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Ben's Den

Workers’ pedal-pushing power produces pounds to give sick children holidays

TEN employees from an Ilkeston firm swapped work clothes for cycling shorts and helmets to take part in a charity bike ride for a local good cause.

The cyclists, from Dales Fabrications, which designs and makes aluminium building products, got on their bikes and made their way to the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Skegness.

And their pedal-pushing power raised a minimum in sponsorship of £2,500, including a donation from the company, for Ben’s Den.

This is the second time this year that workers from the company have raised money – previously it was £1,200 – for the charity that was set up in memory of Ben Parker who passed away in 2003 after a three-year battle with leukaemia, diagnosed when he was just 10.

The money will go towards the upkeep of caravans at Mablethorpe used to support the families of children fighting leukaemia or cancer by giving them much-needed quality time away from hospital.

Karl Prosser, managing director of Dales Fabrications, on Crompton Road, said: “Most of the employees have had bikes from the Government’s cycle-to-work scheme. So this ride was combining the idea of green travel with leisure and the added benefit for charity.

The distance from the factory to Skegness was 103 miles, but one worker Anthony Fowkes(43), went extra miles by cycling to the start from his home in Allenton, Derby. “People were cycling at their own pace, but I was doubling back to make sure everyone was OK,” he said.

Four others, including Karl, though joining the spirit of the ride, did a shorter distance of 30 miles from Boston. He explained: “Some were not experienced or fit enough to do the whole journey. One, Nicola Chambers, an organiser along with Rebecca Cross, had just returned from maternity leave!”

One of those, 18-year-old Tia Bexon from Ilkeston, said:”I was nervous doing it because I had not ridden for four years before practising for it.

“I wanted to take part because the charity is close to my heart as my brother Ryan died of leukaemia 12 years ago, the day before his first birthday.”

Ben’s dad Darren, on behalf of the charity, praised the “fantastic effort” of the cyclists. “In July I cycled to Skegness myself as part of a fund-raiser and I know what an effort it was.

“Such is the demand for our help that, sadly, we were turning away families before the summer break, but now we have purchased a fourth caravan to cope with requests.”

Dales, which has 40 employees, is celebrating 40 years in business.

“This charity ride reflects the good team ethos that we enjoy at the company, and we would also like to add particular thanks to those that gave valuable support to the riders, and also to the significant number of people that turned up to cheer us over the finish line in Skegness,” Karl added.

Pictured(left to right) on arriving at Skegness, are: Colin Dales, Kelly Bexon, Jhyrl Francis, Anthony Fowkes, Karl Prosser, Adam Shaw, Rebecca Cross, Tia Bexon, Darren Barker, Nicola Chambers.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the charity can do so online at
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Ilkeston to Skegness trek and cycle Raises £12,242.89

On the 7th July Kev Banwell, Luke Gibling, Trev O’neill, Paul Dudley, Al Conlin, Simon Ward, Gaz Todd, Joe Horsley, Scott Law and Paul Hutchison set of on there mammoth journey across the country 86 miles from Ilkeston to Skegness on foot. Where they met 12 cyclists which included Daz and Tracey Parker who rode 122 miles via Mablethorpe.
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DALES do the Business

Charity effort by friends and firm raises £1,200 to give holidays to families with sick children

March 14, 2017

A Christmas charity effort by an Ilkeston factory worker and her friend has resulted in a £1,200 bonus for a local good cause.

Becky Cross of Kirk Hallam, who works as a powder coater at Dales Fabrications on Crompton Industrial Estate and Rebecca Frost started their effort two weeks before Christmas.

Becky encouraged co-workers to wear joke reindeer antlers with a donation going to Ben’s Den, set up in memory of Ben Parker who passed away in 2003 after a three-year battle with leukaemia, diagnosed when he was just 10. Becky is a friend of the family.

Rebecca encouraged others to join in and personally gave £125. The idea spread via social media and Dales Fabrications gave a donation with the effort topped up by a charity auction.

“It’s been a great result from everybody, including all at Dales,” said Becky. “We are really pleased.”

Erewash MP Maggie Throup, who was visiting Dales (Fri March 10) on a fact-finding mission after reading about the company’s work and success joined the two fundraisers in presenting a cheque for £1,200 to Kevin and Donna Hill, of the Ben Parker Trust Fund.

The charity helps support the families of children fighting leukaemia or cancer by gifting them a free holiday in caravans at Mablethorpe, Lincs, and allowing them to spend much-needed quality time away from hospital.

Maggie said: “It’s great that Dales have been able to support this local charity knowing that every pound will make a difference.”

Karl Prosser, managing director of Dales, said: “We very much hope that we will be able to continue supporting Ben’s Den in the coming years.”

The cheque was the first donation to the charity this year, according to Kevin. “This is a fantastic amount which will really help,” he said, adding that it would pay for the ground rent for one of the caravans for a year.


For more information contact Karl Prosser on 0115 930 1521.

Picture caption: (left to right): Becky Cross, Erewash MP Maggie Throup, Rebecca Frost, Karl Prosser, with cheque recipients Donna and Kevin Hill.

Story and picture courtesy of Dales Fabrications, Kevin Palmer Media Services and AE Media.

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Looking back at a few events what makes this charity so strong , and makes us so proud of you all.

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Mark Lynch , Raised £805 by riding 100 miles , Thank you Mark.

Northern Soul Against Cancer £1000 , wow Thank you so much

Ilkeston Woodside modal Railway club £75 thank you so Much

The Derbyshire Hotel £500 Thank you so much

Dave Howard from Big on Bike £512 for an open day with a few events , Thanks dave

Sean Hinds £802.50 for doing the Lincoln Triathlon , Brilliant Sean well done and thank you

Spanish Bar F,C Legends £167.90 Thank you

Fashion Show at Kirk hallam school raised a massive £714.90 well done and thank you all so much

Ilkeston town f.c Academy did the 3 peaks challenge

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Cinos give up there Box at DCFC

The generosity of Cinos made some youngsters (and their parents!) very happy. They donated their executive box to Ben’s Den for the Hull match. What a fantastic night! They were treated like VIPs, Rammie paid them a visit and Derby won 4-0. All went home happy.

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After the Great Mail robbery , they still manage a staggering £170 24th December 2015

Many thanks to the staff and customers at the Royal Mail Ilkeston, despite the collection bin being stolen, they have still managed to collect £170 for bens den. also special thanks to Long Eaton plant hire and many others who donated money to cover the theft.

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James Close runs the Berlin Marathon £1780.00 , 27th September 2015

Thank you James for your mammoth task in running the Berlin Marathon

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James Robinson Raises £446.25 in the Derbyshire sportive 20th September 2015

Thank you james for your hard work in the 100 miles you cycled around the peak district
to raise £446.25

seen here training on the Turbo trainer

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Ilkeston running Club raises £2056.11 for Ben’s Den , 11th September 2015

On the 11th September Ilkeston Running club Raced and raised £2056.11

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Gaynor Barker’s Triathlon for Ben’s Den , 8th August 2015 , £2853.23

On Saturday 8th August i will be taking part in my first Triathlon that is Olympic Distance which will consist of, a 1500m open water swim, followed by a 42k bike ride ending with a 10k run. I am raising money for a charity very close to my heart, The Ben Parker Trust Fund  At this time i am training 5 times a week and will need all the help and support i can get on my long training journey to raise funds for such a wonderful charity.

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