Public toilet honesty box on beach near Bridlington raises over £1,500 for local Motor Neuron Disease charity

The public toilet is situated next to The Cowshed, on Fraisthorpe beach, and has raised over £1,500 through people using the facility.
Left to right: Tony and Chysta Newman, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group;  Mark Jackson, owner of The Cowshed; Jane Tye, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group Liaison; Derek and Diane Edwards, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group.Left to right: Tony and Chysta Newman, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group;  Mark Jackson, owner of The Cowshed; Jane Tye, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group Liaison; Derek and Diane Edwards, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group.
Left to right: Tony and Chysta Newman, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group; Mark Jackson, owner of The Cowshed; Jane Tye, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group Liaison; Derek and Diane Edwards, MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group.

The public toilet is maintained by the owners of The Cowshed at no cost to the public, however an honesty box for donations is located within for those to donate if they wish.

The owners of the Cowshed select a charity important to them to support each year. Since owner Mark Jackson has taken over the fund, it has raised approximately £25,000 to support charities in the region.

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The Yorkshire coast MNDA (Motor Neuron Disease Association) supports those diagnosed with and those affected by MND across the coast and was the chosen charity for 2023. This group in particular was selected in honour of Chrysta Newman’s late mother, Yvonne Sparks, who passed away in November 2023.

The public toilets at Fraisthorpe beach are free to use, but a charity box has been used to fundraise for groups that support the local community.The public toilets at Fraisthorpe beach are free to use, but a charity box has been used to fundraise for groups that support the local community.
The public toilets at Fraisthorpe beach are free to use, but a charity box has been used to fundraise for groups that support the local community.

Mark Jackson, owner of The Cowshed, said: “We maintain them ourselves at no cost to the general public and my parents decided to start a charity box for the use of the toilets. It was well received and over the years we have raised quite a lot of money for various different causes.

“We donated to MND in 2004, and then again in 2018. The 2018 donation is in honour of one of friends that I played Rugby with who has sadly died of MND- he wasn't even 50 years old.

“Then we have Chrysta’s mum as well, who was supported by the Yorkshire Coast Group, which of course was the inspiration for our fundraiser in 2023.

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“Since me and my wife Michelle have taken over, and for my mum and dad as well, it is something that is very close to our hearts. We try to spread the funds around as much as we can.

The owners of The Cowshed maintain the toilets free of charge, and they organise the honesty box and choose a special local charity every year.The owners of The Cowshed maintain the toilets free of charge, and they organise the honesty box and choose a special local charity every year.
The owners of The Cowshed maintain the toilets free of charge, and they organise the honesty box and choose a special local charity every year.

“We ideally want the funds to go to local charities, not just the big national ones.”

Chrysta Newman, part of the MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group, said: “The Yorkshire coast group were the people who supported us when my mum was ill.

“It is really good that the money raised by the community here at Fraisthorpe is going back into supporting locally with MND.

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“The group is about wellbeing, so obviously as a carer you need to take look after your own personal wellbeing so that you are in peak condition to care.

Visitors to Fraisthorpe beach who have donated to the honesty box in the public toilets have raised over £1,500.Visitors to Fraisthorpe beach who have donated to the honesty box in the public toilets have raised over £1,500.
Visitors to Fraisthorpe beach who have donated to the honesty box in the public toilets have raised over £1,500.

“Being able to take time out of that caring situation and doing something else for an hour is real therapy.

"We weren't eligible for any funding from the local authority for any changes that needed to be made for our home, so we had to self fund.

“The Yorkshire Coast MNDA group supported us with some lifestyle grants, so they helped fund purchases that helped us make my mum’s environment lovely and useful for her.

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“We got support from the group so that mum could get things ticked off her basket list as well. The money that has been raised it is quite difficult to put into words how much it means. Every little bit helps and supports those who are going through this.”

Derek Edwards, who was diagnosed with MND in 2017 and is part of the MNDA Yorkshire Coast Group, said:”What we are really interested in is the social aspect of the group because people who have MND very badly can become very isolated and can’t get out. So our group is a very positive group - we have monthly meetings alternately in Bridlington and Scarborough and it is somewhere that people can look forward to going to.

"It is important for other people as well, such as those who have lost a spouse to MND. Some people lost someone close to them a few years ago but they still come to the group because it is important to them.

“The funds will go towards supporting the local community in any way that we can – for example procuring aids, breaks away, help with funding, massages, and more.”

Visit here https://www.facebook.com/groups/606844936083427/ for more about the Yorkshire Coast MNDA group and visit https://thecowshedatfraisthorpe.co.uk/ for more about The Cowshed.

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