Youngster pledges support to Bell Tower Appeal

Evesham Journal: Ashley Gibson with his dog Buddy. Ashley Gibson with his dog Buddy.

AN Evesham youngster who passes the town's Abbey Bell Tower almost everyday on his journey to school has pledged to raise some money for the appeal to save the 16th century building.

On Monday morning this week, as he was driving to Swan Lane First, nine-year-old Ashley Gibson announced to his mum, Laura, that he would like to do a sponsored walk for charity.

As they pass the Bell Tower most mornings, he and his mum decided it was an obvious choice to support the appeal.

The group, including Ashley, his mum, older brother Scott, aged 12, and their dog Buddy, will walk from their grandad's house to the Bell Tower, a distance of about seven miles on Sunday, June 22.

Sue Ablett, chairman of the Bell Tower Appeal, which needs to raise £500,000 to repair and conserve the building, was thrilled to hear about Ashley’s plans and decided to join him on the walk.

"It appears Ashley was inspired to do something for charity by his friend William, who last year held a cake sale outside his dad’s shop to raise money for the Philippines," said Dr Ablett, who will be taking her dog Spike along for the walk. "Spike raised over £500 in sponsorship earlier in the year when he led a sponsored dog walk.

"Spike is looking forward to getting to know Buddy, a Labrador X Lurcher, who came from the Dog’s Trust."

Ashley is hoping to raise £200 from his walk after making his original target of £100 in just a few days.

He has made a good start with sponsorship, including his Auntie Tessa who lives in Baja California and will be making a donation via the Appeal website at eveshambelltower.org.uk.

Ashley also has his own fundraising page at virginmoneygiving.com/EvanGibson.

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