Shooting fundraiser to raise £300,000 for game keepers.
Seasoned fundraiser Barry Atkinson, who with his spaniel Spider has visited numerous shoots around the country to raise money for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Charitable Trust and Cancer Research UK, has set a target for the forthcoming shooting season to pass the £300,000 mark for money raised.
His Spider’s Appeal has, in seven years, raised more than £270,000 for the two causes.
On 1 February, Spider and Barry completed the seventh season of Spider?s Appeal when they visited Dalemain in Westmorland.
This was their 120th shoot since 12 August 2009, bringing the running total of shoots visited to 701 in 93 counties.
Figures released by the appeal last week showed the season raised more than £50,000 for the two charities.
Barry Atkinson said: “The fundraising target of raising more than £1m and visiting more than 1,000 shoots in 100 counties is still the primary mission of this adventure, and I’m genuinely surprised and humbled by the sustained support from across the UK, and delighted that we’ve soared past the £250,000 milestone. We can now focus on the real possibility of reaching £300,000 during the coming season.”
The challenge has not been without its difficulties, however.
During early October Barry sustained a serious leg injury and developed an infection, which lingered until nearly the season’s end, while Spider, on a speedy retrieve on a shoot in Scotland, fell over a cliff edge into deep water, narrowly missing boulders in the gorge below.
Barry has called on shoots keen to get involved in the appeal to make contact in the coming months.