A MEMORIAL fund in aid of Pendleside Hospice smashed through its £50,000 target at a gala dinner at Turf Moor.

At least £10,000 was raised when 200 people attended the Gail Simpson Memorial Gala dinner.


And one of the night’s wow factors was the auction of a £10,500 bathroom donated by Clearly Interiors, of Burnley, which was bought for £7,250 by former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and his wife Kathleen.

Gail’s husband Alan, deputy editor of the Lancashire Telegraph, said: “We had a fabulous night and it was the kind of event Gail loved attending so she would have been especially proud of her own fundraiser.

“A lot of people put a lot of effort and time into making the evening the success it was.

“When Gail passed away last November me and my daughters Laura and Hannah decided to raise £10,000 for Pendleside Hospice during 2015. So to pass the revised £50,000 target by the end of September shows both the popularity of Gail and the generosity of the people of Burnley.”

Hospice chief executive Helen McVey said: “When I took over in January I was told about Alan’s appeal but I never expected it to go as well as it has and I thank both Alan and his family for the work they have put in and the money they have raised.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

At the gala Alan gave special praise to Martin Creasor who raised £1,000 when he ran the Paris Marathon; Paul and Louise Anderson, of Jaycare, who donated almost £6,000 when they completed the London Marathon; and Anthony Fairclough and his commercial department at Burnley FC who raised almost £26,000 when they covered the Pennine10k.

Since then Becky and Catherine Lees have competed in the Great Northern Run and earned almost £900 for the fund.

At the gala dinner singer guitarist Alice Butterfield opened the evening as guests arrived.

Later diners saw BBC TV and radio personality Tony Livesey interview former Burnley manager Stan Ternent before comedian Phil Walker took to the stage.

Later 10-piece soul band Soul Convicts belted out a load of favourites including My Gail, a variation of Otis Redding’s My Girl.

During dinner table magician James Hutchinson worked the room while the evening and auction were compered by John Riding.