"My dad was a bit of a comedian; it was a complete coincidence that I found out that World Laughter Day this year would be on May 7th. Dad would have been 84 on this day."

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When Joanna’s father, Allan Ripley, tragically passed away in December 2013, she ensured that his legacy of kindness and compassion lived on through her actions. With one of the quirkiest fundraisers we’ve been presented with to date, Joanna Ripley-best known to her family and friends as Jojo, is selling herself (her laughter that is!)to raise funds for Big Issue North Trust. Joanna explains, “My family and I miss Dad every single day so, I wanted to find a way to perpetuate his kindness.”

When asked about how she came up with her out-the-box fundraising technique, Joanna said, “One of my friends recorded my laughter years ago for a joke and it all fell into place!” Joanna is now selling her laughter in the form of a captivating ringtone. Joanna explains, “£0.99p for a ringtone of my cackle is affordable for most, so I thought I would sell it via launching The Allan Ripley Foundation. Only 8,000 people need to buy it for us to reach the target!”

Taking an active role in her fundraising mission, Joanna is scheduled to visit the Leeds office to meet the vendors on Saturday June 3rd. Spending some time on a pitch later in the day, Joanna will experience a snapshot of what life is like as a street paper vendor with someone who sells the magazine.

When asked why she had selected Big Issue North Trust as her nominated charity, Joanna stated, “My Dad was all about being kind and fair. He worked for many years for Royal Mail and during that time was a representative for the Union of Communication Workers. He knew the magazine is allowing many people to make an honest living with dignity. He also simply enjoyed reading it.”

Joanna hopes funds raised would be used in a way which constructively benefits individuals on their journey, “Dad would have wanted the support to be given in practical ways to return to work. So, we would like to be able to fund 20 passports, sets of clothing and back to work kits for the individuals that need it most. A Yorkshireman through and through, it makes sense for those people to be from the area. Even if we don’t raise the full £5k whatever is raised will be donated to Big Issue North in his memory.”

Joanna will be interviewed about her fundraising mission by Johnathan I’Anson on BBC Radio Leeds on Saturday, May 6th 2017 at 7.30am.

You can purchase this in-demand ringtone via the Allan Ripley Foundation. Alternatively, you can make a donation to Big Issue North Trust in Allan’s memory via Joanna’s JustGiving page.

Inspired by Joanna’s Story?

Find out how you can get involved with Big Issue North’s work.

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Interact: Responses to Daughter

  • Jojo Ripley
    04 May 2017 19:56
    Thanks Big Issue North! You rock!

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