With just three weeks until Team Revolution set off on 'London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution' we meet Ian Derry who will ride the 500km journey with his son and has a very unique way of fundraising for Cure Leukaemia through the help of a certain Sherlock Holmes...
I first got involved with raising money for Leukaemia charities about five years ago when a friend’s 18-year-old niece was diagnosed. With my friend and his niece based down in Portsmouth (and having grown up there myself) we started running the Great South Run to raise money.
I’ve always tried to keep fit but I’m not a natural runner so found the training hard and at times the fundraising was even harder especially after the second or third race when I’d already done a lot of begging!
I am a photographer by trade specializing in celebrity portraits and sport and one day had the idea that I might be able to use this to help my fundraising.
I decided to auction some of my celebrity portraits as limited edition prints that I numbered and signed. I had done a shoot with the actor Tom Hiddleston and knew from the response when I tweeted out the picture that he had a very enthusiastic fan base. Tom very kindly agreed to sign three for me to help boost their value and I sold these along with another version that was un-signed.
My plan worked and I was able to quickly raise a significant amount of money – in the thousands – with out solely relying on friends and family to put their hands in their pocket.
I also did a few triathlons to raise money and quickly realised that I much preferred the cycling. I got excited, bought a nice bike and all the gear and enrolled in a London to Paris ride for June 2014.
Having recently done a shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for Sherlock, I once again I had an amazing reaction to the pictures from the fans. This time I sold a limited edition portrait of Benedict – 40 prints at £100 each on top of my usual fundraising. This quickly adds up and it felt amazing to use my job to boost the funds.
I trained hard for four months and then the week before the event (two miles from the end of my final training ride) a car turned right in front of me and I ploughed straight into the side of it.
I ended up in hospital for a week with multiple fractures to my right collarbone which need to be pinned and plated as well as I have three fractured ribs and a torn lung so taking part in the ride was obviously out of the question.
I was gutted to miss the event but was still able to raise a decent amount and because of the pictures I didn’t feel too bad about taking people’s money without actually doing the ride!!
After a long road back to fitness I wanted to attempt the trip to Paris again to put last year’s accident behind me.
I knew Paul Morton from previous rides and when he mentioned that Cure Leukaemia had a ride to Paris in June 2015 I started to think about taking part. Initially I was reluctant as this conversation was recent and meant I’d only have six training weeks until the event...
In the end I thought why not!
It would be almost exactly a year since my accident so seemed like a sign but I had to think about how I could raise as much money as possible.
My son Tom’s mother has also been diagnosed with Leukaemia, which makes the cause even more poignant. Because of this, and to support his old dad, Tom aged 20, agreed to do the ride with me.
After the popularity of the Benedict / Sherlock shots last time I thought I would try again with some different images from the same shoot. To add value I thought I would ask Benedict if he would sign them. I contacted his management and explained what had happened last year and what I was trying to do this year and Benedict very kindly signed nine prints (three each of three different shots).
I decided to auction them on eBay and Cure Leukaemia were able to get set up with them as a listed charity so 100% of the proceeds would go directly to them. So far the first has amazingly sold for £455 and the second for £510. If this trend continues I should be able to raise a decent amount for the charity.
On top of this Andrew Scott who plays Moriaty in Sherlock has agreed to also sign 10 portraits that I shot of him for BAFTA that will help even more.
My Just Giving page is https://www.justgiving.com/Ian-Derry6 and my Ebay prints can be found by searching my name and Sherlock on the site.
See you in Paris,
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