A DEDICATED fundraiser who has helped earn more than £50,000 for a children’s hospice is celebrating his most successful event yet.
Builder Nick Coppin has been holding an annual challenge for five years.
And the 2013 Nick’s Nutters 50-mile South Downs challenge, which took place on Sunday, May 19, saw the coffers overflowing in aid of Chestnut Tree House after 150 people took part.
“I became aware of the charity as it’s based so close to our workshop near Arundel. I liked the idea of helping a local cause, and the work they do there is amazing,” he said.
Chestnut Tree House is a hospice that provides support for sick children and their families.
“We started by sending in one of our carpenters for free, five days a year. From there it escalated into my first cycling challenge.”
In 2009, Nick, of Church Lane, Barnham, cycled alone from Land’s End to John O’Groats: “I had never even cycled into Chichester before, but once I started I was keen to take on the challenge. The response from friends and family for sponsorship was fantastic, so in 2010 I took it up a notch and cycled to Barcelona.”
After being bitten by the cycling bug, he decided to set up the Nick’s Nutters event, which ends at the Bridge Inn in Amberley.
“I enjoyed the cycles, but they were very solitary experiences and there is a limit to how many times you can ask for sponsorship. So in 2011 I decided to get others involved.
“Nick’s Nutters is good for you and it’s good for others – it’s a win-win event. There are starting points at different distances so people can decide whether they want to walk, run or cycle and how far they want to go.
“It takes a lot of organisation to get routes and timings sorted to ensure everyone gets back to the pub around the same time; it’s my favourite part of the day when everyone comes together at the end. The Bridge Inn owners, Natasha and David, have hosted a fantastic barbecue for the last three years.
“This year was the most successful so far, in terms of organisation and turnout. We had 150 people return in one piece, and the weather was perfect!”
And his hopes are even higher for next year: “Over the last five years we’ve raised over £50,000, an incredible amount far beyond what I ever hoped to achieve and it’s all thanks to donations and sponsorship. I’m not sure what form ‘Nick’s Nutters’ will take next year, but I’m sure we’ll do something equally nutty!”