Loughborough golf volunteer putts £120,000 for Rainbows

A Loughborough volunteer has helped to raise over £120,000 for Rainbows.

Steve Ackling has been an ambassador with our charity since 2008. In that time, he has organised 20 Golf Days in Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

Hundreds of golfers have braved all kinds of weather to take part in the events at Beedles Lake, Lingdale and Chevin golf clubs – and between them have raised £120,000.

Steve (63), who plays golf regularly at Wollaton Park Golf Club, said: “It has been a fantastic thing for me to be involved in. We have raised a lot of money and I am passionate about golf and just as passionate about Rainbows. I love organising an event so it’s a labour of love really.

“One of the most amazing things is we still have teams playing that have been coming along since it started. That is probably one of the things that I am most proud of, that people come every year. And off the back of the golf days, you find people from the teams are supporting Rainbows in other ways.

“I am a father and grandfather and it is so important to me to support Rainbows. Whenever I meet a Rainbows family, I am reminded that I don’t really have any problems. It is so humbling to see what they go through and the challenges that they face.”

Since retiring, Steve has become committed to charity work as he wants to ‘give something back’. Steve has also fundraised for the British Heart Foundation and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Steve added: “When people get involved in the golf days, they see how wonderful the charity is. After this year, we gave out the date for 2024 and we already have 10 teams signed up.

“We will always try to go ahead no matter what. I am proud that we have never missed a year since holding the first event in 2008. We even managed to run a successful golf day in 2020 by implementing strict Covid protocols to keep everyone safe.
“And we have had a few hair-raising moments due to weather. In 2018 at Lingdale, it snowed an hour before the event and the course was white over. But with 30 minutes to go, the sun came out and play was underway on time.

“The golf days are always so much fun and I look forward to many more years of organising events and supporting Rainbows.”

Alison Furlong, Head of Community and Events at Rainbows, said: “The success of our golf days in Leicestershire are a wonderful testament to the work of Steve and we thank him for everything he does for Rainbows. I would also like to thank everyone who has taken part in a golf day, without our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to provide care to more than 300 babies, children and young people.”

To find out more about getting involved with a Rainbows Golf Day, visit rainbows.co.uk/events