MEMBERS of a Hereford boxing gym have shown their caring side and answered an appeal for toy’s at the city’s hospital.

While lockdown curtailed their club activity during November, members of South Wye Police Boxing Academy took part in a range of fundraising challenges to buy toys for children at Hereford County Hospital.

Bev Moate, treasurer for the club, which is based at Hinton Community Centre, works on the children’s ward at the hospital.

Normally, the ward has an ample supply of toys for children to play during their visits.

But Covid-19 guidelines mean toys can no longer be shared between children, leading to a shortage.

“Usually we would give a child a toy or a colouring book, and when they’ve finished with it put it back in the cupboard,” said Bev.

“Due to Covid all that has stopped, and when children come in we give them a colouring book to take away or throw away.

“We were starting to run out.”

The staff on the hospital’s children’s ward decided to start a local appeal for toy donations.

“We thought we might get a few things. People want to help, but we didn’t know how many would or how big the appeal would become,” said Bev.

“It has been bigger than we ever expected.”


After telling members of South Wye Police Boxing Academy about the appeal they sprung into action.

Coach Lindsey McKenzie, who works on charity projects at the club, came up with a fitness challenge for members to complete while they were in lockdown during November.

Boxing club member and junior doctor Yusuf Abdallah led the challenge alongside Othman Said to create funds.

Many of those who fundraised and donated were from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves.

Members who work at Hereford tattoo parlour Skinzophrenic also held a raffle to help with the fundraising. A total of more than £2,500 was raised by members.

The money has been used to buy a mobile game console called a ‘medical gaming cart’ for the hospital from the TheRockinR gaming charity.

The game cart aims to “minimise the effects of isolation, stress, and anxiety on children and young patients help promote recovery and wellbeing”.

Ms Moate said the gaming cart can be easily wiped down and all the parts can be cleaned so it can be passed between patients at Hereford County Hospital.

The hospital already has one gaming cart, but current Covid-19 restrictions mean it has been in great demand on the children’s ward.

“As soon as we told the members that we wanted a gaming cart for the hospital they immediately wanted to raise more money,” said coach Vince McNally.

“Our fundraising efforts snowballed from there, and I’m very proud of all our boxers who have put their time into this fundraising project.

“We know the cart will be well used at the hospital.”

The gaming cart will be presented by the South Wye Police Boxing Academy to Hereford County Hospital’s children’s ward later this week.