Charity pair give up on celibacy vow

A SUFFOLK man who took the ultimate step of vowing to stay celibate for a year to raise money for charity has ended his abstinence after finding love.Philip Thorrold, 44, began his celibacy bid in January along with Paul Hubbard, 31, and had hoped to continue until Christmas in order to raise money for five-year-old Stowmarket youngster Harry Toop who suffers from a rare brain disorder.

A SUFFOLK man who took the ultimate step of vowing to stay celibate for a year to raise money for charity has ended his abstinence after finding love.

Philip Thorrold, 44, began his celibacy bid in January along with Paul Hubbard, 31, and had hoped to continue until Christmas in order to raise money for five-year-old Stowmarket youngster Harry Toop who suffers from a rare brain disorder.

However Mr Thorrold, from Thelnetham near Diss, said the pair called off the vow in late July after national media attention threatened to “make a mockery” of the good cause.

Soon after Mr Thorrold, a shooting instructor, met a Russian opera singer Julia Jaremko while visiting her country for a shooting competition.

He said: “She is a really lovely girl and said it was really nice what I was doing.

“She came to see me for a month in the summer and is coming back at Christmas.”

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Mr Thorrold said the chastity vow was one of the most difficult things he has done.

He said: “I found it impossible but I didn't give it up because of that.

“I called it off because national papers were getting in touch and wanted to make a mockery of it.

“I met very many nice people doing it and raising the money was very satisfying and rewarding.

“A lot of women asked me how I could go without sex and I was getting a lot of offers.

“It was unbelievable.

“I told my friends I should have done it years ago.”

Mr Thorrold's partner in the venture Paul Hubbard, of Walsham-le-Willows, gave up the vow at the same time and is now back together with his former partner.

Money raised by the duo has helped see Harry Toop's fund top the £12,000 mark.

A total of £20,000 is needed to provide a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for Harry as he is growing too big to be carried upstairs.

Harry suffers from lissencephaly which stops the brain developing normally after the third or fourth month of pregnancy.

He cannot walk or talk and is fed through a tube in his stomach at night.

Anyone wanting to donate to the fund can do so by visiting www.doublebarrelledpicturecompany.co.uk and clicking on the Smiling Monks link.

Cheques can be made payable to The Smiling Monks and sent to Jane Storey, Plum Cottage, Ashfield Road, Norton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 3NJ.

Have you gone to extreme lengths to raise money for charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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