rather than flowers at her funeral, following which Matt enlisted the help of his friends for a driving tour around the UK in open-top Minis – with these combined raising more than £15,000.

Paycare’s Commercial Director Anthony Burns explained the team had been incredibly moved by Matt’s loss and the admirable fundraising efforts he’d undertaken since, and wanted to help in any way they could.

He added: “We’d already organised the Rounders Day as a fun way for us all to get together and celebrate the teamwork, resilience and hard work which we’ve all shown during these tough times.

“So, it made sense for us to add a fundraising element into the day, and Matt – who has been a friend of Paycare for many years – joined us for the event too.”

A Name the Bear competition, homemade cake sale, and raffle raised £200, and at least five of the team have pledged their £250 annual MyGiving fund to the hospice in memory of Clare.

Anthony added: “We’re thrilled to have been able to contribute to Matt’s fundraising, and to have had such a wonderful day together. After more than 18 months of communicating mainly over video calls and emails, it was an absolute pleasure to see everyone together again catching up and getting into the spirit of the fundraising and friendly rivalry between rounders teams!”

Anyone wishing to contribute to Matt’s fundraising can search ‘Clare’s Crazy Cruise’ on Just Giving.

Harriet Ernstsons-Evans
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