South Shields’ Big Pink Dress fundraiser gets a new look

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.
Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.

A little girl’s design dreams have come true after her dress was chosen from hundreds of others to be worn by Big Pink Dress fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews.

The Breast Cancer Now campaigner teamed up with the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear branch of Co-op Funeralcare to launch a competition to get youngsters from across the region to design his next costume.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.

The Co-op handed out flyers to dozens of primary schools and after-school clubs, asking children to create a dress to be worn by the fundraiser when he took part in the Great North 10k run in Gateshead last Sunday.

Nine-year-old Caitlyn Hughes was chosen as the winner for her summery design depicting a natural landscape, featuring flowers, grass and the sun.

The youngster, from the after-school club at Boldon Independent Methodist Church, was then surprised this week by Colin himself who was wearing the dress of her design.

Colin, from West Harton, in South Shields, spent a week making the dress. He said: “As soon as I saw her dress I knew that was the one.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with competition winner Caitlyn Hughes, nine.

“It was lovely and bright.

“She was over the moon when she found out she had won and started describing it all to me, it was just lovely.

“I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Co-op for running the competition, they have been brilliant.
“And thanks to BST Fabrics in Tyne Dock who have donated material for the dress.”

Cheryle Waters, admin arranger from the Co-op, said they were delighted with the response to the competition.

She said: “We opened it up to schools and after-school clubs across the region, right up to Northumberland, back in April.

“We had dozens of schools take part.

“All of the children had tried so hard and put so much detail into them - right down to the earrings he should wear.

“Caitlyn had no idea she had won and saw her design for the first time on Colin. She is a lovely little girl and was really excited to have won.

“We are hoping to do it again next year.”