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A Rugeley snooker club is launching an annual competition to raise money to help support disabled and terminally ill children across Staffordshire.

Pot Black Snooker Club, in Brewery Street, is holding the opening night of its inaugural Newlife Open Snooker Championship on Saturday (May 5). Event organiser Darren Matthews, who opened the club in November 2011, said: “We are calling out to snooker players across the county – and beyond – to sign up for the knockout competition. We have ten tables here and we are prepared to play until the early hours to accommodate all-comers.”

He added: “We have several of our members signed up already, but want to encourage as many visiting players as possible to come along. The finals will be held on Saturday 26 May and the winner will receive a trophy and have the opportunity to play three frames against former Open Champion Nigel Bond, who will be here on the night.”

Darren hopes to raise several hundreds of pounds for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, a national charity based in Hemlock Way, Cannock. He said: “It is our chance to give something back to the local community. We have already helped one little girl to get the equipment she needed and our customers like to know the money they are donating is being put to good use.”

To boost its fundraising efforts, the club is launching a bingo night every Wednesday from May 9 and hosting music events on alternate Tuesdays.

Anyone interested in entering the Newlife Open Snooker Championship – or finding out more about the club’s other events – can contact Darren on 07970 798904.

Newlife has provided essential disability equipment totalling £638,912 for 431 children in Staffordshire. But the charity is experiencing hugely increased demands on its resources; calls to the Newlife Nurse helpline – 0800 902 0095 – have shot up by 70 per cent, with thousands more hits on the charity’s website

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Because of the huge demand, we are calling on ‘local heroes’ like Darren to help us raise money to fund equipment. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to help disabled children in the county.”

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