Ottery’s ‘French Chef’ Paul does odd jobs to fundraise for Hospiscare

Paul Godfrey in his French Chef outfit. Picture: Paul Godfrey

Paul Godfrey in his French Chef outfit. Picture: Paul Godfrey - Credit: Archant

Ottery’s ‘French Chef’ Paul Godfrey has raised £2,400 for Hospiscare since the start of lockdown, by carrying out gardening work and small outdoor jobs in exchange for a donation.

He is offering his services to vulnerable people, along with NHS staff and key workers, based near his home in Slade Close.

Mr Godfrey can undertake work such as cleaning guttering and windows, mowing lawns, trimming hedges and strimming. He keeps his distance, wears a mask and gloves, and has hand sanitiser at the ready.

He is doing the work in his French chef’s outfit, which he normally wears as the mascot of the Ottery Food and Families Festival, to put a smile on people’s faces.

On Saturday, May 16, Paul is volunteering his services to Otter Produce, delivering fruit and vegetables to local people on the shop’s bicycle.

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He is keen to help anyone else who is unable to tackle gardening and other minor outdoor work – contact information below.

Mr Godfrey said he wanted to support Hospiscare in gratitude for the care given by staff at the Kings House Day Hospice in Honiton to his father Brian, who died of cancer more than a year ago.

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Brian Godfrey was offered specialist weekly support, friendship and a range of activities and therapies to help him manage his symptoms and emotional needs. Hospiscare also supported his family.

Paul Godfrey said: “I wanted to give a few hours back of my time to raise money for this amazing charity in recognition of the care and compassion shown to my dad during a very difficult time.”

Hospiscare relies almost entirely on donations from the public. With its charity shops closed and fundraising events cancelled during lockdown, it expects a loss of more than £1million every three months until normal activities can resume.

Paul Godfrey has thanked everyone who has donated to Hospiscare through his collections or JustGiving page. He received an anonymous donation of £1,000, and a local woman gave him a bottle of expensive wine which raised £100 at auction.

Donations can be made by visiting his JustGiving page.

Alternatively, call Hospiscare’s fundraising team on 01392 688020, mentioning Paul Godfrey.

Anyone who would like to book Mr Godfrey for his services, in exchange for a donation, can contact him via his Facebook page. Non-internet users can contact him through the Ottery Covid-19 community volunteers’ phone line, 01404 600013, and leave their contact details, which will be passed on to him. The community volunteers also have an online fundraising page and are welcoming donations to support their work.

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