Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry and Banbury Guardian editor Jason Gibbins have handed over a £500 donation to the town’s mental health charity Restore.
The donation follows a bet made between Sir Tony and Mr Gibbins following publication of a story in the May 8 edition of the Banbury Guardian that reported Mr Baldry had landed a directorship paying £1,000 an hour for Werner Capital, a company which advises overseas investors on the UK property market.
Mr Gibbins said: “On the back of the story I rather foolishly predicted in print that the issue in question would be the best selling Banbury Guardian in the first half of this year!
“If I was wrong I promised I would hand over an hour of my salary to charity – but if I was right, Sir Tony agreed he would hand over an hour of his earnings from Werner Capital! Predictably, I lost the bet, but rather than letting me face the public humiliation of revealing my hourly earnings Sir Tony very kindly and very graciously offered a significant sum of his own to increase the charity donation to £500.”
Mr Gibbins added: “While I eventually donated more than an hour of my salary, the vast majority of the donation has been made by Sir Tony so I would like to thank him firstly for being such a good sport in agreeing to the bet and secondly for making such a generous donation to support Restore – despite the fact that he won our bet!”
Sir Tony and Mr Gibbins visited Restore’s premises in Calthorpe Street on Friday to hand over the cash, which will be put towards its services helping people with mental health problems to recover and get work.
Sir Tony said: “Restore is a great organisation, providing support for people in the community. It has a great studio at the top of Calthorpe Street which is easily accessible and allows all sorts of people to do such things as restoring furniture and make greeting cards.
“As well as the studio the charity has an allotment on Spital Farm. These are people who, for different reasons, find life stressful and gardening is a fantastic therapy. If by going to Restore, Jason and I can help flag up the charity then that’s a good thing.”
The charity is hosting an open day at the site on Calthorpe Street on Saturday, July 19 from 11am to 4pm. Call 0845 250 0518 for details.