A big-hearted man whose novel approach to fundraising involves Jaguars and stickers has raised over £150,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in just three years.
Stuart Dixon has covered one of his prized fleet of Jaguars with stickers bearing the names of people and businesses – with a second car already half full.
Those who want their name featured on one of his cars are asked to pay for the privilege, with all proceeds going to Bluebell Wood.
The retired businessman, affectionately known as Jaguar Man, puts his success and fundraising feats down to single-minded determination.
Growing up on a family farm which eventually become part of Cottam Power Station, Stuart went on to work as a driver for various plant and tool firms. It was then he struck upon the idea that would allow him to plough his own furrow.
“I’d always had ambition so I decided to try hiring them out for myself,” said Stuart, 73, from Retford.
“So I bought a lot of machinery and started hiring it out, but still driving at the same time.
“Then my son finished college and joined me, and there was so much work I had to quit driving and take it up full time.
“We went from nothing to being the biggest hire firm in Bassetlaw.”
Three years ago, Stuart said an emotional goodbye to the firm he’d built from scratch when he decided to sell-up and retire.
Since then, he’s very had little in the way of downtime, instead throwing himself into fundraising.
“For the past 30 years I’ve raised money for charities,” he said.
“Once I’d retired my son said that I should focus on one charity when it comes to the Jaguars.
“I looked at all the charities I’d supported over the years, who are all brilliant and I still support in other ways, but it had to be Bluebell Wood.
“It’s an amazing local charity which makes such a huge difference to so many local families.”
Stuart’s unorthodox approach to fundraising started with charging people to sit in his Jaguars at car shows. After an early morning moment of inspiration, he decided to change tack.
“I woke up at 4am one morning asking myself if people would write their names on my cars for money,” he said.
His idea soon turned into cash for Bluebell Wood, with his natural talent for drawing people in helping him consistently surpass the various eye-watering targets he set for himself.
“It’s not just car shows – country shows, restaurant openings, you name it,” said Stuart.
“I’ll go anywhere I’m invited. I went to the paper shop on Sunday morning and sold them 20 pounds worth of stickers.”
Stuart, who admits he’s “loving every minute of it”, hopes to raise £250,000 for Bluebell Wood by the end of his mission next year, assisted by his Communications Manager Marie Lowe and a team of volunteer drivers.
When asked if he’ll eventually settle down and relax in his retirement, he said: “I have one more idea which will blow people away – but that’s all I’m telling you. Watch this space.”
Mel Rose, Community Fundraiser for Bluebell Wood, said: “Stuart is one in a million!
“His energy, determination and commitment to raising funds for Bluebell Wood is just incredible and it really does make a huge difference to local families.
“It costs over £4 million each year to keep our doors open so the support of fundraisers like Stuart and his team of volunteer drivers really is incredibly important.
“We can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve.”
You get your name on one of Stuart’s Jaguars, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sherwoodjaguarracing. You can read more about his exploits on his ‘Sherwood Jaguars’ facebook page.