Northamptonshire cricket umpires will be beginning this year’s season in the spirit of charity as they donate their first 2015 match fee to a severely disabled boy.
The £1,095 total will go to the family of Lewis Herbert. aged 12, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy, so they can build him a sensory garden in his home.
Lewis, of St Benedicts Mount in West Hunsbury, has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), which means he cannot walk or talk and can suffer up to 100 seizures per day.
His parents, Gary and Lexi, last year launched their ‘A Life for Lewis’ campaign to raise money to create a multi-sensory room - complete with lights, mirrors and bubble-tubes - to give Lewis a safe place to play and interact at home.
Graham Abbott, a cricket umpire for Northamptonshire Cricket League (NCL) was the first to suggest donating the money to the appeal, and others have since pledged their support as well.
He said: “I first saw the appeal for Lewis on Twitter and was so touched by his story that I felt that I should help in some way.
“My first reaction, as Gary (Lewis’ father) is a player in the NCL, was to donate my first umpiring match fee of 2015 to the appeal. Then I thought that some of my colleagues may want to follow suit, so I sent out emails and texts to all umpires officiating on the NCL and NCCB.
“We set a £1,000 target and have been overwhelmed by the response.”
Mr Abbott said that, having smashed the target, county cricket umpires are still pledging donations.
He added: “We all hope that his will go some way to making life a little more enjoyable for Lewis and his family.”
Mr Herbert commented: “We would like to say a massive heartfelt thank you to every single umpire who has donated their first match fee to Lewis’ appeal.
“This is so incredibly kind, thoughtful, and generous of you all, and it really does mean everything to us.”
To find out more about Lewis’s appeal, visit: www.justgiving.com/lifeforlewisappeal