Running legend Jarra Jim spreads Christmas cheer

Jim Purcell has donated �1,000 to The Percy Hedley Foundation.
Jim Purcell has donated �1,000 to The Percy Hedley Foundation.

Christmas has come early for disability charity The Percy Hedley Foundation thanks to legendary runner Jarra Jim.

The 95-year-old - whose real name is Jim Purcell - has donated £1,000 to the foundation, which works to improve the lives of disabled children, young people and adults across the region.

The Dunkirk war veteran from Jarrow, has supported Percy Hedley for many years - having raised cash by doing the Great North Run and has visited the foundation’s adult day service, Hedleys Able 2, in North Shields.

The service, based on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, houses a music studio called Soundscapes and Jim’s donation will be used to purchase specially adapted musical instruments.

Jim said: “I don’t need this money, but there are people out there who do.

“I save throughout the year and when the pot builds up I like to give it out just before Christmas.

“I’ve supported The Percy Hedley Foundation for a long time and I love to visit every now and then.”

He added: “They do great work with disabled people of all ages and hopefully the money will help them buy something useful.

Mary Gallen, support manager at Hedleys Able 2, said the donation will provide sensory equipment.

She said: “It’s a huge privilege to know Jarra Jim and we would like to thank him for all his fundraising.”