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Beer abstinence raises bonus funds for hospice

Two Thatcham men raise more than £1,000 by not drinking alcohol

John Herring

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John Herring

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01635 886633

Beer abstinence raises bonus funds for hospice

TWO Thatcham man have discovered that it pays not to drink after raising more than £1,000 for charity during a non-drinkathon.

Malcolm Cook and Nigel Allen’s empty beer glasses at their local, the Taste of England, have filled the coffers of the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading. They decided not to touch alcohol from January this year, with Mr Cook staying dry for eight weeks and Mr Allen for five weeks.

Mr Cook, a Thatcham-based plasterer, said that what had started as a bit of banter over the bar at their local had turned into a full charity pledge. “In the end we felt we had to do it as it had been talked about so much,” he said.

He said that people had donated after noticing that he wasn’t drinking and wondered what was up. The Taste of England also put up posters to support their dry patrons, although the landlord John joked that his takings had fallen during the non-drinkathon.

The pair raised £1,353 for the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hopsice in Reading; a charity close to Mr Cook's heart as his sister spent her final days at the Reading hospice.

“It’s a good cause and I’m surprised that two people could raise that amount of money,” Mr Cook said. He added that he and Mr Allen both liked a social drink but said that he felt healthier and had lost weight as a result of not drinking.

Hospice fundraiser Fern Haynes said: “I am extremely grateful to Malcolm for his fantastic fundraising.

“We could not provide our incredible care without such wonderful generosity and support from individuals like him.”

Mr Allen, who works for Stone Circle in Newbury, said he quite enjoyed the challenge although he did not notice the healthier benefits experienced by Mr Cook.

The fundraising friends have said that they will keep their pint glasses dry again after Christmas this year, this time raising money for Mr Allen’s chosen charity of the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance.

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