Muscles at Martlesham (UK) complete a garden make over.

MFC Martlesham June team photo with Tricia

Meet the ‘Gang of 8’ (not including photographer Bernie Morgan) Muscles volunteers who descended on Tricia Higgins bungalow in Martlesham on Saturday 9th June. Working like a well oiled machine they quickly undertook the prepared list of tasks presented by the host – Tricia.

Supplied with tea/coffee and cake the team worked tirelessly to make sure the garden makeover was up to the teams high standards.

Bernie commented, ‘I am always impressed of how the team compliments each other’s abilities, consuming any and all tasks with such tenacity and guile !’

Tricia commented, ” Great to see everyone again and a MASSIVE THANK YOU for all your hard work, I have to keep going into the garden and looking how different it is! Once again, please pass on my thanks and best wishes to all the team”.

Bonus of the day – the team completed a recce for Tricia’s neighbour, Pat, and quickly assessed that the they could complete the job there and then (removal of a massive overgrown shrub and 3 inch thick ivy ).

Tricia generous donation add a new name to the growing list of charities and non profits benefiting from the teams work – Hillside Animal Research.

Bernie and Tricia Black and DEcker sawTricia also donated a new ‘Alligator’ Black and Decker saw to the Muscles team. On behalf of the team, Bernie thanked Tricia for the saw which will now be used to benefit other recipients of Muscles work.


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Saturday 12th May – Muscles records shattered as team members top 15,000 voluntary hours, 400 projects and celebrate 20 years !

Saturday 12th May 2018 represented a landmark  for Muscles for Charity.

Teams of volunteers working in three different countries contributed in excess of 230 hours of work resulting in our overall total reaching above 15,000 voluntary hours and completed projects topping 400 jobs.  All this as we celebrate our 20th anniversary year.

Congratulations and appreciation to everyone involved on this historic day.

WP_20140501_008In Belgium an international team worked at the 12th century Tongerlo Monastery, (featured above) whilst a large UK team transformed a garden in Ipswich. As the Belgian and British teams completed their projects the sun was rising over the Pacific Northwest of the USA where volunteers replaced railroad ties in a driveway at Kirkland, WA.

In 2018, the Monastery is celebrating its 888 year anniversary. Joining the Belgian Muscles team were volunteers from the UK and USA. Together fifteen people tackled a series of projects inside the monastery’s extensive walled gardens under the guidance of Brother Gabriel, featured (below) with Barry and Suzanne from the USA, Ed from the UK and Belgian ‘Captain’ Johan.

MFC Brother Gabriel and team members BEST

The task of transforming areas of the monastery gardens involved the usual mix of fun, friendship and humour.

MFC Rob and Johan strimming

MFC Workparty team photo

Brother Gabriel commented on the Muscles activity,

‘Muscles for charity did it again in Tongerlo Abbey: great work in the garden
with a smile and very helpfull last Saturday.
In name of the abbot and the whole community thank you very much for your work
and your friendship.
All the best greetings from Tongerlo,

fr. Gabriël
honorymember of Muscles for Charity

Additional information and photographs feature on the 2018 Muscles Belgium page – visit


In Ipswich, UK, the Muscles volunteers worked with representatives from Rotary to transform a rear garden area.  (Two photos before the project started below)

MFC team in progress

Muscles co-founder, Phil Boswell, provides and insight to the project and the volunteers,
“Personally, I don’t think they do justice to how hard the whole team worked. Every single one of them was magnificent and they were very ably assisted by 5 additional staff, supplied by Ipswich Rotary Club (a really friendly bunch, with MFC-like enthusiasm and application)”.
Additional information and photographs feature on the 2018 Muscles UK page – visit

MFC plus Rotary team

117 hours of work were donated by the Muscles volunteers and five Rotary members.  The client (via our Rotary friends) was Leone who is featured with her year old baby and mother.


On the west coast of the USA a smaller team were busy removing ageing railroad ties in a driveway entrance and replaced them with concrete slabs.  The before, during and after sequence is shown below.

Frank, Amy, Susan, Glenna and Bish’s Saturday morning work out resulted in a donation to a local pet shelter, Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, WA.

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Running, Biking, walking – Muscles members involved in charity and community events during the first weekend of May 2018 – in two countries.

arTDC logoMuscles for Charity volunteers have been involved in raising money and awareness for American Diabetes since 2004. The Tour de Cure is a series of fund-raising cycling events held in forty states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.

The ride can be challenging, but is not a race. Each location’s ride routes are designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. In the Pacific Northwest riders chose from routes covering 100, 63, 30 or 12 miles. This year Glenna, Amy, Frank and Bish chose to operate a Rest Stop in the beautiful Snohomish River Valley countryside of Washington State. (Photo features the scene at 5am)

TDC Snohomish Valley at 5am

Rest Stop Team_Amy_Bish_FrankTDC Lunch edited

Fun at the Rest Stop and complimentary refreshment for all volunteers at the conclusion of the event at Chateau St Michelle winery in Woodinville.


