Chippies dig deep to raise cash for kayaker

SUPPORT Richard Hunt at the Westbourne Whistler's fish and chip shop, with manager Emma Dorey. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14264-1)
SUPPORT Richard Hunt at the Westbourne Whistler's fish and chip shop, with manager Emma Dorey. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14264-1)

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Hundreds of hungry shoppers queued to buy fish and chip suppers to help fund an amputee veteran’s record-breaking challenge to kayak around the UK.

Richard Hunt, 43, from Portchester, was delighted when the owners of Whistler’s Fish and Chip Shops offered to hold an event for him.

Rana Denholm, one of the owners, offered to sell cod and chip suppers for a reduced price of £1 for two days so that customers could donate cash to Richard’s cause, cause, who used to be a an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy.

Steve Barnett, 57, from High Street, Fareham, tucked in to a portion and said: ‘I’m ex-army myself and was in the Hampshire Royal Green Jackets for 15 years.

‘What Richard is doing is fantastic. It really touches my heart.’

Richard, who lost his leg in 1995, is aiming to kayak the 2,300 miles around Britain, setting off in April, to raise money and awareness for charity Blesma.

Blesma provides help and support to disabled service men and women and their families. Richard was inspired to support the charity after they helped him after losing his leg.

The owners of Whistler’s read about Richard’s charity challenge in The News and felt inspired to get involved.

Rana said: ‘It was absolutely fantastic and we were totally mobbed.

‘Richard was brilliant, he spoke to all the punters and all the kids, telling them of his experience and his ambition. Everybody was so supportive and we managed to raise over £660, hopefully it will help him.

‘It’s part of our ethos to raise money for the community and we were totally inspired by Richard and what he is doing. He is so charismatic and full of enthusiasm.’

The special offer was over two days, last Friday and Saturday, in Whistler’s on West Street, Fareham.

Richard also paid a visit to Whistler’s fish and chip shops on Hayling Island and in Westbourne, where staff were in fancy dress and were holding a collection. Scores of eager customers turned up to show their support.

Richard said: ‘It was unbelievable. They were queuing up out of the shop, even in Westbourne and Hayling Island. It was such a mad day to speak to so many people about my challenge.

‘It was non-stop and the support was amazing. It was overwhelming. And they were the best fish and chips I’ve ever tasted.

‘It really was something to behold and really good. Thank you to everyone who came along.’

For more information on Richard’s challenge go to