TAUNTON Rugby Club has teamed up with British Gas to donate £21,400 to Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

The Titans held a pre-match lunch and auction at their home ground Veritas Park.

More than 250 people attended the event prior to the home game against Birmingham Moseley, bidding on a host of special items and experiences donated by businesses.

The auction raised £1,400 and British Gas boosted the total with a £20,000 donation.

CHSW area fundraiser Mary Gray has been to the club to receive a cheque on behalf on the charity, which runs three hospices in the South West.

James Kew, British Gas South West area manager, said the money was originally set aside to enable staff to undertake volunteering hours in the community.

He added: “Employees usually take two days each year to volunteer for good causes, but we were so busy because of the cost-of-living crisis and the cold weather that we couldn’t fulfil those volunteering commitments.

"As we hadn’t used up the volunteering budget, we decided to make a monetary donation to CHSW.

“Nobody ever wants to think that they’ll need to use a facility like Little Bridge House (CHSW's hospice in Barnstaple), but at the same time, knowing that it is there in case they do is just fantastic.”

Nick Mason, commercial coordinator at Taunton RFC, said: “To be able to help a charity that does such valuable work when families are facing some of the hardest challenges was a no-brainer.

“We were delighted to welcome them to a match day where we could raise a few extra pounds to support them, but at the same time, raising awareness of the work they do was an honour.

"We very much hope to be able to help again in 2023 and beyond.”

Mary said: "It’s an incredible amount of money, and being able to take the microphone at the auction and tell so many people what we do for children in this region with life-limiting conditions and their families was priceless for us."