A COUPLE have spent the last 64 years rattling collection tins - raising more than £4m for charity.
Dennis Matthews, 78, and wife Doreen, 75, of Leonard Street, Chester started collecting for charity in October 1943 for St John’s Ambulance.
Over the years they have also helped the RSPCA, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Chester Sea Cadets and the Chester Childbirth Appeal.
Dennis and Doreen have been happily married for 43 years and over that time they have raised a staggering, and carefully calculated, £4,406,128.87 for charity.
Dennis, a former divisional superintendant with St John’s ambulance, said: “Being in business management, you’ve got to be precise in everything you do!
“I met Doreen while I was a cadet in Colwyn Bay and she came down with Chester Nursing Cadets in 1943.
“I started collecting for St John Ambulance because you wanted money for uniforms and equipment.
“We’re getting on a bit now.”
In 2003, they were both awarded the Order of St John.
The couple have also helped to raise funds to buy specialist equipment for ambulances and hospitals, helped raise money for children with special needs and collected for coach trips for the elderly.
And they are not stopping yet. Despite Doreen having both knees replaced, they both are determined to continue collecting and often collect for more than eight hours on weekends, raking in £450 on average.
“We just need chairs now to catch our breath while we are collecting” Mr Matthews added.
“I hope to keep doing it for as long as I can.”
The pair are now turning their attention to Hope House Children’s Hospices and will be collecting at the entrance to Morrisons, River Lane in Chester to help local terminally ill children on December.