Coronavirus: National garden camp-out raises £80k for NHS

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image copyrightMichael Rant
image captionNHS healthcare assistant Francesca Rant's husband and three children slept in a camper van in Norwich while she worked a night shift

Thousands of campers have slept in tents, camper vans and in their front rooms at home to raise money for the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

Ian Alcorn, from Nottinghamshire, came up with the idea for Saturday's Great British Camp-Out when thinking of ways to entertain his children.

People who took part were asked to donate £2 to a JustGiving page and more than £80,000 has been raised.

The money raised will go to NHS Charities Together.

image copyrightIan Alcorn
image captionLucy and Ian Alcorn and their two children made their garden cosy with fairy lights and a fire

Mr Alcorn, from West Bridgford, said he initially thought could make about £100 so was "thrilled to bits" by how much money was raised.

The 46-year-old added: "It has completely surpassed my expectations. It is quite emotional."

Mr Alcorn, who camped out with his wife Lucy, and two children Lola, 12, and William, seven, said the response on the Great British Camp-Out Facebook page was "phenomenal", with people asking if they can "keep their pitch" and camp again on Sunday.

image copyrightJenny Kyson
image captionEmma Kyson, five, joined in with her parents and sister in Swindon, Wiltshire

There was entertainment streamed through Facebook live during the evening including a quiz, yoga class, a 1980s band and singer Richard Howell.

"It was like a party in the back garden," Mr Alcorn said.

image copyrightBurnett family
image captionAdrian and Rachel Burnett made their living room in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, their camp site

Jenny Kyson, 44, of Swindon, Wiltshire, said: "It feels like we have had a break. It was a much-needed distraction from the seriousness of Covid-19."

Michael Rant, from Norwich, who camped out with his three children, said it was a "great idea" and "raised loads for NHS".

"We are hoping they do it again next weekend as the kids loved it. It would, of course, been even better with friends joining us but FaceTime had to do," said the 38-year-old.

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