Ian and Tina Turtle, of Newark, in Cape Verde with hotel worker Ussumane, who was thrilled when the couple gave him a new pair of sandals.
Ian and Tina Turtle, of Newark, in Cape Verde with hotel worker Ussumane, who was thrilled when the couple gave him a new pair of sandals.

A kind-hearted couple asked for donations for charity rather than presents at their wedding and then headed for their honeymoon with an extra suitcase full of items to help those in need.

Tina and Ian Turtle, of London Road, Balderton, were married in the Library Room at The Gilstrap  Register Office in Newark in a ceremony attended by 25 family and friends.

The couple agreed there was nothing they needed and so asked their guests to make a donation to charity instead of buying gifts.

A total of £325 was raised for Parkinson’s UK, a charity chosen because Tina’s brother, Mr Mick Wayte, was diagnosed with the condition 16 years ago.

Tina said they were all upset when Mick was diagnosed but that  he made the best of what was an awful condition and the family tried to carry on as normal.

“We are always there for one another when needed,” Tina said.

Ian and Tina on their wedding day
Ian and Tina on their wedding day

Their wedding was followed by a meal at the Everest Inn, Newark.

The couple’s honeymoon destination was Cape Verde.

Tina said they first visited Cape Verde in 2014 and fell in love with it. This will be their fourth time and they booked as soon as they returned last May.

“We decided to get married just seven weeks ago and turn this into our honeymoon,” she said.

On their first visit Ian saw Ussumane, a hotel worker, cleaning by their sunbed in worn-out flip-flops, which were two sizes too small.

Ian gave him a pair of new sandals he took with him and they fitted perfectly.

“You would have thought you had given him the earth,” said Tina.

“We soon learnt how poor these people are yet they are so happy and make us feel so welcome.”

'They are just so thankful'

This time the couple have taken baby and children’s clothes that are no longer needed by their family. They have also taken medication, plasters, creams and toothbrushes, along with jewellery and hair accessories.

The couple know the hotel staff so well they give the items directly to them.

The couple are already planning to return next year and hope to add children’s and adult’s reading glasses to their suitcase.

“Every time we visit we have taken clothes, medication and shoes. They are just so thankful,” Tina said.