Twenty-one deserving causes from Burnley have been awarded a share of £10,000.
The massive sum was raised by television personality Jeff Brown when he completed last year’s Pennine 10K organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All. The money was given to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal who then handed it over to charities and groups at a special ceremony at Burnley Mechanics theatre.
Jeff lost more than seven stones to take on the run after accepting a challenge thrown down by Lancashire firm Premier Range, which pledged to donate £10,000 to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal if he completed the race.
He crossed the finishing line in one hour 37 minutes and organisations with charitable status were invited to make bids for a share of the cash pot to support one of their projects.
A five-strong panel including Jeff, Burnley Express editor Mr Chris Daggett, and representatives from Burnley Borough Council, Run For All and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal carefully assessed all the applications before choosing which organisations to support.
The good causes awarded grants were: Macular Society Burnley Support Group, £400; Greenbrook Methodist Church Youth Groups, £250;Pendle Dogs in Need, £250; Girl Guiding Burnley division, £500; 352 (Burnley) Air Cadets £550; Rosehill Baptist Church, £400; Burnley Tornados American Football Club,£425; St Cuthbert’s Church, £750; League of Voluntary workers at Burnley General Hospital, £250; Cliviger Village Hall Management Committee, £500; Burnley Methodist Circuit, £500; The Prince’s Trust, £250; Burnley Prostate Cancer Scanner Appeal, £1,000; Furniture for Education Worldwide, £250;
Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, £750; The Catholic Fellowship for the Handicapped, £725; East Lancashire People First, £250; British Red Cross, £250; 1st Briercliffe St James Scout Group, £1,000; Emmaus Burnley, £250; Dyneley Group Riding for the Disabled, £500.
Jeff said: “For some reason the gentleman from Premier Range said he’d give me £10,000 to give to charity. If you set a challenge like that to a man from Burnley you’re having it. Eighteen months ago I was 21 stones. If you do something in Burnley, people support you. I’m so proud of my town.”
Siobhan Curtis, Jane Tomlinson Appeal legacy manager, said: “We were delighted at what Jeff achieved in taking on the challenge and it is entirely fitting that so many good causes in Burnley are receiving a share of the £10,000 to support their excellent work.”
Mr Peter Pike, chairman of Emmaus, said: “We’ve got a lot of needs at the moment and we have a budget shortfall this year.
“The funds that are available are tighter and more and more people are bidding for the money that’s available. There are always bits and pieces we need to pay for. This is a very welcome donation.”
Pat Osbaldeston and Diane Ireland were at the presentation to collect the donation awarded to the Prostate Scanner Appeal.
The appeal was launched a year ago by Burnley MP Mr Gordon Birwistle to buy equipment for Burnley General Hospital as well as a portable prostate scanner and bladder scanner to be used in the community.
Secretary Pat said the response to the appeal had been phenomenal and the latest donation was the icing on the cake.
“We have had so much support and this is wonderful. Gordon has had people going up to him in the street offering money.”
Other groups said they will use the cash to fund new roofs, tents, ropes, and other vital equipment.
Mr Mick Cartledge, from Burnley Council, added: “We wanted to really promote Burnley, to get people physically active and to help good causes and we’ve achieved all three. Last year people said it was the best 10K they’ve done.
“This year, it’s going to be even better.”
Last year runners from across the North of England descended on the town to take part in the inaugural race.
This year’s Asda Foundation Pennine Lancashire 10K will take place on Sunday, June 22nd, when 2,500 people will pound the streets of Burnley.
For more details and to enter go to www.runforall.com.