Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has been bowled over by a donation of almost £5,000 from a local sports team.

Bowlers had been left high and dry when Swinton LNER Club on Rowms Lane closed down and was sold last autumn.

But its kind-hearted members decided to put a spin on things and turn their sadness into a positive for a worthy cause.

”The club had been going for a number of years and many of us were close friends as well as team-mates,” said bowling club secretary Mel Ogden, 77. “We sold our equipment, including expensive grass scarfiying and cutting machines, to local clubs and made £4.884. We wanted that money to benefit other people and Bluebell Wood was the perfect place.”

Mel, who lives in Mexborough, has now joined the Kings Bowling Club at Wath, along with other LNER Club friends.

He added: “When I visited the hospice to make the donation I was astounded. It is such a happy place with magnificent facilities.  I can’t put into words what a family must feel when they bring their child here. To me, it’s just magic.”

The North Anston hospice cares for children and young adults with terminal illness and their families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire at a cost of over £4m a year.

Said hospice community fundraiser Anna Gott: “Mel and his team members showed what great sports they really are by turning the closure of their club into a very generous act. Their donation will make a huge difference at Bluebell Wood and we are so grateful.”