John’s legacy will live on says Heage fundraiser

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John Redfern was a pillar of the Heage community. He was a friend and mentor for many, but especially for Lorraine Froggatt.

The well-liked chap was a pub landlord and had many was often involved in community events, especially fundraising for a charity close to his heart – The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre.

Sadly, John lost his ongoing battle with oesophageal cancer in 2013, aged 70.

But Lorraine has kept his memory alive by hosting a charity weekend each year since his death, raising cash for the holiday centre as a tribute to John and his dedication to the cause.

This year marks the third fundraising event, and Lorraine hopes it will be bigger and better than ever.

The kind-hearted landlady and her customers will host the string of charity events over several dates in September, at The Windmill Inn at Heage.

The 39-year-old said: “As with years before, we are hosting ‘Riding for Redders’ and ‘Redders Charity Weekend’. However, unlike other years the two events will not run over the same weekend, and will be a week apart.

“We really hope people will get involved and support not only a worthy charity, but everyone who is taking part or who has helped organise the events.

“We have dubbed the cycle ‘Riding for Redders’ – as it incorporates John’s nickname. He was a pillar of the community and we know he would have loved our efforts. Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is an amazing charity and I am very proud to be a part of fundraising for them.”

Riding for Redders will kick off on Saturday, September 24, from 8.30am at the pub on Park Road.

Around 25 regulars and community members setting off from the pub to cycle 100 miles to the holiday centre in Skegness, Lincolnshire. On the riders’ departure there will be balloons released to mark the start of the event.

The following weekend – September 24 and 25 – the charity weekend held, starting with a family fun day. NCL inflatables will be providing a jungle assault course and Bugs and Bones will present an interactive experience with exotic animals.

There will also be face painting, glitter tattoos, a potted wheel for youngsters to have a go at making their own pots, kids craft stalls and balloon modelling, a tombola, cake stalls and a tug of war.

Loyal customer Bernie has also been growing his beard since May 23, and will be inviting guesses at how long his facial hair is – for 50p a go.

From 4pm to 11pm, there will be live music. DJ Shookz will entertain the revellers from 4pm to 6pm, 6.30pm to 8.30pm will be Double Cross and from 9pm to 11pm Heage-born Simon Swift will perform.

Sunday will be just as jam-packed. The annual darts and dominoes competition will start from 1pm. The winners of each game will get their names engraved on to the John Redfern charity shield, and runners up will win a beer prize. From 5pm, there will also be a special guest and a raffle drawn at 8pm. At 8.30pm a charity auction will take place. Lots of local companies have been generous and donated prizes including a hamper from Thorntons, a cricket bat from Derbyshire County Cricket Club, and days out to Heights of Abraham and Gulliver’s Kingdom.

Last year raised more than £10,000 and Lorraine hopes to smash that record this year.

She added: “Not only are these events in memory of John and his legacy, they are also marking a very special year for the holiday centre. This year will see the charity celebrate 125 years of service – an extraordinary achievement. Please help us celebrate that, and of course – John.”