Hugs for charity – Poole man raises money for Julia’s House with a cuddle

Bournemouth Echo: HELPING HANDS: Dennis Coyne has hugged strangers to raise cash for Julia’s House HELPING HANDS: Dennis Coyne has hugged strangers to raise cash for Julia’s House

A POOLE man has raised a couple of hundred pounds for charity by an unusual method.

Spurning marathons or skydives, Dennis Coyne has been paid to hug people. And it has proved to be a very effective way of making money.

The electrician from Sandbanks has raised more than £200 for Julia's House children's hospice by spreading a little affection.

Dennis asked for £1 a hug and wore a special T-shirt and neon face paint to advertise his fundraising stunt at the Isle of Wight Festival.

“I was going to ask for donations and take a picture of everyone who gave,” he said. “Then I came up with the idea of hugging them instead.

“I managed to get so many hugs I lost count in the end,” he added.

However he has set his sights high and is planning a more conventional and arduous way of raising money for the Dorset hospice. He is aiming to raise £20,000 for the charity through a number of different initiatives.

This will culminate in a 12-day, 120km trek through the Himalayas to the Mount Everest base camp in November, with his friend Terry Lowe.

“We have chosen a tough challenge to hopefully get people to put their hands in their pockets and help the families of these very ill children,” he said.

His total so far stands at £1,300, with more money coming in from doing small electrical jobs in return for donations.

However, Dennis will be continuing his “hugs for cash” campaign over four other festivals this summer, at Global Gathering, Creamfields, V Festival and Bestival.

To support Dennis go to justgiving.com/denniscoyne

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