Day in the slammer means windfall for Winchester homeless charity

Andover Advertiser: I'm a celebrity - get me out of here please! I'm a celebrity - get me out of here please!

NOT your average day in the office.

That was the word of Trinity Winchester’s fundraising manager, Jessica Wheale, as she watched three ‘willing’ volunteers in full convict costume face a day in the cells – not for April fools, but in the name of charity.

Bail Me Out on April 1 (TUES) saw city councillor and former Mayor of Winchester Dominic Hiscock, John Leeson, owner of Belgarum Estate Agents, and Roger Matthews, chief dental officer at Denplan, don their black and white stripes and spend midday until 6pm in the hands of Winchester Police officers.

They each had to raise £1000 for Trinity Winchester, a homelessness charity that supports people to rebuild their lives, before they could be released.

Using the power of social media, and of course the good old fashioned telephone, the participants had to plead with their friends, family and colleagues to ‘bail’ them out.

Roger Matthews said: “I was cuffed in the office whilst my staff stood round and laughed. Some said they would help me out, some said they would pay extra to keep me in! If they get their way I won’t get out until about June I think, but hopefully I will get out in time for my tea.”

Whilst Roger was ‘arrested’ in his office, former mayor Dominic Hiscock faced his own form of public humiliation.

“They came and found me in the street and accused me of imitating a politician,” he said.

“I’m just nervous I won’t raise enough money to get my bail!”

Making sure he did raise enough was John Leeson, who said he had been ‘tweeting’ and ‘facebooking’ all day.

Special inspector James Cullinane, Winchester Police Station, said: “It’s for a really good cause that will help the community and the people we come into contact with often.”

Jessica said the charity were pleased that people had agreed to be locked up to raise the profile of the work they do.

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