Muscles for Charity – Christmas message 2017

Xmas and New Year

As we approach another new year Muscles for Charity volunteers, celebrate the completion of 390 projects, involving over 14,800 voluntary hours, benefiting 131 registered charities or non-profits in 10 countries.

We never handle any money.

Our self-sustaining Tool Fund enables the UK team to replace existing tools, purchase bespoke tools for specialist jobs, provide funding for safety equipment and insurance cover for all UK members.

This is made possible by the significant organization and contributions of the Bentley family, – Nick, Deanne, George and Jodie – and fully appreciated by the team members, building on the wonderful foundation provided by ‘our Lady Sarah’.

2018 represents the twentieth anniversary of Muscles for Charity.

During the last two decades the team has grown from its Suffolk, UK roots to a multinational, award winning organization with a reputation for completing tasks to a high professional standard with humour, friendship and compassion for senior citizens.

Thanks to everyone involved.

Festive greetings from everyone at Muscles for Charity.

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“Muscle’s annual garden manicure demonstrates and defines what teamwork, friendship and generosity actually stand for”.

MFC team line at Kates

Muscles co-founder, Bernie Morgan’s quote (above) captures the essence of the team as fourteen volunteers tackle a garden clearing project in rural Suffolk for a military veteran.  The sun shone as the team tackled the recipients ‘wish list’ (below). Photographs courtesy of co-founder Phil Boswell.


garden work Kates


team-photo-at-kates.jpgDuring 2017 the UK team, several of which feature above, contributed over 450 voluntary hours towards the overall total of 14,850 hours. Thanks everyone.

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1969 movie ‘The Italian Job’, what’s the connection with Muscles for Charity ?

The Italian Job (1969) poster 7

On Wednesday 25th October, 2017, David Markby and Bob Piggin left the UK on a ten day car rally based upon the original 1969 Italian Job film starring Michael Caine.

The trip was not just replicating part of the movie, it involved raising money for children’s charities, now in its 28th year, and has raised almost £2.5 million. The 2017  charity is Variety, which supports sick, disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK, principally with coaches, wheelchairs, and specialist equipment and facilities.

That’s part of the Muscles for Charity connection – volunteering to raise money for a registered charity.  The additional part is David and Bob wore Muscles for Charity shirts during the adventure.

The Rally took place over a ten day period and ended on 4th November. Bob and David drove 2,500 miles from Sandhurst to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy (the birthplace of Ferrari), and back via Venice, Turin, Colmar and Rheims, to Ashford in Kent for an Awards Dinner.  The 4 day Navigational Rally took place in Emilia Romagna, and included  laps around the San Morino Grand Prix Circuit in Imola, after which then to Venice and Turin.

In Turin they visited the old Fiat Factory at Lingotto to drive around the original rooftop test track which featured in The Italian Job film (pictured below), followed by driving along the route taken by the three escaping minis after the Turin gold robbery – on this occasion being escorted by a team of police motorcyclists, rather than being pursued by them!

Bob and David also visited the Ferrari factory where Enzo Ferrari has the honour of being introduced to David Markby !!

Italian Job - meeting the founders !.JPGFollow photographs of David and Bob’s ten day adventure, enjoy their humour and/or donate to the Variety – Children’s Charity by visiting their website –

The Rally was open to all cars which featured in the 1969 Film – mainly Minis – and later versions of those cars.  The Jaguar XJS they drove (which David owns) is 30 years old, and a successor to the Jaguar E Type which appeared in the film.

Congratulations to David and Bob on an inspiring adventure and raising thousands of pounds for charity.

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With a little help from my friends, . . . . .

. . . . .  who arrived from the UK, eastern and western Washington State, British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, to help clear a Kent, WA garden and establish a fence at the rear of the property.

Meet the international garden make over team Team photo 1

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Meet the WA fencing project team


Initial marking and final oversight by Gene, with Muscles contributions by Frank, Chris, Bill, Jessa, Glenna, Garrett, Titus, Suzanne and Bish.

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I cannot believe how hard everyone worked on my garden and I will never forget, and will always be grateful to the Muscles team”  Suzanne



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UK Muscles volunteers complete 5k and 10k challenges in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and finish 1, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Run for Hope‘Victory Outreach International” host an annual event raising money and awareness on behalf of a non profit outreach.  As part of a world wide ‘Walk and Run-a-Thon’, the 2017 Pacific Northwest event,  featuring 5k and 10 k challenges was held at North SeaTac Park near Seattle and attracted competitors from across the area and four volunteers from the UK Muscles for Charity team.

SeaTac 10 and 5 k challenges

10k challenge ‘Veteran’, Colleen triumphed in the Women’s race, with Big Bernie placed third in the Men’s race and Big Kev coming fourth (in his first competitive race after practising  running round his lounge in Ipswich). Frances finished second in the Women’s 5k race.   Congratulations to the traveling quartet.


