Fundraising News: Why I Give - Andy Blake

Andy Blake is captain of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team. He is an ambassador for disability charity John Grooms and supports World Emergency Relief.

How did you become involved in John Grooms? I am a resident at one of their homes in Milton Keynes. After the Paralympics in Athens this summer, the charity asked me and five other members of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team to take part in the launch of their Life is a Lucky Dip campaign. It was at the Tory party conference in Bournemouth and we played a game with a couple of MPs on the beach. It was after that that John Grooms asked me if I wanted to become their ambassador, and I accepted.

Did you take part in any particular activity recently in support of this charity? My support for this charity is quite recent I haven't done anything for them since Bournemouth, but I am meeting with them this week to set the schedule for next year. I told them that I will help as much as I can. I am a full-time professional player and spend a lot of my time in training and playing in the UK and abroad, but I often have a few quiet weeks after a tournament and my support for them would fit well around that.

Are there any other charities you support? Yes, World Emergency Relief.

They approached me at around the same time that I became involved with John Grooms. I think winning a medal at the Paralympics sparked a lot of interest in us. Tomorrow I am going to be with four MPs on the charity's panel for the celebration of the UN International Day for Disabled People.

And the next day I will play against a top squad team from Guatemala at Stoke Mandeville Stadium to launch the charity's Wheels of Change campaign.

Do you make regular or occasional donations to charities? I make donations to charities that approach me in the street or that do door-to-door, and I participate in fundraising events. I also plan to donate some old wheelchairs I have to people in Guatemala.

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