Sue Limb: Charity begins in mid-air

PUBLISHED: 15:34 06 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:42 20 February 2013

Sue Limb: Charity begins in mid-air

Sue Limb: Charity begins in mid-air

'When I recover I hope people will sponsor me to abseil down the rocky outcrops of Sir Vivian Richards,' says Cotswold Life columnist Sue Limb

Charity begins in mid-air

When I recover I hope people will sponsor me to abseil down the rocky outcrops of Sir Vivian Richards, says Cotswold Life columnist Sue Limb

I was startled recently to discover that our very own Cotswold Queen of Romantic Fiction, Katie Fforde, was abseiling down a church tower in aid of Rodborough Endowed School. As a fellow-sufferer from vertigo I can only express awe, though I have to express it with my eyes tightly shut. However, so far Katies raised loadsa money and if youd like to support her you can do so at With our help the dear Old School can be as well-endowed as David Beckham.

Willingly enduring some kind of torment in aid of charity seems to plug in to a deep, atavistic streak of masochism in the human psyche. No ordeal is too vile for the brave souls seeking sponsorship. Abseiling, bungee jumping, sky-diving being immobilised in a tank of snakes, dragged through hedges backwards, even thrown to a pack of bloodthirsty toddlers

Imagine, then, my pleasure on discovering that a different route to charity was on offer at Bath Cricket Club, where the Bunbury team, a mixture of vintage cricketers, actors and celebs, was raising money for Hope for Tomorrow, a charity which provides mobile chemotherapy services so people with cancer can get their chemo at home. ( An excellent cause and the idea of raising money while having fun was a welcome novelty.

Viv Richards will be there! I told my daughter. And Ian Botham! And champagne and canaps! Although she is a cricket fan, I think the champagne and canaps were quite influential in her decision to accompany me. The only blot on the horizon literally was the weather forecast, but as we sprinted from the car park to the marquee, I was still looking on the bright side.

Its not really heavy rain! I argued, splashing through the puddles. Its kind of bright, optimistic, positive, gorgeous summery rain!

Just standing a few yards away from Sir Viv and Sir Ian was a thrill. Sir Viv in particular has always been a heartthrob of mine. And as we lunched on salmon and summer pudding I bid successfully for a framed and signed photo of Beefy at the triumphant end of that Test match he won almost single-handedly against the Aussies back in 1981, brandishing his middle stump though not in an unsavoury sense.

Eventually the hospitality gave way to the cricket, and we went out and sat in the rain. Sir Viv and Sir Ian werent actually playing. Although in the autograph tent Sir Viv was completing the fastest 100 signatures in a one-day event. Sir Ian had to leave, and was taken up into the sky in a helicopter, a bit like Jesus, because he had another commitment something to do with golf, possibly in aid of charity.

Isnt it marvellous! I gushed to my shivering daughter, as the rain sluiced down our necks and the cricketers wallowed in mud, that people can raise money like this, having fun!

The feverish cold that we both succumbed to shortly afterwards seemed a small price to pay. Indeed, I am writing this a week later, sitting up in bed, sniveling and sneezing and coughing in aid of charity. Well, it seems like poetic justice that our day of fun has turned out to be a bit of an ordeal after all.

When I recover I hope people will sponsor me to abseil down the rocky outcrops of Sir Vivian Richards.

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