Tom’s celebrity joke book raises cash in memory of his grandads

Comedians, celebrities and even the Royal Household have helped Tom Heyes write a joke book and raise £840 for charity in memory of his two late grandads.

Tom, aged 11, presented half to staff at the Medical Day Unit at Southport hospital where Peter Heyes, of Skelmersdale, was a patient until his death from leukaemia. The remainder went to the British Heart Foundation in memory of David Birchall, of Ormskirk. Both grandads were 67 and died within 18 months of each other.

Tom Hayes entertains staff at Southport Hospital with funny jokes from his book he made to raise money

The joke book was born when Tom, bored practicing his hand-writing the usual way, started writing out jokes instead.

“Soon I had lots of jokes and I thought it would make a great book because I wanted to raise some money in memory of my grandads,” said Tom, from Aughton, near Ormskirk.

He wrote a letter to 45 famous people asking them to contribute a joke, including a joke of his own:

Q. What do you call a man with a rubber toe? A. Roberto!

Jokes came back from celebrities including Harry Hill, Peter Kay and Lucy Meacock, and included this one from Peter Kay:

Shakespeare walks into a pub. The landlord says: “You’re bard!”

Staff from the Royal Household at Kensington Palace sent two pages of jokes on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen’s lady-in-waiting, Jennifer Gordon-Lennox, politely declined on Her Majesty’s behalf but did return the stamp addressed envelope “you so thoughtfully enclosed”.

Tom’s mum and dad, Neil and Claire Heyes, published 300 copies of the book through their family business Heyes Opticians and sold them for £3 each, every penny going to the two charities.

Neil said: “It’s been fantastic how supportive people have been and it’s great for Tom to have such another great memory of his grandads.”


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