The Big Lockup smashes fundraising goal

Twelve local business leaders who took part in a ‘torture’ filled prison sentence at Riverside Chambers cells have raised more than £8,000 for the Mayor of Derby’s chosen charities.

The five charities that will benefit from the fundraising appeal are Bondholders Safe and SoundDerbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, and Derby Museums Trust, as well as Children First and The British Red Cross

Over the past couple of months, friends, colleagues and the public have been encouraged to donate to the inmate they thought had committed the worst crime, with misdemeanours ranging from aggravated assault on dress code and kidnapping Freddo the Frog, to cattle rustling, arson and crimes against fashion.

They also had the chance to nominate individuals to be ‘tortured’ in return for more donations. Challenges included eating ten donuts in ten minutes, placing a tarantula and scorpion on an inmate’s face and going in the stocks!

Ann Bhatti, head of Bondholder Connect Derby, was forced to undergo six tortures during her time behind bars, with Olivia Pritchard from HIDE Burger Bar having to face five.

At the top of the leaderboard, Dean Jackson, owner of Bondholder HUUB, and Connect Derby’s Ann Bhatti, enjoyed some healthy competition to win the Lockup trophy for raising the most money for the cause.

Marketing Derby's own Lindsey Hatfield also took part in some gruesome tasks thanks to the pledges made by her supportive colleagues.

Dean ended up topping the leader board, raising a massive £2,055, with Ann in second place, raising £1,350.

Commenting on taking part in the Big Lockup, Dean Jackson said:

“The Big Lockup was like no other charity event I have ever been involved in before. It was wonderfully conceived and executed with professionalism and a whole lot of fun.

“The end result could not have been better, raising such a huge amount of money for the Mayor’s charities. I’d like to thank the Mayor and Ann Bhatti for letting me be a part of it.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, who co-ordinated the event, said:

“The past couple of months in lead up to The Big Lockup have been great fun and the outcome has been absolutely amazing.

“To exceed our initial target by £3,000 is outstanding and it wouldn’t have been possible without the level of enthusiasm from everyone involved. Their willingness to take part and tackle their roles head-on has been admirable and it has clearly translated in the amount that’s been raised.”

The Mayor of Derby, John Whitby, who staged The Big Lockup as part of his annual fundraising appeal, was delighted with the success of the event:

“The Big Lockup has exceeded all our expectations and I couldn’t be prouder of the inmates for rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved when we all come together - the five charities are set to receive a much-needed boost that will allow them to continue doing great things for local people.

“A massive thank you to Ann Bhatti and her team and everyone who gave up their time and resources to make the event a huge success and to everyone who made a donation to the appeal.”