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Driving charities in Staffordshire

323. Edwin Tipper

A farmer from Staffordshire who has raised over £200,000 for Staffordshire charities by holding an annual classic vehicle show.

Edwin Tipper, 66, has been running the Lupin Farm Classic Car Show at his farm in Orgreave since 1985 when it began as a small gathering of friends and family and a couple of cars. In 2014 the event was attended by more than 800 classic vehicles including cars, tractors, motorbikes and even a steam driven engine and raised over £11,000 for charity. The proceeds are divided between St Giles Hospice in Whittington Lichfield, who provide medical and nursing care as well as end of life care for cancer patients and the Midlands Air Ambulance which is funded purely on donations and saves hundreds of lives every year.

The gathering began 30 years ago when he and two friends decided to celebrate finishing the restoration of their classic vehicles. They had a Sunday afternoon get together with food and drinks for friends and fellow enthusiasts who enjoyed the afternoon so much that they collected £50 in donations by way of a thank you to Edwin for his hospitality, which he then passed on to St Giles Hospice. The following year there was demand from his friends to do it again and it then became an annual event that has grown steadily in numbers to the huge event it is today. People come from all over the UK to attend the gathering which is deliberately never advertised but people come having heard of it by word of mouth.

As well as raising funds for charity Edwin is very active in his community. He has educated and entertained children from local schools as well as numerous adult groups to include the U3A and a local Mental Health Group, as to life on a farm and he always includes a tour of his personal collection of classic cars and refreshments. For the last 13 years he has helped the Erasmus Darwin House Museum in Lichfield, providing them with a tractor and trailer for their float, which he helps to construct prior to the event,  to raise the Museums profile in the annual Spring Bank Holiday Lichfield Bower, which he then drives through the City in the parade in full costume.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Edwin has used his passion for classic cars to create a fantastic event for enthusiasts from all over the country. But what is really special about this show is not just the pleasure the Lupin Farm Classic Car show gives to exhibitors and visitors, it is the way the show has raised a huge amount of money for the causes it has supported over 30 years.  I hope this weekend’s show was equally successful, and I am delighted to recognise Edwin’s service by making him a Point of Light.”

Edwin said:

“I am totally amazed. I just get on with my daily life but I do enjoy helping people whenever and wherever I can. I didn’t realise that I was being noticed quite so much but I am delighted to receive this award and I would encourage anyone to think about how they can get involved in their local community or fundraise for worthy causes.”

MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant said:

“This award is well deserved.  Both Staffordshire charities have been supported by Edwin for 30 years and through his hard work and enthusiasm, he has raised over £200,000. His event has become an annual tradition in the constituency. Edwin Tipper is indeed a ‘Point of Light’ and this award recognises his endeavours.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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