A great grandad has raised more than £6,000 in seven years for Rosemere Cancer Foundation by dressing up as Santa in the run up to Christmas.

For the last seven years, Ian Ponton has dressed up in a Santa costume to hold bucket collections in local stores in the final run-up to Christmas.

For Christmas 2023, Ian held his fundraiser at Burnley’s Briercliffe Road Iceland supermarket.

Retired foundry worker Ian, who lives in Briercliffe Road and has a son and a daughter, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, said: “I do it as pay back. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer seven years ago.

“I had treatment at Rosemere Cancer Centre and received the all clear. It’s my way of saying thank you for the care I received.”

He’s worn the same outfit at Lidl in Colne Road and the town centre’s Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco branches.

Altogether, Ian’s collections have raised a massive £6,124.80 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Sue Swire, fundraising manager for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, said: “Ian is amazing.

"He organises his own costume and his own collections. We are very grateful to him and to everyone who has ever added to his collection bucket.

“Ian’s supported us through organising a charity bowling tournament at St Andrew’s Bowling Club in Burnley and in other ways too but he’s a Rosemere legend when it comes to bucket collections!”

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The patients are treated not only at Rosemere Cancer Centre, which is the region’s specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, but also at another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties, including Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

The charity funds cutting-edge equipment, clinical research, staff training and innovative services and initiatives that the NHS cannot afford in order to make patients’ cancer journey more effective, comfortable and stress-free.