Helping heroes after tragic loss

Fundraiser Jan Thorpe.
Fundraiser Jan Thorpe.

A KIND-HEARTED shop owner is showing real festive spirit by helping a cause close to the heart of her family.

Jan Thorpe, 56, who runs Incognito fancy dress hire in Hartlepool always admired the work of Help for Heroes.

But in October this year, Jan and her family learned about the grief of war first hand when a friend of her son, Roland and his fiancée, who live in Kent, lost his life after an incident in Afghanistan.

Since the death of Matt, Jan has done all she can to support Help for Heroes and has dedicated the run-up to Christmas to raising even more money.

The mum of Roland, 40, and Sarah, 35, who lives in Kyle Avenue, in Hartlepool, with husband Roly, organised a Christmas raffle in her store with an impressive Christmas hamper as the winning prize.

Jan is also donating £1 for every costume she hires out throughout December.

So far the raffle has raised £121 for the cause and the costume donations a further £150.

A collection box on the counter has also raised £69.

“I used to always get very upset when I saw on the news that people had lost their lives at war,” said Jan.

“But it gets to you so much more when you know someone who it has happened to.

“Help for Heroes is a fantastic cause, it helps all of the heroes who fight for the country, any money we raise to support them is well worth it.”

Jan, who has owned Incognito, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, for the past eight years says she wanted to raise £300 for the cause - but her total has already topped that.

“I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far,” said Jan.

“I have had a great response.”

Raffle tickets are priced at £1 each.

The draw will take place in store tomorrow from 11am.

People can do their bit for the charity and carry on donating in the shop until the end of December.