£61 in change found during demolition of public toilets in Banbury town centre donated to Katharine House Hospice
and live on Freeview channel 276
The toilet had fallen into disrepair and had been closed for some time. In the wake of the new public toilets opening in Castle Quay shopping centre, Cherwell District Council decided to demolish it and replace it with a new pitch for a street trader.
Banbury-based contactors Hawkins carried out the demolition work and discovered the pile of coins, which appeared to have fallen through a gap in the coin collection box.
The council has donated the sum to Katharine House Hospice, which provides specialist palliative care for adults with life-limiting conditions.
The council chairman, Cllr David Hughes, has added £100 to the contribution and Hawkins is donating another £100.
Cllr Hughes said: “This was an unusual find by our contractors and although it is a small sum of money, these are really 610 small donations from the generous local people who had used the facility, to Katharine House.
“The hospice is one of my chosen charities for my term as chairman because I know how valued their work is in Banbury and the wider community.
"That fundraising work has had to be paused because of the coronavirus restrictions so I am pleased that these donations can go their way at this time and look forward to supporting them more in future.”
Laura Horton, partnerships and philanthropy manager at Katharine House Hospice, said: “The team at Katharine House Hospice were amazed to hear about this unusual find.
With all sorts of fundraising activities cancelled for 2020, we were delighted to be the benefitting charity for this donation, and grateful to Cllr Hughes for showing his personal support too.
"It is heart-warming to know that people are still thinking of our nursing, medical, catering and domestic teams in these very difficult times.”
The nearest alternative public convenience is in the Castle Quay shopping centre, including the Changing Places facility that was opened in November.
The public toilet at Banbury Cross is also still open.