Cash bonus for Ilkeston charity Ben’s Den

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A charity effort by an Ilkeston factory worker and her friend has resulted in a £1,200 bonus for a local good cause.

Becky Cross, of Kirk Hallam, who works as a powder coater at Dales Fabrications on Crompton Industrial Estate, and Rebecca Frost started their effort two weeks before Christmas last year.

Becky encouraged co-workers to wear joke reindeer antlers with a donation going to Ben’s Den, set up in memory of Ben Parker who passed away in 2003 after a three-year battle with leukaemia, diagnosed when he was just ten. Becky is a friend of the family.

Rebecca encouraged others to join in and personally gave £125. The idea spread via social media and Dales Fabrications gave a donation with the effort topped up by a charity auction.

Becky said: “It’s been a great result from everybody, including all at Dales. We are really pleased.”

Erewash MP Maggie Throup, who visited Dales during March on a fact-finding mission after reading about the company’s work and success, joined the two fundraisers in presenting a cheque for £1,200 to Kevin and Donna Hill, of the Ben Parker Trust Fund.

Ben’s Den is a children’s charity based in Ilkeston with the aim to support the families of children fighting leukaemia or cancer, by gifting them a free holiday and allowing them to spend much needed quality family time together away from the hospital environment.

The charity was set up by Ben’s parents in March 2004. Since then, they have held many fundraising events and now have three caravans at the Haven holiday site in Mablethorpe.

Maggie Throup said: “It’s great that Dales has been able to support this local charity knowing that every pound will make a difference.”

Karl Prosser, managing director of Dales, said: “We very much hope that we will be able to continue supporting Ben’s Den in the coming years.”

The cheque was the first donation to the charity this year, according to Kevin Hill, of the Ben Parker Trust Fund.

He said: “Throughout his fight with leukaemia, Ben’s parents realised the importance of family time, holidays and breaks from hospital life – but this can be difficult. When something as devastating as cancer hits a family, at least one parent will usually have to give up work to care for their child. This means no spare money for things like a much-needed family break.

“This is a fantastic amount which will really help. It would pay for the ground rent for one of the caravans for a year.”