A granny from Sutton discovered the benefits of porridge when she spent the night in police cells to raise vital funds for injured troops at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Gillian Parkes, who is 71 and lives in Streetly, was locked up at Sutton Coldfield Police Station while the cell block was closed for maintenance work.
The gran-of-three’s stay was as realistic as possible - she even had her mobile phone seized.
Gillian said: “I thought I’d be a little mischievous and so I hid my mobile phone in my waistband so I could keep in touch with my family, but the sergeant rumbled me.”
After changing into cell-block issue clothing, Gillian got a little rest before waking to a breakfast of porridge and hot chocolate.
“I slept until 4am and asked for a drink and to use the toilet. There was one in the cell but I didn’t use that.
“The porridge wasn’t the best I’ve ever tasted and the smell reminded me of the food my grandson feeds his pet guinea pig,” she laughed.
Gillian added: “It was a great experience and I’d like to thank everyone who made the experience possible. I’d ask everyone who hears about my story to donate what they can to such a worthy cause.”
Custody Sergeant Aaron Bell added: “Gillian was treated in the same way as any other person visiting the cells and wasn’t afforded any luxuries.
“I think it is the first time in my career I have dealt with someone so pleased and grateful to be locked up. I trust this is the last night Gillian will spend behind bars.”
Gillian has raised more than £730 and plans to do even more fundraising, taking on a military obstacle course at Whittington Barracks for her next challenge.
To make a donation to the Royal Centre For Defence Medicine Patient Welfare Fund please click on the ‘donate’ button or contact 0121 371 5371