Fundraising drive brings friends hit by Wickersley tragedies together

By Michael Upton | 19/05/2017

Fundraising drive brings friends hit by Wickersley tragedies together
Top row, left to right: Tom Bothamley, Alex Albiston and Matthew Kiernan. Bottom row, left to right: Ryan Bothamley, Matt Wilcox and Nick Walker.

THE MEMORIES of six teenagers and young men who lived just a few miles apart will be kept alive by two fundraising events just a week apart.

Nick Walker, Alex Albiston, Matthew Wilcox, Matthew Kiernan and father and son Ryan and Tom Bothamley — all from Wickersley — will be remembered through a Three Peaks Challenge and a charity music festival.

Fifty members and supporters of the self-styled Team Wick fundraising team, who have so far raised £190,000 separately, will take on Yorkshire’s Three Peaks on June 3.

Sponsorship cash will go to The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity, Bone Cancer Research, SADS UK and CALM.

Among them will be Scott Bailey (28), of Sunnyside, who said: “The aim of this challenge is to show support to everyone as a group.

“Everyone's friends and families get behind all of the individual fundraising teams and charities so this time, we wanted to get together and fundraise as a group.

“I'm incredibly proud to be part of such an amazing group of people.

“The togetherness is simply incredible and it will continue to keep on being strong, as everyone supports and pushes each other, as we look to do our own different challenges, events and fundraising tasks for the foreseeable future.”

Father and son Ryan and Thomas Bothamley both died from sudden adult death syndrome, and their family and friends have raised money for the SADS UK since Ryan's tragic death in 2002 aged just 15.

They have continued fundraising after Thomas passed away from the hereditary condition at age 13 last year.

Both Alex Albiston and Matthew Wilcox lost their lives in 2010.

Alex, who was 18, had a rare bone cancer while 19-year-old Matthew died after falling into the River Aire.

Matthew Kiernan took his own life in 2013, aged 20.

Nick Walker was 16 when he died in a road accident in 2008.

His brother Tom, who ran the London Marathon in memory of his brother last week, spoke of bringing the friends and family of the six lost loved ones together for communal fund-raising, and Scott hinted that the group were aiming even higher in future.

“We have an eye on completing the National Three Peaks next year,” he said.
“Most of the walkers don't own a pair of walking boots - so I’m sure the local shops around South Yorkshire will be expecting a decent trade in the next two week.”

The self-dubbed Team Wick hope to raise £3,000 through the challenge.

The weekend before, May 27 and 28, Wickersley’s Three Horse Shoes pub will rock to the sound of a music festival dedicated to Matthew Kiernan, who was nicknamed “Beanz”.

Beanz Bash will raise funds for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and will also see the launch of a new pint on the pumps, dubbed Beanz Brew.

Acts performing include singers Leo Rowley, Danny Newey, Simon Donovan and saxophonist Paul Smith, a capella group Harmonix, duo Incandescent and bands The Hallowed Travellers and Crazy Horses.

There will also be a disco, children’s entertainment, face painting bouncy castle, barbecue, raffle and tombola.

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