Tennis fundraiser in memory of Naomi
PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 July 2015
A FAMILY from Weston has raised thousands of pounds for charity in memory of their teenage daughter.
Paul and Ruth Fuller, who run Fullers Finer Furniture in Oxford Street, wanted to hold a charity event to coincide with their business’ 30th anniversary.
Their 14-year-old son Oliver came up with the idea of a tennis fundraiser in memory of his sister Naomi.
Naomi was born with the genetic disorder Trisomy 13, which affects one in every 10,000 newborns.
It meant Naomi, who went to Baytree School in Highlands Lane, used a wheelchair, and required a feeding tube and 24-hour care.
She died last year, aged 17, but when she was born the original prognosis was she would only live for a few weeks.
Paul said: “She was a really happy little lady who put up with a lot and did amazing.”
The event, held at Weston Tennis Club, raised £3,700 for the Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), which provided respite care for the Fuller family throughout Naomi’s life.
Keen tennis player Oliver played for eight hours against 19 opponents during the event, and people also tested the speed of their serves and tried tennis skittles.
Paul, aged 52, said: “It was an excellent and busy day. It was quite emotional at times.”
The family would spend 14 nights at Little Bridge House, run by the CHSW, a year.
Paul said: “It’s not just that they look after you while your child is there, but what they did afterwards as well.
“They ring us up to find out how we are doing, and their support is amazing.
“It costs them £1million per hospice to run a year, so we will do anything we can to help.”
Paul said the Volley With Ollie event was busy all day, and there is still money to be counted so the final total is yet to be worked out.
The staff at Fullers, which designs and manufactures furniture, all helped at the event, and 18 volunteers gave their time.
Trophies were given to the various competition winners, as well as to Oliver for his efforts throughout the day.
There was also a raffle and ice creams.
Oliver will be playing in a tennis county tournament this weekend for the chance to play at Wimbledon in August.
To donate to the CHSW, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/oliverfuller