A long-term Weston Hospicecare supporter, who turned his hobby into a fundraising event, has passed the £50,000 landmark in a decade of support.
Keith Price moved to Somerset when he retired in 2001, and immediately began exploring ways to keep himself both busy and entertained after giving up work.
Keith says he investigated but discounted kites and remote-controlled cars, but immediately got the model train bug after going along to a show.
After becoming a regular at such events, Keith – whose own father made a living as a railwayman – hit upon the idea of putting together his own shows in Weston.
He says the town was lacking events of its own, so in 2009 he staged his first show – an event which has continued to grow and grow in every year since.
And after the first show made a profit of £600, which Keith decided to donate to the hospice; and with show attendance and sponsoring since then, his donations have grown too.
This week, Keith visited the hospice to hand over £1,730 from his latest show, bringing his overall total to £50,860 raised for the charity over the past decade.
Keith said: “I moved to the town in 2001, and was looking for something to spend my time on. Kites and cars didn’t appeal to me, but model railways was different.
“I went to a show every week for a couple of years, but there was nothing in Weston, so I decided to do a show. At the time, I didn’t plan to do it for anybody in particular, but when the first show made £600 I decided to donate it to the hospice. I was pleased it was helping something so worthwhile.
“The show has grown each year. It’s not a hobby any more, it’s an obsession.”
Such is Keith’s dedication to fundraising for the hospice – and the Castle Kids Club, which is based out of The Campus, where Keith’s shows are staged – that he even successfully sold raffle tickets to his surgeon during a hip replacement procedure back in 2017.
Weston Hospicecare community fundraiser Rachel Mansfield said: “We are enormously grateful to Keith for his incredible efforts on behalf of the hospice, not just with his latest show, but with his amazing fundraising feats over the past 10 years.
“His shows are keenly anticipated and make a brilliant family day out, so if you’ve not been to one before, it’s worth pencilling the next one into your diary.” Keith’s next model railway show will be held at The Campus on January 12.