Fundraisers rounded up by police in King’s Lynn to raise money for hospice
- Credit: IAN BURT
Charity fundraisers got more than they bargained for after staging a hold-up event, when they received an anonymous donation of £50,000.
Willing volunteers were in handcuffs yesterday as they were 'arrested' and forced to raise bail in aid of the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House.
The 'villains' were cuffed by real policemen, read their rights by the town criers and then escorted to the Old Gaol House at the Town Hall, King's Lynn.
They were then each challenged to raise £500 bail money with the aim of raising £10,000 for the hospice.
But this target was blown out of the water by an announcement that a five-figure donation had been received by an unlikely felon – Stephen Bett, Norfolk's police and crime comissioner. The event as a whole is predicted to have raised as much as £80,000 for the hospice.
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'It's transformational. It really makes a big, big difference,' said Richard Shaw, its chief executive. 'A donation like that takes so much pressure off the monthly challenge we have with running costs.'
The hospice is hoping to move from its current site in Snettisham to a new site in Hillington by next spring.
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'It's going well we have got all the professional services team already in place,' said Mr Shaw. 'We need to raise another £1m and we need it in the next six weeks. I'm determined to raise the money, we absolutely have to.'
Mr Bett said: 'A friend of mine put my name forward and I was delighted to get involved. I know several people who have had care from the hospice.
'It's important that people in their latter days, months and years are looked after and can die with dignity.
'My arrest was tame from what I have seen, I think they might have been a bit nervous. The police have done a great job and it's great to see them joining in.'
Fellow arrestee Keith 'Buster' Chapman, chairman of King's Lynn Town FC, said: 'It's quite frightening. It's the first time I've been arrested.
'I knew a few people who had help from Tapping House, I hope they raise a fair amount of money for the good cause.'
Jackie Cameron, community fundraising manager for Norfolk Hospice, said: 'Money from today will be going to fund specialised nurses who go into homes giving end of life care.
'I really want to say thank you to the local businesses that have taken part. There has been a lot of good community feeling.'