Thirty-three-year-old Lee of Castle Vale challenged people to nominate middle names for him and then picked the winner out of a box. With more than 100 names ranging from Princess Tallulah and Danger-Mouse to Big Poppa and ‘have a nice day’, the stakes were high.
Lee, who previously had no middle name, set up a JustGiving page on which he asked people to make their nominations for a donation - and he was surprised at how popular it turned out to be. He said:
"Some were funny. And some people actually suggested John Taylor after the hospice."
In the event it was a colleague Antonia Whitaker who entered Turnip as a possibility because Lee’s nickname for her is Parsnip. Now the tables are turned but Lee has gamely undertaken the name change.
“It could have been worse,” he laughed. “Because I do a lot of sex education with young people there were quite a few other suggestions!”
Lee’s name change was one of only a host of fundraising ideas put together by seven friends who all took part in the Great Birmingham Run for John Taylor Hospice and organised other challenges to boost their total. Together they have raised £3,000.
On the team and taking up his own fundraising challenge was 28-year-old Ryan Hinett, also of Castle Vale, who agreed to a body wax for sponsorship.
He said: “It did hurt but it was for a great cause. John Taylor Hospice cared for my granddad Lesley Sheppard earlier this year so we wanted to raise money as a thank you.”
Also on the team were Scott Wellburn, Russell Andrews, Stacy Sheekey, Nikki Guest and Kelly Greenshields. The group all completed the Great Birmingham Run together and organised a party night on Friday October 23 at the Minworth Club and Lodge with raffles, competitions and their individual challenges.
Lee added: “It’s been great fun and the support we’ve received has been amazing. I’d like to thank everyone who helped us for free including Sue Yardley as she gave us use of the club, Craig Price for DJing, Emma Rhymes for face-painting and Sam Walters for doing the waxing for Ryan.”
Hospice community and corporate development manager Natalie Mayo, who attended the event, said: “All of the team are brilliant supporters of John Taylor Hospice and it was lovely to be invited to their social night.
“It costs £14,000 for John Taylor Hospice to run all of our services every day and the support which Lee and his team have given to us makes a real difference.”