Competition winner donates prize winnings to Sidmouth Hospiscare

Churchill Retirement Living present a cheque to Sidmouth Hospiscare after the winner of the competit

Churchill Retirement Living present a cheque to Sidmouth Hospiscare after the winner of the competition donated the winnings. Picture: Theo Moye - Credit: © Theo Moye/ UNP 0845 600 7737

An astronomy enthusiast has donated his prize winnings to a Sidmouth charity after winning a competition.

Neil Gamble won the top prize of £100 from Churchill Retirement Living to name its new 40-home retirement development in Sidford.

The winning name, Lockyer Lodge, is in honour of physicist and astronomer Norman Lockyer who lived in Sidmouth for many years in the early 1900s.

After finding out he had won, Mr Gamble proceeded to donate his winnings to Sidmouth Hospiscare, which is setting up a day care centre in Sidford in the former doctors' surgery.

Mr Gamble said: "I was delighted to hear of Churchill's decision to accept the name Lockyer Lodge. Sir Norman Lockyer lived here in his retirement and was responsible for the building of a telescope and support system here in the town, which is now called the Sir Norman Lockyer Observatory and is much used by serious scientists and also by enthusiasts.

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"He also founded the very distinguished science journal, Nature, which he edited for some years. It's fitting that his observatory is located on Salcombe Hill, within view of the new Lockyer Lodge apartments."

Sidmouth Hospiscare's trustees purchased the old Sidford surgery in an eleventh-hour deal back in 2017 from developers who had planned to demolish it to make way for six new homes.

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The Church Street premises will allow the charity to expand its nursing and volunteer services to support residents living with life-limiting illnesses and a proposed extension would be used for the day centre.

Churchill's regional marketing executive Jo Ridehalgh said: "At Churchill we like to involve the local community in choosing the names for our developments and we often do so by running a competition asking for suggestions. We received lots of great entries for our new Sidford development, and Lockyer Lodge was our favourite.

We were delighted to award Neil's £100 prize to Sidmouth Hospiscare, after he very generously chose to donate his winnings to this excellent local charity. Coincidentally, the charity will be opening its new day centre in the spring /summer of 2020, which is around the same time Lockyer Lodge will launch its show complex."

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