Idlewells Shopping Centre

A lifetime's work recognised


Sutton-in-Ashfield’s well known ‘super-fundraiser’, Alan Hupton, was surprised by supporters and benefactors this week, with a presentation led by Specsavers Director, Nigel Davidson.

Chloe O’Donnell, Manager of Idlewells, members of the Specsavers team, Manager of Notts & Lincs Air Ambulance, Jim Vickrage, watched on as Nigel presented Alan with a beautiful homemade coffee cake – his favourite – and gifts bearing the name of his beloved Burnley FC.

Like Alan, Specsavers is a regular supporter of charities, but Nigel planned this particular presentation purely for personal reasons. “It is really just a recognition of the generous way in which he has donated the gift of his time and effort towards so selflessly helping others.”

He continued “I, along with many others, walk past him daily, exchange a few words and donate a few coins. I am constantly inspired by him and I often cite him as an example to students on what can be achieved with tenacity, purpose and single-minded dedication.”

Chloe also presented Alan with his own desk to make use of in the centre, and a new set of branded clothing to promote his latest charity - chosen in support of Idlewells’ own fundraising efforts.

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“We are so proud to have Alan here at Idlewells, doing such great work for charities,” said Chloe. “He collects with such enthusiasm, with pride and joy at the amounts passers-by regularly donate. We’re delighted that he is supporting our charity this time, especially as he says it’s a way of saying thank-you for helping and working with him over the years.”

The Idlewells security team video-monitor Alan’s position constantly, and assist with his cashing up during intervals throughout the day. He also has the kind support of neighbouring retailers – including Phil at The Repair Shop and the Indoor Market’s Webster’s Bakery team.

Alan was born a fit and healthy boy in 1954, but a problem with his statutory vaccinations led to the steady decline of his health and mobility. He was a keen participant in sports, for as long as his body would let him, and regularly swam and bowled as an extremely successful means of fundraising.

Since 1971, and from the age of around 18 years old, Alan has raised an estimated total of £225,000.00 on behalf of a range of charities.

These charities have included; Dallas Street New Wheelchairs - £3,000, Guide Dogs for the Blind - £35,945, Breast Cancer - £21,500, Macmillan - £15,000 and the Royal British Legion poppy appeals - £24,250.

His most recent five-year support of Nottinghamshire Lincolnshire Air Ambulance, in honour of his father’s dedication to the Ambulance Service, was specifically recognised by Jim Vickrage at the presentation, who has been at the charity since Alan first started with them in 2013.

Said Jim, "From 2013 to 2018 Alan has fundraised for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance inside the Idlewells Shopping Centre – and has raised £50,035.95 for our charity.”

He continued, “What makes this amazing figure even more remarkable is the level of commitment Alan has shown to the charity during this time. Despite his various health and mobility difficulties he has collected for an average of 5 days a week - and he would quite happily have volunteered 7 days a week too!”

Alan’s outstanding contribution of over £50,000 to the charity, we are told, equates to him potentially saving at least a staggering 12-15 lives.

Alan’s latest challenge is to raise another impressive total for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. “I’m happy to be helping this worthwhile charity and help the children. I don’t like to think that there are children still out there going through what I have over these years.” Says Alan.


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