3 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds – that’s how long it took Ilkeston chip shop owner Dennis Jackson to cycle to Skegness, raising £1,350 for local charity Treetops Hospice Care.
Dennis, 78, has run Jacksons Chippie on Market Street for 54 years and has combined his love of cycling and fundraising for several years, as he explained: “When I first starting doing it twenty years ago, it was a race and I used to ride it with 40 or 50 other riders. I decided I had a captive audience with my customers who would be happy to guess my race time for £1 and the nearest guess wins a prize of £30, £20 or £10 worth of fish and chips. They all like to have a little bet and the money goes to a good cause,” Dennis continued: “It isn’t a race anymore but my son Harvey asked if he could ride it with me so we’ve done it together for twelve years for different charities. It keeps me fit – it’s 73 miles – and it’s good for the customers.”
Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults and their families in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Their services, provided free of charge, include a Day Care unit open Monday to Friday where nurses, health care assistants and volunteers support people with progressive life-limiting illnesses.
Former Jacksons employee, Ann Shooter, asked Dennis to ride for Treetops this year as she attends Day Care each Wednesday at the Risley-based hospice:
“I worked for Dennis back in the 1980s and I knew he was thinking of a local charity to support. They do so such good work at Treetops so I suggested them. It’s brilliant there. We have a laugh and a joke and they can’t do enough for you.”
The cheque was presented to Treetops’ community fundraiser Hannah Taylor alongside a gathering of current and former staff, chip shop regulars and Dennis’s wife Margaret.
Hannah thanked Dennis explaining how important his fundraising has been: “We’re thrilled that Dennis chose Treetops this year. This money will make such a difference to the hospice as we have to raise over £3million each year so we can continue to offer all our services to local people for free. A big thanks from us to him and all his customers!”