Lift us up where we belong this Christmas

17th November 2022


Our first event in 3 years is hosted by lan Edwards and Paul Ffoulkes and we are joined by Guest Speaker Martin Ainscough, one of the Britain's most successful entrepreneurs. After selling Ainscough Crane Hire, the largest crane hire company in the UK, he founded the Ainscough Group of family-run businesses which include the pioneering Adventure Parc Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley. Our entertainer for the evening is Comedian Jamie Sutherland and in celebration and support of WBP member Paul Ffoulkes, who is taking on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro we hope you will help us boost much needed funds in aid of Nightingale House.


Ian took up his post as Chief Executive of Wrexham Council in August 2018 and for the previous fourteen years worked at a senior leadership level within large public service organisations in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North East Wales. Most recently, since 2014, this has been at Flintshire County Council as a Chief Officer leading successfully the development and implementation of a number of major strategic programmes.
Ian is committed to public service delivery and aims to work with partners, local communities and residents to build and deliver a clear vision that achieves outstanding results. Ian has lived in Wrexham for the last 20 years and is passionate about the current positive opportunities Wrexham and Wales provides and the potential for the future.

Ian Bancroft

Chief Executive, Wrexham County Borough Council
Martin Ainscough is one of the Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs.
He was one of nine children in a Catholic family and was brought up in the village of Wrightington on the outskirts of Wigan but he had zero interest in academic studies and left school aged 15 without any qualifications. What he did have, though, was a razor sharp business brain, bucket loads of determination and a “burning ambition” which he put to use working in the family’s scrap metal company.
His rise to the top in creating the biggest crane hire business in Britain has turned him into the stuff of corporate legend. Ainscough Crane Hire employed more than 1,000 people in a national network of 25 depots across the UK, with a total of more than 500 cranes.
The company played a part in a host of major landmark developments - from the Millennium Dome, to the new Wembley and London’s distinctive Gherkin building. With an uncanny sense of timing, he sold the company for a whopping £255 million a year before the 2008 crash. Far from retiring, he’s now busy at the head of a group of family companies involving his five children.
Among them is Adventure Parc Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley where they created the UK’s first inland surfing lagoon, a host of other attractions and a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.

Martin Ainscough

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Liverpool has a history for producing some of the countries finest comedy talent, and Jamie Sutherland can now be added to that fine list. A headline act on the comedy circuit, working for some of the countries finest clubs including Sheffield Last Laugh, Jongleurs, and Comedy Central. Jamie also provides pre match entertainment at Premiership clubs Stoke City and Wigan Athletic.
A very original act, who will keep you amused with gags, tales, and stories. Jamie is a modern act, with many observational topics, and up to date material, and don’t worry if you prefer a good old style gag, he has plenty of them thrown in, ensuring a performance that will touch everyone’s buttons. Jamie is one of only a few comics that can tailor his performance to suit your audience, extremely popular with corporate clients, and he’s equally at home performing to crowds at his nearby club.
He can be seen regularly at Brinsop Comedy Club, Bolton, were he has been resident compere since Nov 2005, he has supported some of the biggest names in comedy, and has gained a reputation as one of the rising stars of comedy with the sell out crowds, and his fellow comedians. Jamie has taken his show into Europe, entertaining the masses of holidaymakers, and in 2008 he stretched as far as Sydney, Australia.

Jamie Sutherland

Wrexham’s Nightingale House Hospice is a truly inspirational place and, having sadly lost family and friends, I have been privileged to witness at first hand the incredible support they provide at the most difficult of times.
After 15 years of fundraising with charity balls, music quizzes, and marathon bike rides from London to Paris and Vietnam to Cambodia, I was not looking for any more major challenges.
Then I was made an offer I could not refuse. Climbing Kilimanjaro was on my bucket list and the extreme trek was also the perfect way of celebrating my 40th anniversary with Barclays. Kilimanjaro, on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, is the largest free-standing mountain in the world and the summit rises to a lung-busting 5,895 metres. My wife, Katrina, and I joined a group of 22 trekkers following the Machame route, from the South through dense rainforests, moorland and desert over a journey that was essentially five days up and two days down.
We were supported by a team of 70 brilliant local guides and porters who were very hardworking and made us humbled to be in their company. The higher you ascend the greater the risk of altitude sickness and several members of the group were affected at different times.
The last day was brutal with a four-hour hike up to base camp, lunch followed by forced sleep in the afternoon before getting ready for our ascent at 1.00am with head torches. The next 7.5 hours was one of the toughest experiences I have encountered with temperatures starting at 0 degrees falling to -16 degrees with wind chill and terrain consisting of volcanic dust and steep gradients - all mixed with reduced oxygen so every breath was a struggle.
Eventually, we managed to reach the Uhuru Peak at 8.20 am and, wow, it really was worth it. The sunrise is a memory never to be forgotten and the glacier on the top is a wonderous sight.
We have raised £110,000 so far and I would like to thank everybody who has sponsored members of the team. It is greatly appreciated in these difficult times.

Paul Ffoulkes

Kilimanjaro Fundraising 2022

Relationship Director, Barclays North Wales and the Shires
Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham, is an independent charity, and the only hospice providing free, at the point of delivery, adult palliative care to those living in North East Wales and the corridor to Corwen, Bala and Barmouth. Our mission is to care for patients with life limiting and progressive conditions who live within the geographical area we serve. This year it will cost £4,041,617 to run Nightingale House, £11,073 every day. We only have a hospice in Wrexham thanks to the amazing community we serve with just 17% of our running costs received in statutory funding.Thank you so much for your support of Nightingale House this evening and congratulations to our Kilimanjaro trekkers. From us, and all who use us, you have our grateful thanks.
We welcome you to join us at our Strictly Nightingales event at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool on Saturday 26th November and at our Christmas concert celebration at St Giles Parish Church, Wrexham on Saturday 3rd December. For further details please contact a member of our fundraising team on 01978 314292.

Nightingale House Hospice