A GROUP of Wasps fans from a Cotswold village have raised a four-figure sum for a charity.

Around 18 Wasps season ticket holders from Mickleton have raised £1,000 during the 2017/18 season for Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Coventry by donating £5 for every bus journey taken from the Kings Arms Inn to the Ricoh Arena.

It comes after the villagers raised £1,550 the previous year for charities including Dallaglio RugbyWorks and Marie Curie.

David Gilbert has been organising the bus journeys from the village to every Wasps home game for the past two years, and thought up the fundraising idea to support Zoë’s Place which is a charity partner of Wasps for the year as the club celebrates its 150th anniversary.

“Uptake for the bus journey to the Ricoh Arena has steadily grown since the club moved to the West Midlands, to the point where there is now a family atmosphere amongst the group,” said Mr Gilbert.

“We charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of travelling to the games, and everybody is more than happy to donate a few extra quid to what is a vital cause.

“Around 50 Wasps fans now travel from the village to the Ricoh Arena but our bus only holds 18 people. A further 17 more season ticket holders will also be travelling from the village as of next season, so we will be putting on another bus to the Ricoh Arena to meet demand for next year.”

Derek Richardson, owner of Wasps, was full of praise for the villagers’ efforts: “This is an incredibly kind gesture by everybody in Mickleton.

“We know that similar bus services are running in other towns around the West Midlands, and hopefully this will inspire them to adopt a similar initiative to help make a difference to local causes.”

To donate to Zoë’s Place and Wasps’ two other official charity partners - SSAFA and Dallaglio RugbyWorks - as part of the club’s 150th anniversary season, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wasps-rugbyclub