Published: 03 Aug 2009

Raising thousands of pounds for charity was a dream come true in more ways than one, for a devoted Spennymoor couple.

Matthew Hulbert, 31, and Kendra Blackett, 23, are winners of TFM Radio’s Five Brides One Wedding promotion, which was sponsored by Jennings Motor Group and its Ford, Mazda and SEAT dealerships across Teesside.

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Beating more than 600 applicants and taking part in a gruelling Bridal Boot Camp exercise, prior to being set the ultimate challenge – to raise as much money in one week for TFM Radio’s Cash for Kids charity - has been worth every minute for the happy couple who have been rewarded with an ultimate wedding package worth approximately £25,000.

Competing against four other couples, Matthew, a Sergeant in the Royal Signals and personal trainer, Kendra, kick started their fundraising with bag packing events in just about every supermarket in the area, in addition to organising tombolas, raffles, a football tournament, a bonus ball competition and scoured the pubs and clubs across the region for support.

In order to assist the couples with their challenge, Jennings Motor Group agreed to supply five vehicles including a Ford Ka, Ford Fiesta, Fiesta van, Mazda3 and SEAT Altea from its branches on Yarm Road in Stockton and Cargo Fleet Lane in Middlesbrough.

Dawn Carney, Manager of Cash for Kids, said; “A huge well done to all five couples and their families who have worked extremely hard over the last week. Everyone is so proud of their fundraising efforts to raise almost £40,000. The money will stay within the local area to help the neediest children. Thank you to everyone who has supported this fantastic fundraising campaign, including the wedding suppliers, local businesses and our listeners!”

Broadcast live on TFM Radio’s breakfast show with all five contestants present and accompanied in the studio by Nas Khan, managing director of Jennings Motor Group, the dedicated duo scooped first place after it was announced that they had raised a staggering £13,780. The grand total raised by all five couples exceeded the £38,000 mark.

Matthew said; “It was great fun and we can’t believe the support we have had from our family, friends, work colleagues and members of the public. It’s been hard work, but worth every minute. In my job, I have taken part in many sleep deprivation courses, all of which have been a lot easier than this!”

Kendra added; “We’re absolutely delighted and thrilled at the amount of cash that has been raised for charity, it’s fantastic.”

The happy couple, who got engaged last April when Matthew popped the question at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, are now looking forward to setting a date for their dream wedding, which they are hoping will take place towards the end of this summer.

Nas Khan, managing director of Jennings Motor Group, said; “We are delighted to have been the sponsors of this fantastic promotion, which has raised a phenomenal amount of cash for a local charity.”

He added; “On behalf of Jennings Motor Group, I would like to take this opportunity to wish both Matthew and Kendra many years of health and happiness together.”

All was not lost for the other four couples who will be taking a well deserved weekend break at Crathorne Hall Hotel and who also received a bouquet of flowers from Sandra Rose and a bottle of champagne as a token of appreciation for their hard work and efforts throughout the promotion.

The runner-ups Katie and Will, from Darlington, raised £8,196.24. It was an emotional morning for everyone, especially Katie when Will surprisingly went down on one knee and proposed to her live on air! Katie of course accepted.

The video showing the highlights from Graham Mack in the morning, can be seen on

Cash for Kids is a registered children’s charity which aims to raise funds to make longer term difference to the lives of children from birth to 17 years, within Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and South County Durham.

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