A DELIGHTED shop owner has thanked generous customers after helping to raise more than £470 for a charity close to her heart.
Jan Thorpe, 56, who runs Incognito fancy dress hire, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, organised a month-long fundraiser in support of Help for Heroes.
Jan and her family were rocked by the death of a close friend of her son Roland and his fiancee after an incident in Afghanistan, in October last year.
She had always been a keen supporter of the charity but decided, after the tragic incident, she wanted to give more to the cause.
The mum of Roland, 40, and Sarah, 35, organised a raffle with an impressive Christmas hamper as the winning prize.
She also vowed to donate £1 for every fancy dress costume she hired out throughout December.
Jan told the charity she hoped to raise between £200 and £300, but was “over the moon” when her efforts actually raised £470.88.
“It’s a lot more than what I was expecting.
“It’s fantastic, I’m so happy,” said Jan, who lives with husband, Roly, in Kyle Road, Hartlepool .
“It’s just staggering how generous people have been.
“The raffle was popular, but even after that finished people just kept donating.
“One elderly couple donated £20 without even hiring a costume or having a go at the raffle.
“They just said they were touched by what I was doing.”
Jan says she is proud to hand over the amount raised to the charity and is delighted to be helping such a “great cause”.
She added: “I would love to do something like this again in the future.
“I just want to thank all of my customers and members of the public for supporting the cause.”