A FRESH fundraising year for Didcot fundraisers Play2Give will kick off this weekend with a charity football tournament.

Organisers are hoping the fine weather continues until Saturday's match, which will see squads from Play2Give and brain injury charity Headway pitted against each other at Oxford City Football Club.

It is hoped that about £300 will be netted during the afternoon on behalf of Headway.

Since its inception in 2007 Play2Give has raised more than £45,700 for a range of charities, in particular Oxford Children's Hospital, which has received £36,200 so far.

Founder Andrew Baker, 27, said: "We are inching nearer to our £40,000 goal for the children's hospital. It would be fantastic to reach that by the end of the year.

"The football match on Saturday should be quite fun - fingers crossed it will stay dry."

Mr Baker, from Didcot, who suffered a brain tumour as a baby and had brain surgery again aged 12, first began supporting the children's hospital in 2003 with with the support of his old school St Birinus, and Didcot Girls’ School.

Also a frequent user of Headway's activity and rehabilitation centre in Kennington, he launched a a petition last year in protest against funding cuts to the service by Oxfordshire County Council which has since gained 325 signatures.

Headway supports about 260 brain injury survivors as well as their families and communities.

Mr Baker added: "Headway provides a lot of things that the NHS can't and is a great lifeline, not just for those with brain injuries like myself but their carers and families.

"There are a lot of cuts at the moment - Headway will be able to continue but it's looking like the service will be reduced quite a lot, which is a shame."

Staff, volunteers and supporters of both organisations will be present at the event on Saturday, which will start at 5pm following straight after Oxford City's home match against Weldstone FC. Spectators are welcome and donations encouraged.

Headway’s events and publicity manager Charlie Hayes said: "We all have a special place in our hearts for Play2Give and all the amazing fundraising it has done over the years for its charities including for us at Headway Oxfordshire.

"Andy Baker’s tireless support for us means a huge amount to all of us and we would also like to thank Oxford City FC for supporting this event."

Other upcoming Play2Give events in April include a disco, obstacle course and sponsored doughnut-eating contest.

For more information visit play2give.org.uk/