In western Washington, Spokane hosted the annual Bloomsday ‘Run or Walk’ 12k event which attracted over 42,000 registered entrants, from international professional runners to families and children. Bloomsday 2018 logo

The logo on the guys black t shirt in the photo (above) is ‘The End is Beer’

The charity event raises money and awareness for a number of local non-profit organizations. The ‘Muscles contingent’ was again led by Muscles and Bloomsday Veteran, Neal Skaufel who completed his 30th run since 1987. The photo features three generations of his family and Muscles members Steve and Amy Milliken.

Bloomsday bunch - Neal his ladies Steve and Amy


At the same time, 4,662 miles away, four Muscles members were taking part in the Kesgrave 5k Fun Run, proudly wearing their tee shirts from the 2017 ‘Brit Invasion of the Pacific Northwest’.  True Story.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in the events, combining the Muscles ethos of volunteering and supporting non profits.

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Boat cleaning in a small east coast harbor overlooked by a rural Pub – the latest Muscles project, benefits the RNLI !

Ramsholt view

A ferry ran for hundreds of years across the River Deben at Ramsholt near the east coast of Suffolk, within three miles of the North Sea. Overlooking the small jetty and quay, the present day Ramsholt Arms public house, (pictured above) was originally known as the Ferry House and a well known ‘Smugglers Den’.

Today the river has become an attraction for sailors and one of the major sailing centres on the east coast; the moorings support over 200 craft including retired skipper Richard Clarke’s, ‘Will Laude’, pictured below with Muscles ‘marine specialists’ Nick and Adam. Aldeburgh and three man team 3Ably assisted by Colin Booker, the trio, starting at 8am (through to 3pm) cleaned the boat, (named after an infamous local 19th century smuggler) tied to the quay as the high water dropped.

Richard commented that their efforts had surpassed his expectations and congratulated them on completing in a single day a job that normally took two people three days!
Demonstrating his gratitude, Richard’s chosen non-profit was a donation to the Aldeburgh lifeboat.

Aldeburgh lifeboatAldeburgh Lifeboat.


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Muscles volunteers spring into action.

Following Steve and Beckies Muscles ‘Wedding of the Year’ on Easter Saturday in rural Suffolk attended by volunteers from the UK, Belgium and the USA, a team of twelve descended on Grange Farm, and settled into a familiar work pattern on 7th April, attracting traveling members from Cheshire and Leytonstone.

Team photo with Phil taken by Dougie

The mission – demolish and remove an existing garden shed and replace it with a new one.  No problem.  Combining the usual mix of humour, friendship and hard work, the job was completed in four hours.

Shed being demolished Shed half taken down

Men at workDougie checks the plans

halfway rebuilt

More photo’s are featured on the UK Muscles 2018 page, (including the wedding) at  – and the person who made a ‘real difference’ ! plus Boz Junior, the visiting team member from Cheshire.

Message to the team from the delighted recipient, Trish Leggett,Scopes Road - hut painted

“To just say “thank you ” to all these wonderful guys is simply not enough. They arrived in force on Saturday to dismantle my garden shed and after a quick coffee (or rather a strong tea for Bernie! ) off they went.
Their team work is amazing and together with their various areas of expertise , my old shed was gone and after some much needed refreshments, up went the new one !!!. I am THRILLED with it.
I feel so privileged to know this group of people and proud to be able to call them friends.


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Winter weather disrupts Muscles schedules on both sides of the Atlantic, but exciting jobs are on the horizon, . . .

Ipswich snow 2018EADT snowSnow and cold Suffolk

The majority of Muscles for Charity projects involve teams working outside. Winter storms on both sides of the Atlantic prevented the respective teams from starting jobs. However, the Spring of 2018 provides exciting possibilities from Seattle to the Belgian countryside where the Abbey at Tongerlo celebrates its 888 year anniversary.


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The world visits Muscles for Charity – 2017


The Muscles for Charity website is powered by WordPress and each year at this time they provide statistics for the previous twelve months.

  • On average our website is visited approximately 5,000 times annually.
  • Visits in 2017 originated in 45 different countries, dominated by the UK, USA, Canada and Belgium.
  • The full list includes France, Russia, Ireland, Australia, European Union, Togo, United Arab Republic, Germany, Moldova, Singapore, Nepal, Spain, Zambia, China, Thailand, Denmark, India, Israel, Netherlands, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Morocco, Uganda, Portugal, New Zealand, Lesotho, Peru, Tanzania, Italy, Brazil, Ukraine, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Qatar, Benin, Greece, Alaska and Turkey.

Thanks to everyone who participated in another extraordinary year of fun, friendship and international co-operation.

2018 represents our twentieth anniversary.  Happy New Year everyone.


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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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