Ian, aged 91, boosts hospice funds with his bird box sales

A big-hearted great grandad has given over £400 to a hospice after raising the money by making bird boxes to sell to friends and family.

Ian Espin, aged 91, who has four children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, has donated £407 to Lindsey Lodge Hospice to say thank you for the care his wife Margaret received there before she died in October.

Ian said: “I started making the boxes from off-cuts of wood to keep busy, so my daughter Sally painted them and put a photo of one on her Facebook page to see if anyone would be interested in buying them to raise money for Lindsey Lodge.

“Friends and family shared the picture and they started to get snapped up. One of the bird boxes has even flown back to The Netherlands with my grand-daughter Alison.”

Ian has sold more than 50 of the boxes, and orders are still flooding in.

To keep up with demand, Ian has wood donated by Mark Nettleton of Home and Garden Services and Julian Dunning of Caspian Scaffolding, who both found out what Ian was doing and wanted to help.

Ian added that he was grateful to everyone who had bought a bird box, and helped him to make them.

He said: “I’m overwhelmed by how well they’ve sold, so I’d like to say thank you to Mark and Julian for donating the wood, and everyone who’s bought one for being so generous.

“I’m currently making three every day to keep up with the demand.”

Ian’s generosity also did not stop with the making and selling of his bird boxes. He also donated £100 to Lindsey Lodge instead of giving Christmas presents.

Jenny Baynham, who received the money earlier this month on behalf of Lindsey Lodge Hospice, said: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to Ian and his family for their wonderful support.

“It was an absolute pleasure to meet him and see the bird boxes he’s worked so hard to make.

“Every penny he’s donated will go towards ensuring our patients and their families receive the best possible care at Lindsey Lodge Hospice.”

Lindsey Lodge Hospice, on Burringham Road, Scunthorpe, has been providing high quality, specialist palliative care to Isle people and their families living with life limiting illnesses for over 26 years.