AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly editors locked up for fundraising stunt

Two weekly newspaper editors were locked up behind bars as part of a fundraising stunt for a local hospice.

Terry Mitchinson, editor of the Welwyn Hatfield Times, and Paul Winspear, who leads the Herts and Essex Observer, were among a team of eight local people who were sent to jail.

The stunt took place at the a shopping centre in Welwyn Garden City and saw the participants locked in a cell with only their mobile phones to help them raise £1,000 for Isabel Hospice before they could be released.

Paul managed to reach the target to secure his release in two-and-a-half hours by calling contacts and family to ask for sponsorship, the largest of which came from local law firm Nockolds, which donated £165.

However, Terry did not quite raise enough so was locked up for four hours before being set free.

Paul Winspear, second left, and Terry Mitchinson, third left, are pictured before entering the jail house.

Terry said: “I am patron of the hospice so they rope me into various fundraising sillyness. It was a great deal of fun and the passers-by thought it was highly amusing.

“They eventually took pity on us and let us out. I raised more money by people paying to keep me in than let me out!”

The jailbirds raised £6,500 between them for Isabel Hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses across East Herts.

Emma Lippiatt, Isabel Hospice’s corporate relationship manager, said: “All the prisoners were really good sports and we are so grateful to them for their time.

“They really threw themselves into the task and there was a great buzz in the jail as they saw their JustGiving page totals rise.”