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“Beyond being pleased with help from an amazing ‘Muscles Team’ who made a brilliant improvement”

Meet the twenty three Muscles for Charity volunteers, from the UK and Belgian teams, who transformed the garage, garden and a selection of interior rooms at Grange Farm, Suffolk on Saturday 29th July 2017

Ipswich Joint team photo (Grange Farm)

Ipswich Grange Famr BEFOREIpswich Grange Farm Evelien in empty garage

Ipswich Grange Farm overhead shot - USE
Ipswich Grange Farm Ed Kev and Stef

The home owner, Margaret, (featured below discussing progress with co-founder Bernie Morgan and Richard Crabtree) was delighted with the results. The following three charities benefitted from the teams work – British Heart Foundation, Potts UK and Ehlers danlos support UK.

Ipswich Grange Farm job features Bernie and recipient and Rich

Photos courtesy of Phil Boswell

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Teenage Muscles team member volunteers in rural Africa

George in Africa
Suffolk based teenager, and Muscles for Charity volunteer, George Bentley recently returned from a school based expedition in south east Zambia, where the team completed three projects at two schools in the Singazonwe District.

At Kariba South Primary they introduced a litter-picking initiative, cleared an area of large boulders (picture above) to be turned into a playground and refurbished a local business called the “Young Tailor’s Club”, whilst at Siansowa Primary they moved bricks, sand and cement bags 3km from the front of the school’s grounds to the site and constructed a large chicken coup which will be used to provide extra income to the massively underfunded school by selling eggs to the local market.

The Headmistress of Kariba South Primary commented: “The impact the team had on the local community is beyond words” – which would not have been possible without your support.

Everyone in the community expressed appreciation for the projects the team accomplished and the tools that George gifted them on behalf of Suffolk based, non profit, TWAM. TWAM

Muscles for Charity co-founder, Bernie Morgan said, “Top Man George. We are all immensely proud of your achievements here – well done”.

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Saturday 10th June – three ‘Muscles’ projects 4,725 miles apart !

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In the Pacific Northwest of the USA, ten Muscles volunteers enjoyed pressure washing the grounds of a local non profit on a beautiful summer Saturday.

On the east coast of the UK, two Muscles teams, comprising twelve volunteers completed projects for senior citizens at two locations, under the same sunny skies.

UK JUne team


The UK team replaced a shed roof, visit to see the result),  removed two trees, reinforced a trellis and completed a garden makeover at Martlesham, Suffolk.   Avril the delighted recipient, accompanied by her carer Georgina, identified St Elizabeth Hospice as her designated Charity.

Georgina subsequently commented to Phil, “Thank you very much for the photos. Our greatest appreciation for the job well done by the whole Muscles for Charity Team . It was great joy to meet you and all the team.
May God bless you all. Regards, Georgina “

Seven miles away the second team completed a patio at Pinewood for an equally delighted Veronica.

The USA team were invited by a non profit to pressure wash the front and rear areas of their premises and suggest innovate ways of rejuvenating a tiered communal area.





Pressure washing completed and design plans shared with the management team, who commented, “The patio and gazebo have a new lease on life!  What a difference the cleaning made! I’m so glad you all had an opportunity to hear directly from patients and staff–it’s what it’s all about. Many, many thanks!”

Additional photographs of the projects are available on the these pages of the website, USA Visit  Additional UK photos


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Muscles team members bring joy to senior citizens on a glorious day in Suffolk.

Saturday 8th April and a dozen Muscles volunteers use their gardening, repair, installation and innovative skills to benefit three different senior citizens on the east and west sides of Ipswich.

Under cloudless skies they completed a variety of projects, including removing and installing a washing machine, painting, interior and exterior repairs, cleaning brick walls and patio, assembling garden furniture and gutter repair.

Comments were received from VeronicaI would like to say a very big thank you to all who came to me today.  An assortment of tasks were given to them and they happily undertook these and an extremely good job was once again made. I so appreciate all they do for me. Best Wishes to all, Veronica xx

and Trish “Many thanks to Bernie, Ed and Phil for all their hard work in my garden on Saturday 8th April. It will now be much easier for me to cope with.My thanks again and love and best wishes to you all. Trish xx     Ps Glad you enjoyed the bacon rolls !!

Thanks to everyone involved and to the ladies for their generous donations to charity.

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UK Muscles team ‘Spring’ into action with ‘Good job, good company – great result !’

Yeam 2    The sun shone brightly on Saturday 25th March as the (UK) Muscles team completed a garden makeover that generated goodwill, grateful appreciation and praise from the recipient, 92 year old Val, who was absolutely thrilled with the volunteers work.


From all the Humphrey family our sincere thanks to all of the muscles for charity group you have made Simon’s mum’s week she is so pleased with the results’



The morning after the Muscles volunteers completed the project, Val was delighted to open her curtains and look straight down her garden and enjoy the view.

More photographs available on the UK Muscles 2017 page. Visit

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