Musician Jeff busking to Orkney in mum’s memory

Jeff Butterfield with (left to right) Joanne Blackwood, Lee Jennings and Paula McIlwrath, from Hartlepool Day Centre

Jeff Butterfield with (left to right) Joanne Blackwood, Lee Jennings and Paula McIlwrath, from Hartlepool Day Centre

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A FUNDRAISING musician is planning to busk his way from Hartlepool to Orkney in memory of his mum.

Jeff Butterfield, 60, lost his mum Muriel, who was known as Lou, in June last year after a four-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dad-of-two Jeff witnessed the devastation of the disease first hand and is now hoping to raise money in support of a day centre which helps Alzheimer’s sufferers.

The keen musician, who has spent the majority of his life gigging, is planning to busk at the Orkneys Blues Weekend in September and says he will hitchhike the 451 miles to get there if he has to.

He is planning to busk in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Inverness on the way but is now appealing to anyone who may be able to help him with food and drink donations or transport.

Jeff, who lives in Seaton Carew with his partner, Rosemary Sinden, 52, a care worker, said: “After my mum died last year I decided I wanted to raise some money in her memory.

“Busking at the Orkney Blues Festival sounded like a good idea, but I thought I would do it with a bit of difference and basically just start from scratch.

“I have no idea how I will get to Orkney, but I will make sure I do.

“I’ll just hitchhike if I have to.”

Jeff, a dad of Ashley, 30, and Alex, 28, is handing all of the money he raises to Hartlepool Day Centre, in Gretton Court, in the town.

He says due to the nature of busking, he has absolutely no idea how much he will raise.

But he is hoping it is a significant amount which can support a cause which is now close to his heart.

“To see a person like my mum, so bright and colourful, transformed into basically a child, was awful,” added Jeff, who is currently unemployed.

“It was a real ordeal and it made me realise that I want to help the fantastic people who work and care for sufferers of Alzheimer’s.”

Gail Defty, care services manager for the Hospital of God, in Greatham, which runs the day centre, said: “The money will go towards enhancing our facilities inside the building and out in the gardens.

“It’s an amazing feat what Jeff is planning and he is putting his heart and soul into it.

“We are so grateful.”

Anyone wishing to support Jeff should email jbbutterfield@hotmail.co.uk