Retired Matlock couple craft hundreds of log snowmen to help hospice

Tom Cole and his wife Joyce have been busy making snowmen to raise money for Ashgate Hospice at the charity's Christmas fair next month.
Tom Cole and his wife Joyce have been busy making snowmen to raise money for Ashgate Hospice at the charity's Christmas fair next month.

A retired couple from Matlock have spent the best part of a year crafting hundreds of log snowmen to raise money for a north Derbyshire hospice.

Tom and Joyce Cole are donating their creations to Ashgate Hospicecare, ready to be sold at the charity’s Christmas market on Saturday, November 17.

The couple’s granddaughter Sophie works as a nurse at the hospice, and the project has been a family affair in more ways than one.

Joyce, 72, said: “We saw something similar at Chatsworth Christmas fair last year, and Tom thought he would have a go at making them too — just as decorations for the grandchildren at first.”

The idea snowballed when people started admiring Tom’s handiwork, and so he decided to keep on making them in his home workshop.

Joyce said: “He just thought he would make a few more last winter, and even if Sophie only sold a handful it would help the hospice a little.”

Instead, the couple have lost count of the hours spent working on the collection.

Joyce said: “He likes making things. Neither of us wants to be idle and sit watching television. Any time it was raining and we couldn’t be out in the garden, he would pop into the workshop for an hour.

“I start knitting the scarves and putting the faces on, and my daughter and granddaughters got involved in it as well.”

She added: “The only challenge is getting logs the right size to cut up. I’ve no idea how much time and effort has gone into this, but we have enjoyed it and we’ll probably do it again next year.”

The Christmas market is being held at the hospice on Ashgate Road, 11am to 3pm, and promises gift stalls, a Santa’s grotto, food and music.

For more information, visit https://goo.gl/LJK6p2.