South Shields Big Pink Dress fundraiser helps WI celebrate its 86th birthday

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews at the Washington Concord W1 birthday.
Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews at the Washington Concord W1 birthday.
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Women’s Institute members were in the pink as they celebrated their 86th anniversary.

Members of Washington Concord Women’s Institute celebrated birthday with a visit from legendary South Tyneside fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews - Big Pink Dress man.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews at the Washington Concord W1 birthday

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews at the Washington Concord W1 birthday

About 100 members and friends turned out to the group’s birthday party at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church to hear from charity campaigner.

The event saw the Breast Cancer Now fundraiser speak to those gathered on how he started his campaigning for the charity.

Colin said: “I was first asked by the Sisters of South Shields WI to talk to them about breast cancer fundraising and since then I have been asked by different branches thought the area to give talks.

“The Washington branch asked me to come up and talk about what I do to celebrate their 86th birthday.

“It was a really good event and they gave me a really nice welcome. They were also collecting for the charity. It was really good fun.”

The 48-year-old, from West Harton, South Shields, has done numerous events for the charity in various Big Pink Dresses, including the Great North Run.

Earlier this year he started off the Siglion Sunderland City 10k run and has been known to hold events including Big Pink Dress fashion shows and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Over the last three years the dad-of-one has raised about £50,000 for the charity by making and wearing the flamboyant dresses to such events.

Acting as the WI spokeswoman, member Maureen James said it was a fantastic day.

“We had a fantastic day, it was really brilliant having Colin there,” she said.

“His talk was fantastic and I think it is because he puts his heart and soul into it.

“There was a lot of emotion on the day because we have had quite a few members who have had breast cancer or have lost someone to it.

“So there were some sombre moments, but there was also a lot of fun and laughter.

“Every single person said what a wonderful man he is.”

On the day members managed to raise £100 for the charity and also enjoyed entertainment from belly dancing group The Raqsettes.

The group is made up of belly dance teachers and performers from the region.

WI members the Pink Ladies also made a Big Pink Dress and performed the song Sisters. The event also featured craft stalls and refreshments.

Ms James added: “It was a fantastic day and it was great to see Colin all dressed up.

“He delivered a blinder of a speech, he was absolutely brilliant.

“Everybody went to town with the pink theme and we raised money for breast cancer.”