Kids charity stalwart honoured

HATS off to an Ipswich man who has dedicated half of his life to raise funds for children's charities has won a top award in recognition of his efforts.

HATS off to an Ipswich man who has dedicated half of his life to raise funds for children's charities has won a top award in recognition of his efforts.

John Pipe, 68, began house to house collections for NCH (formerly national children's homes) in 1968, joining the Sunny Smiles Campaign.

In 34 years, he has been very touched by the generosity of many of those he has met but he also reports having many a door slammed in his face and even a bucket of water thrown over him.

It is astounding that anyone could be so cruel to such a good-hearted and public-spirited figure but Mr Pipe, who still volunteers for the charity, takes it all in his stride.


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He has raised thousands and thousands of pounds for NCH over the years and was instrumental in the Mayor of Ipswich's decision to choose the organisation as one of the nominated charities of 2001/2.

He is also a co-ordinator for the charity's Step Out For Children annual sponsored walk at Alton Water and a staunch member of the congregation at Museum Street Methodist Church.

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Mr Pipe, who retired three years ago from the building trade, said he was "most amazed and privileged" to receive the NCH Order of St Christopher Award for his outstanding commitment to the organisation.

He added: "I have been very happy to support NCH. It has really been my hobby and I still enjoy doing it. I have met many friends and learned a lot about people.

"I remember going to one house with a Rolls Royce and a couple of yachts in the garden and being turned away and sworn at. Other people hide when they see you coming.

"On the whole though, there are some very kind and generous folk. I usually end up chatting on the doorstep, hearing people's troubles. Teatime is the best time to catch people at home."

Lorna Burroughes , NCH community fundraiser, nominated John for the award.

She said: "John has worked tirelessly and wholeheartedly for NCH. His unstinting efforts deserve to be recognised. He is a true friend of NCH."

NCH pastoral director Bill Lynn, said the award, which dates back to the founding of the charity by Thomas Bowman Stephenson in 1869, was a vital means of recognising the hard work of volunteers.

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