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Spiderman councillor talks charity to the King

Posted onPosted on 6th Jun

Outgoing Ashfield District Council chairman Coun Dale Grounds has thanked all those who supported his charitable causes during his year in office.

He attended more than 120 events and raised a total of £4,000 for his two chosen charities — the Nottingham Queen’s Medical Centre children’s hospital charity Ducklings, and men’s mental health charity Enlighten The Shadows.

The Kirkby councillor has been a supporter of Ducklings for 10 years, after he began visiting the hospital dressed as Spiderman to give a boost to young patients. It was something he started doing to soothe his son, Reece, who is autistic.

At the end of his year in office, Dale attended a royal garden Party at Buckingham Palace, where he met King Charles and they spoke about the charity work.

“The highlight of the day was chatting with the King himself. He noticed my Spiderman tie and we talked about all the charity work I do in children’s hospitals across Nottinghamshire,” said Dale.

“He then asked if I dressed as Spiderman wearing my chains of office and I told him I had — and we shared a laugh about it.”

The councillor has been made a trustee of Ducklings and will volunteer for Enlighten the Shadows.

Dale, who stood down at the authority’s annual meeting, handing over his chains of office to Coun Arnie Hankin, said it had been a privilege to serve Ashfield and represent the district.

Among Dale’s highlights of his 12 months as chairman was arranging for young Mansfield boy Harley Dargue, who he first met at the Queen’s Medical Centre, to spend the day with him as ‘vice-chairman’. Harley was born with kidney problems and received a donor organ from his father.

“It was fabulous seeing Harley so well and the event was a real highlight for me,” added Dale.

Other highlights were attending a service marking Merchant Navy Day and a visit to Nottingham Forest FC’s City Ground for a Boots and Beret Awards. That led to Dale being able to return to scatter the ashes of his father close to the Trent End stand. “It was a very touching moment for me to spend time with my dad and to show him that I had become chairman because I was able to wear my chains of office,” he added.

In December, he became a father for the second time with the birth of Miley Jade, and the then chairman ran a successful Christmas Toy Appeal for King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton, returning to the hospital on Christmas Day with council chief executive Theresa Hodgkinson to deliver Christmas cards, created by nursey children and residents of a care home.