Charities Come Together In St Helens Town Hall For Local Charities Day 2017

As part of Local Charities Day 2017, St Helens Council had the honour of opening the town hall doors up to several of the borough’s inspiring charities for a celebration event to highlight the incredible work they do.

Organised by the council and Chocolate Orange Challenge founder, Chris Lamb, the Make a Difference Friday event welcomed a number of charities – including the Mayor’s charity St Helens Mind; Willowbrook Hospice; the Steve Prescott Foundation; HoneyRose Foundation and the Hope Centre – into in the town hall’s assembly room for a morning of fundraising fun.

Special guests included local boxing favourite Martin Murray, war veteran Andy Reid, former Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe MBE, and Saints mascot Boots – while entertainment was on offer from the Corpus Christi School Choir and breakdancing group, the UC Crew.

Chris, from Rainford, set up the nationally-recognised Chocolate Orange Challenge in 2011 following the loss of his four-year-old son Elliott the previous year to a condition called Congenital Cytomegalovirus.

While Elliott was in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Chris bought a chocolate orange as a thank you to one of the physiotherapists for their kindness, care and compassion.

Word soon got around among other medical professionals, and Chris ended up buying more and more every time Elliott was in hospital.

Following Elliott’s death, Chris decided he wanted to do something positive to cherish his memory, and so came up with the idea of collecting as many chocolate oranges to be shared with hospital staff nationwide.

To date, nearly 30,000 treats have been donated.

Around 3,000 chocolate oranges were on display in the town hall assembly room earlier this morning, ready to be delivered – along with roughly another 5,000 – to hospitals and hospices across the North West.

Hailing the day a success, Chris said: “Last year I was fortunate enough to host my Chocolate Orange Challenge event in the fabulous St Helens Town Hall which was a huge success, and so the idea came about how amazing it would be to have several of the borough’s extraordinary charities under one roof for a celebration of their achievements.

“I didn’t think last year’s event could be topped in terms of turn out, so to see so many people, schools, charities and other organisations come out in force to support this event is very overwhelming and fills me with pride.

“I’d like to thank St Helens Council for their immense support and for allowing me and so many of our incredible charities to showcase the work we do to the people of St Helens. It’s a memory that will live with me for a very long time.”

We spoke with Chris this monring, who added “It went so well yesterday having so many people getting involved with the deliveries, going to the MEN to show our support for them, getting to Manchester with the SPF and I know Linzi Prescott, Martin Murray got so much out of it themselves.”

“To think this started off with one chocolate orange and we have now donated over 30,000 is absolutely mind blowing. To have so much help this year was incredible. The singers kerrie ann lomas, abbie daley, jess outten and the Corpus Christi Choir stole the show. They were so kind coming to the town hall. And the help from friends and family delivering too was really special.”

View the photos and videos below to see how the day panned out……




















































































































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