Celebrities swing into action for charity golf day in aid of the Bubble Foundation

Stars of the entertainment world teed off to raise vital funds for the region’s Bubble Foundation

Singer Brian McFadden with his winning Golf Rocks team. (L-R) Jamie Kenny, Eddie Loughlin, Brian McFadden, and Connor Gary
Singer Brian McFadden with his winning Golf Rocks team. (L-R) Jamie Kenny, Eddie Loughlin, Brian McFadden, and Connor Gary

A HOST of stars swung into action for a charity golf day to raise vital funds for the North East’s Bubble Foundation.

Irish singers Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy and Kian Egan were among many high profile celebrities who teed off at the Golf Rocks event at Stoke Park Golf club, in Buckinghamshire, on Friday.

Other famous personalities included television presenter Denise Van Outen, broadcaster Neil ‘Dr’ Fox and Dragons’ Den Peter Jones.

The inaugural event was organised by former Westlife member Brian McFadden, who is patron of the Bubble Foundation, and it is hoped the golf day may become an annual event.

All of the celebrity captains tour bags for Golf Rocks 2014
All of the celebrity captains tour bags for Golf Rocks 2014
 

It is not yet known exactly how much money has been raised but it is expected to be a significant amount that will be of huge benefit to the charity.

Brian said: “I’m delighted that we raised a great amount for the Bubble Foundation which I’m very passionate about, and also raising awareness about the charity to all guests who attended Golf Rocks. It was brilliant to have the Bubble Foundation’s fundraising manager Gill and her team with us at the evening party.

“A big thank you to all sponsors and partners of Golf Rocks 2014 who made the day possible and also the celebrity captains - Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Denise Van Outen, Neil ‘Dr’ Fox and Peter Jones. I am already looking forward to Golf Rocks 2015!”

Brian decided a year ago that he wanted to host a big event for the Bubble Foundation to raise awareness of the important charity that supports children with little or no immune system.

Dan Parker, Brian’s manager, said: “What started as an idea Brian had around a year ago to help raise funds for the Bubble Foundation, and we saw Golf Rocks 2014 come to life. It was a fantastic golf day and evening party, raising much needed funds and awareness for the Bubble Foundation.

Phil Simpson and his sister Lauren Simpson with Irish singer Brian McFadden
Phil Simpson and his sister Lauren Simpson with Irish singer Brian McFadden
 

“The team involved in making this happen worked tirelessly to ensure that Golf Rocks 2014 is the best golf day on the calendar, they certainly delivered. Here’s to Golf Rocks 2015!”

On the day, teams battled it out to win the Bubble Foundation Cup and it was Brain’s group that scooped the top prize.

After golf, there was a three-course dinner and prize ceremony. Guests were also given the chance to bid on fantastic auction gifts, with all proceeds going to the charity. An evening party was held with a performance from Boyzone lead singer Ronan stealing the show.

Gill Johnston, fundraising manager for the Bubble Foundation, said: “It was a fantastic night and it was great to see so many people supporting the Bubble Foundation and the important work we do. Fundraising has been very difficult over the last 12 months and we could not be more grateful for the help and support Brian and his team are giving us.

“We are delighted that so many people took part in Golf Rocks to help raise awareness of the Bubble Foundation.”

Last year, The Journal launched a campaign to raise funds for the Bubble Foundation, which is at the Great North Children’s Hospital, based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Brian McFadden with Isaac Connelly during his time in the unit
Brian McFadden with Isaac Connelly during his time in the unit
 

More than 20 years ago, the charity was set up in support of Newcastle’s Bubble Unit to raise funds for medical equipment, toys, educational aids and, most importantly, it pays for pioneering research.

Phil Simpson, of Belmont, County Durham, is only here today because of the Bubble Unit. When the accounts assistant was five years old he was diagnosed with a serious immune deficiency that would have claimed his life had he not received a bone marrow transplant 10 years ago. The 25-year-old was at Golf Rocks with his family and girlfriend, Sarah Pearson.

Phil said: “It was a fantastic event and I was surprised at how many celebrities were there. Golf Rocks was important for the Bubble Foundation as everyone wanted to speak to us to find out about the charity and what it does.

“Often money from fundraising events down south goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital so it’s really important that people know about the Bubble Foundation here in the North East.”

How you can help

We're urging as many people as possible to support the Bubble Foundation.

Whether it be a sponsored bike ride or fundraising night, we’re calling on our readers to dig deep and help raise vital funds for the charity.

To donate, make a cheque payable to Bubble Foundation UK and send it to: Ward 3, Great North Children’s Hospital, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle, NE1 4LP.

For more information about the charity visit:

Website: www.bubblefoundation.org.uk and link in to their justgiving page

Email: BubbleFoundation@nuth.nhs.uk

Facebook: Facebook.com/BubbleFoundationUK

Twitter: @TheBubbleUK

If you are doing a fundraising event for the Bubble Foundation, or have used the unit, email our Health Reporter at helen.rae@ncjmedia.co.uk

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