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Press Release   •   May 25, 2016 10:12 BST

Russell Vernalls and Kirsty Vernalls

An Erdington family is tackling four charity challenges which include Europe’s longest zip-line, the ‘Gung-Ho’ obstacle course, Manchester 5K Colour Run and, this Friday 27 May, a Charity Cricket match, all to raise funds and awareness for diabetes in memory of a much loved uncle who had Type 2 diabetes and passed away in March.

Erdington man Russell Vernalls is organising the charity Cricket match on Friday for the diabetes charity Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF). The match will start at 2.00pm at Highcroft Sports and Social based in Stockland Green Slade Road Erdington, Birmingham. Spectators are very welcome to watch the match and stay on for the social in the evening.

“All our families have been affected by type 1 and type 2 diabetes and we want to raise awareness of this chronic condition and try to help the charity with its work funding essential research and educational support.” Explained Russell.

Along with the cricket Russell and his sister Kirsty, both from Erdington, have three other challenging events planned for their fundraising for DRWF. They have already taken on a Zip wire at ZipWorld Velocity, the longest zip line in Europe, in Snowdonia Wales on 15th May this year; this will be followed up by Gung-Ho! In the West Midlands on the 18th June, with ten inflatable obstacles to conquer, and the 5k Manchester Colour Run on 2nd July.

The money raised at the cricket match will be added to Russell and Kirsty’s JustGiving page where the target is £600. They have raised £260 so far and it’s all in loving memory of their uncle Ken who they lost in March and was the main driving force for starting the fundraising as he had lived with type 2 diabetes for several years.

DRWF CEO Sarah Bone said: “We are very grateful to Russell and Kirsty and everyone supporting their fundraising for the charity. We rely on people like them doing all sorts of challenges and events to help to raise the funds we need to continue our diabetes education and research. Our charity moto of staying well until a cure is found really sums up our aim and we look forward to seeing the photos from all Russell and Kirsty’s challenges.”

As the captain of the HIghcroft Members Cricket team Russell has challenged his brother Gavin Vernalls’ select 11 from his workplace Alcoa. Each player is donating £5 to DRWF to play and the two 11 man teams will play one innings only, and the highest number of runs will win the match.


The Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) is a registered charity, established in 1998 to raise public awareness to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, associated complications, treatment, avoidance and relief and to provide support to people living with diabetes. Whilst funding diabetes research we aim to ensure that people are ‘staying well until a cure is found...’

In the past 15 years the UK has seen the number of people diagnosed with diabetes almost double, and this continues to rise rapidly. More than one in 20 of the population now lives with diabetes and it is estimated that there will be 5 million people affected by 2025.

While DRWF is an independent, autonomous charity, working for the benefit of people within the United Kingdom, internationally, Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation exists also as a non-profit organisation in the United States of America, in France under the name "Association pour la recherche sur le diabète", and also Sweden (DWNS). We share the same goals and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, enabling us to take advantage of our international dimension for the benefit of the charity and our beneficiaries.

Charity registration no – 1070607

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