Embers of Devizes Bowls Club will be on target for our Give Us A Chance Appeal after ladies’ captain Rosemary Keen chose Devizes Opportunity Centre as her charity of the year.

Mrs Keen said: “I am very keen to support charities which help children as I have been involved with children’s education myself. I was involved with All Cannings play group in its early days and I know the work done at the opportunity centre is vital.

“Each captain gets to choose a charity to support and I knew I wanted to help the opportunity centre. I haven’t set a target for how much I will raise.”

Money will be raised at a captain’s day on July 19 when a ‘spoon’ event will be held. A jack is thrown and players will compete to get their bowls as close to it as possible.

Mrs Keen, who has been a stalwart of the club since moving to Devizes in the 1990s, said: “People will pay to enter and we will probably also have a raffle.”

Opportunity Centre manager Betty Newman said: “I was very pleased when I heard the bowls club wanted to be involved in fundraising for us. It is incredible how many new groups have come forward to back us since the appeal started.

“The appeal is not just about raising money, although of course that is vitally important, but also raising our profile.”

Opportunity centre chairman Graham Gaiger said: “The amount of support has been quite overwhelming. We are very grateful to everyone.”

The Gazette originally hoped to help raise £10,000 to make up for a reduction in funding from Wiltshire Council but thanks to support from readers this has already been surpassed.

We are now hoping to get as near as possible to the £50,000 the centre has to raise to bridge the gap between its grant funding and the actual cost of providing the service for children with a wide range of disabilities.