SHOPPERS were treated to a special visit from Portsmouth’s top mascots, as the furry characters collected money for this year’s Blue Day.
Pompey mascots, Nelson and Mary Rose, The News’ Chipper, the Pompey bus and members of the Tom Prince Cancer Trust were in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, shaking cans yesterday, and managed to raise £270 for the charity bonanza to be held on May 6 in aid of the trust.
The busy shopping area was bustling with excitement as children spotted the well-known mascots and rushed to have pictures taken with them and show their support by donating.
Nelson said: ‘It’s always good to get out and see the fans but this time we were spreading the word about Blue Day, too, which seemed to work really well.
‘We got a great reaction from everyone – lots of people were putting money in the buckets and we had to pose for loads of photos.
‘Some of the kids were even chanting my name as they walked past me which is a bit funny but I loved it.’ Mary Rose added: ‘We realised just how much support there was out there for Blue Day and how many people were already planning fundraising activities.
‘But the more the merrier – everyone should get involved because it really brings people together and it is such an important cause.
‘And the fact that the money stays in Portsmouth makes it even more significant.’
This is the fifth Blue Day and as always all profits will go to the trust – set up by Tom’s family shortly after his death from teenage bone cancer, osteosarcoma, in 2004.
Tom’s mum Adele, dad Clinton, and sister Emma aim to raise £1m through the trust to fund research into the disease, and have generated £580,000 to date.