BAKERY boss Richard Waterfield devoted 400 hours of his own time and skills to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice and other hospices that serve the areas covered by his 49 shops.

Around 40 years ago the Waterfield’s chairman went to Berne in Switzerland to learn from one of Europe’s leading chocolatiers where he served an apprenticeship in the art of working with the finest chocolate.

This year he personally crafted two sizes of Father Christmas from the finest chocolate and each of the 49 Waterfield shops in the region have raffled one large and one small chocolate in aid of the hospices.

Richard said: “I have always supported our local Wigan and Leigh Hospice and as this was rolling out to all our shops, we decided to support hospices in each area, with all the proceeds going towards helping to continue the very specialist and skilled work they do.”

Each Father Christmas was moulded and hand-painted by Richard with four layers of food colouring and his wife Janet wrapped them.

Wigan and Leigh Hospice spokesman Edwin Matthews said, “What a terrific gesture of support. We want to give a very big thank you to Richard and Janet for all their effort. I learned that. A donation of £3,000 to Wigan & Leigh Hospice is exceptional.”