A big thank you to Julie Shipp with husband Clive. From left, Liz Walsh (Purfleet housing-related support worker), Paula Hall, Jason Hall (Purfleet health and wellbeing coach), carer Sarah Barwood and Jordan Peacock (Purfleet’s HR and compliance manager). Picture: Ian Burt

A fundraiser praised for her “wonderful and selfless” act has been presented with a trophy of thanks.

Julie Shipp, of Terrington St Clement, smashed her £2,500 target and raised just short of £4,000 to help the homeless earlier this year.

Mrs Shipp, 61, who has cerebral palsy and has been wheelchair bound for the last 17 years, used her special exercise bike to complete a virtual challenge of 544km – the equivalent of cycling to Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle.

She raised the money for King’s Lynn-based charity The Purfleet Trust saying she and her husband Clive, like many people, had “lots of challenges and problems to overcome” throughout their lives. 

“But we have been very fortunate to be well housed. It is unimaginable how difficult life would be without the security of somewhere to call home,” they said, explaining why Mrs Shipp had chosen to support The Purfleet Trust.

The charity, on Austin Fields, was humbled by Mrs Shipp’s efforts and decided to present her with a special trophy.

On Friday Mrs Shipp was designated “Purfleet Fundraising Champion 2021.”

Purfleet chief executive Paula Hall said the couple had a “special place” in their hearts.

She said Mrs Shipp was concerned about the welfare of others and had raised £3,618 for the charity’s health and wellbeing centre.

“Julie has her own challenges and for her to still be able to look beyond that and think of others, I think is incredible and selfless. She was so committed to our clients, she has got such a special place in our hearts, her and Clive.”

Mrs Hall said the couple, along with carer Sarah Barwood, came up with the virtual challenge after Covid restrictions meant an actual visit to Scotland couldn’t happen.

“They were motivated enough to undertake this project. How wonderful,” said Mrs Hall.

She said people connected with the trust followed Mrs Shipp’s progress on social media and one client made her cakes which she left on the couple’s doorstep.

After receiving her trophy, Mrs Shipp told Your Local Paper: “It was lovely to meet everyone at the Purfleet Trust. 

“I’m so pleased with my trophy, I really wasn’t expecting that, I will treasure it.”