‘Ello, ‘ello, ello - what’s all this then?
It’s certainly no crime to give your backing to South Yorkshire’s Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
But 10 brave volunteers were arrested and spent a day in the cells at Doncaster Prison as part of a £10,000 fundraiser for the Dinnington-based charity.
After being picked up by a proper policeman at the Regent Hotel in Doncaster town centre, the group of volunteers were driven off in a riot van to be detained at the hospice’s pleasure – until they had raised enough money to earn their release.
All those taking part in the event, called Jail and Bail, were allowed their phones inside to ring around as many people as possible to get at least £500 in sponsorship to pay their “bail” so they would be released.
And they were all finally freed together at 3.30pm, six hours after the police had first arrived to take them away. After being processed and fitted with prison uniforms, they got started on trying to raise the cash.
Among those taking part was Rebecca Craythorn-Jones, who has been a keen supporter of the charity since she was affected by its work.
Rebecca has supported the hospice since it helped her family after her baby daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The hospice’s work allowed the family to spend all their time with the little girl before she died.
The 25 year-old, from Armthorpe, said of the fund day: “It was pretty scary initially – I was petrified about going in at first. It was pretty scary when we heard the door close behind us.
“We were all pretty keen to get out as soon as we could, but I think it was actually quite fun in the end, and I’m really glad I did it. It was for a really fantastic cause.”
By the end of the event, Rebecca had been given £724 worth of backing, and that is before gift aid is taken into account, which will take the total up further.
She said: “People were really keen to back us when we spoke to them. But I really wouldn’t fancy going to prison for real after having a few hours there for the charity.”
Rebecca is planning to continue raising money for the hospice in future in other events.
A spokesman for the hospice said: “All the money raised will be contributed to Bluebell Wood and will be supporting children and young adults with a shortened life expectancy.”