A COUPLE who have been fundraising for a children’s charity are hoping to hit their £20,000 target in time for Christmas.
Peter and Debbie Patterson of All Seasons fruit shop in Lee-on-the-Solent, began their fundraising campaign with a trek along the Inca Trail in Peru to raise money for the Fareham-based children’s charity Kids in 2004.
They decided to start looking for a local charity to help after their son, Anthony, who was severely physically and mentally handicapped, died the year before, aged 35.
The couple paid for all their expenses themselves for the trip and have been raising cash for the charity in their High Street shop ever since.
The collection buckets hanging from the shop ceiling have been a constant reminder of the couple’s campaign.
Peter said: ‘We’re closing in on the £20,000 mark now. It’s a nice sum to have reached and we’d like to thank everyone who’s made a donation.
‘It’s good to put Kids in the limelight, there’s a lot of other local charities around and sometimes they get overlooked. After Anthony passed away, we wanted to do something with a view to helping families which had children who have learning difficulties, then we heard about Kids from people who came into the shop.
‘We raised quite a lot of money through sponsorship and donations from Peru, but we just never stopped after that.
‘We’re hoping to reach the figure by Christmas.’
But they’re not intending to stop after reaching that landmark.
‘Debbie hopes to be doing a parachute jump for Kids next year,’ added Peter.
Malcolm Cooke, assistant director for Kids, said: ‘They’ve been incredible stalwarts for Kids over the years – they’re one in a million.
‘Their endless fundraising and their boundless energy always drives us forward. They’ve helped raise an awful lot of money for us.’
Kids, based in Salterns Lane, offers children with special needs and their parents a mix of fun, learning, friendship and support.
Anyone who would like to help Kids can contact their fundraising team on 01329 312312, or go to kids.org.uk