Avid hospice supporter Rikki Black and the renowned Team Golfathon have raised over £120,000 in aid of Ayrshire Hospice. over the past eight years through holding golf events, raffles, sportsman’s dinners, ladies nights, darts competitions and much more! 

Rikki first chose to fundraise in aid of our charity simply because he and his friends knew people who had received care from the hospice and were so grateful for the high quality of personalised care and support. Rikki is now in his eighth year of fundraising for our charity.

Rikki’s passion for golf is the driving force behind his fundraising.  He decided to incorporate this passion with fundraising for his nominated charity which has helped him to achieve excellent outcomes.

In 2011 Rikki decided to organise a Golfathon for he and some friends. This was not just a Golfathon: it was an all-night event from dusk to dawn without a break. He organised it for the longest day of the year so the golfers could maximise the use of daylight. 

The Golfathon was such a success that Rikki now organises it as an annual event.  Rikki likes to challenge himself and sets a target each year to see if he can beat his number of golf holes from the previous year. 

Rikki organises a range of charity events.  He loves entertaining people and giving them some good fun.  Rikki’s sportsman’s brunch is usually organised for around 130 men and year in, year out, this brunch has continued to grow and is consistently sold out.  Rikki says “Everyone who attends has an excellent time and is always ready to purchase next year’s tickets then and there!”  Throughout the year he is always searching for good speakers and knows that this is crucial to give the crowd a memorable experience.

In 2014 Rikki was following Robert Lee, Sky Sports Commentator on Twitter: during one evening, Rikki received a Tweet from Robert Lee who was with Ewan Murray at the US Masters. Robert told Rikki that they were actually sitting next to Jack Nicklaus who kindly signed a US Masters flag for Rikki’s upcoming event: Rikki received the flag as a donation in the post the following week.  When he took the flag to his event, the audience was upstanding and cheering and the item was auctioned for £700.  Other significant items include football shirts signed by players Ronaldo and Messi which were sold for over £1,000.  This demonstrates that Rikki has a strong understanding of items that are going to bring a significant return on investment for the hospice.
Social media has proven a great tool for Rikki: it has given him a platform to request items from people that he has never met.  Rikki set up a bespoke Golfathon Facebook page and he also tweets to ask people for their support which has helped him to acquire some fabulous prizes.

Rikki requests little support from the community fundraising team, freeing up their time to carry on with other activities.  He has tremendous support from his family and friends for which he is so grateful.  Rikki was awarded “Unsung Hero” at the Cream of Ayrshire Awards in 2014 in recognition of his charity work in the community and has twice been shortlisted in the IoF Scottish Fundraising Awards.

Rikki said “What I love most about fundraising is the support that I get from folk from all over the world...we normally get donations sent to our JustGiving account from people in America and Australia who we don’t even know!  And of course without the support from everybody we wouldn’t be raising as much money as we do. Since I’ve started doing the fundraising I’ve also made quite a number of friends which is great.  Another high point of the fundraising is that nearly every event we organise is normally a sell out within days which makes it a whole lot easier to raise money.”

Rikki and Team Golfathon's fundraising has had a significant impact on the hospice service that is delivered to patients and families.  Volunteer fundraisers like Rikki and the team are like shining lights in their communities: they inspire others through their selfless actions as they generously give their time, talents and skills to fund the exceptional care and support that is delivered to patients and families at the Ayrshire Hospice.  The hospice strapline is “Making today matter” and Rikki makes today matter for so many people who he doesn’t even know.  The support of Rikki, Team Golfathon and their families is truly valued and never taken for granted.