BUDDING footballers scored a unique hat-trick - picking up new skills, earning a personalised medal and raising funds for Colchester tot Grace Beverton.

Three-year-old Grace (pictured below) was born with a rare genetic disorder in August 2017.

She suffered multiple seizures in the early months of her life which has been put down to her incredibly unusual illness.

Her family are raising money to fund specialist equipment, house adaptations and intensive physiotherapy.

And they scored a winner when teaming up with the Colchester-based company Football Fun Days.

Owner Daniel Mather is an old school friend of Grace's dad, Dale.

And following recent soccer schools in Colchester and Earls Colne, parents of 110 children chipped in and raised £275 for the Hope for Grace appeal.


Mr Mather said: "After the difficult year the children have had, we wanted to do something to put a smile on their faces.

"I sent my idea to all the parents, letting them know that I wanted to treat all the kids to medals and asking them if they would be willing to fundraise for Grace.

"The response was truly amazing.

"I asked each family to make a £1 donation and was totally overwhelmed by their generosity, having raised £275.

"Dale and I have known each other for many years and I really wanted to do something for not only the kids at my soccer schools but also for his inspiring family."

With the help of charity Tree of Hope, Grace's family have already raised nearly £30,000 of their £100,000 target.

This will enable her to attend physiotherapy on a fortnightly basis.

Mr Beverton said: "This year has been a tough one for the Hope for Grace team.

"Covid has dramatically affected our ability to fundraise for my daughter.

"However, thanks to the kindness of Dan, an old friend of mine, and others like him, we have been fortunate enough to continue raising funds to help with Grace's therapy and equipment.

"We are so blessed and happy for all the love and support that is sent her way.

"Without that kindness and support, none of what Grace has achieved would be possible."

To make a donation, visit www.facebook.com/HopeForGraceBeverton/