Fundraising duo reach milestone figure for St Joseph's Hospice

£400,000 raised ... and counting!

Bucket collectors Don Franks and Charles Callaghan have now raised a staggering £400,000 for St Joseph's Hospice over the last 17 years.

The retired pair recently reached the landmark figure having spent approximately 800 days standing outside train stations, sports grounds and shopping centres, wearing yellow hospice vests and greeting passers-by. Rain or shine, they have collected on average £25,000 a year for the Thornton-based hospice, which cares for local people living with life-limiting conditions.

Don and Charles started collecting for St Joseph's Hospice – which must raise £6,500 a day to keep its services running – in 2001. Fourteen years later, they surpassed £300,000, enabling many terminally ill patients to die peacefully in Jospice's beautiful surroundings.

Last year, they were honoured with British Citizens Awards at the House of Lords for their inspirational efforts. The 85-year-old Don, from Formby, said: "We collect for the hospice for around three days every month and raise on average £500 each day between us." Ainsdale resident Charles, the 'junior' partner at 79, added: "We enjoy it so much and we're always bowled over by how generous people are. We are very grateful to the people of Sefton and Merseyside."

Mike Parr, chief executive of St Joseph's Hospice, which is the oldest and largest hospice on Merseyside, said: "There simply aren't words to describe the contribution Don and Charles have made over the past 17 years – from cheering up commuters on rainy days to making the last days of so many people's lives warm, loving and peaceful."