The Pearly King and Queen of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe are temporarily stepping down to lowlier positions later this month – but it’s all in a good cause.
Michelle Thorpe is going to dress up as a baby and be pushed in a pram from Rotherhithe to Brighton on October 14-15, with Jimmy Jukes MBE as her ‘nanny’, to raise money for their UK Homes 4 Heroes charity, which helps feed and house homeless ex-service personnel in London.
Michelle will be pushed by the charity’s ambassador, veteran Carl Newbold, who will be wearing his camouflage uniform. Jimmy, who was hospitalised with sever Covid-19 earlier this year, will drive alongside in a van.
Asked why they decided on such an unusual fundraising concept, Jimmy said: “She’s a big baby, isn’t she! We wanted to do a different idea, something novel. People get fed up with the normal things.
“It’s been tough fundraising in Covid. It’s been like a coma, we need to liven things up.”
Michelle, Jimmy and Carl plan to start from the Sainsbury’s at Canada Water on October 14, before going up to the City and through the West End. “On a Thursday, hopefully people will have a bit of money in their pockets,” Jimmy said.
Then the three fundraisers will go down the A23, south-west through Clapham and Mitcham and aiming to reach Crawley by Thursday night, where they will stay over. The next day they will make their way down to Brighton. The whole journey should be roughly 100km (about 62 miles), Jimmy said.
Although it sounds like Carl will be doing much of the hard work, he is well-practised, Jimmy said. The Gulf veteran has done several fundraising walks for UK Homes 4 Heroes, including a trek to Lichfield near Birmingham – more than 120 miles from London.
Jimmy, Michelle and Carl want to raise £5,000 for the charity. To donate click here.