Big Pink Dress Man says thank you to South Tyneside NHS workers for saving his life

Big Pink Dress Man Colin Burgon-Plews said he was blown away by the community spirit in South Shields as he returned to his fundraising ways to say thank you to the NHS for saving his life.

Saturday, 4th April 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th April 2020, 1:09 pm
Big Pink Dress returns to fundraising in support of NHS staff who are battling to save lives during the Coronavirus pandemic

In light of Covid-19, Colin Burgin-Plews, who quit his charity work in 2019 to spend more time with his family, organised his 10k Rainbow Dress NHS Walk to say thank you for the support he received while suffering heart probems last year.

The walk which began at 9.10am, on Saturday, April 4, saw Colin leave South Tyneside Hospital and zig-zag his way through the streets of South Shields to make his way towards Horsley Hill in aid of the NHS Charities Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.

Colin said afterwards: “I just want to say a big thank you to everyone for keeping their social distancing rules, it’s been amazing – and a big thank you to everyone for their donations and things, you guys are amazing, you really are.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

‘Big Pink Dress’ Colin says he is blown away by the community spirit in South Shields and that he is so proud of his hometown as they rally behind him in support of his 10k Rainbow Dress NHS Walk.

“Today I’ve been blow away by the community spirit in South Shields.”

Colin was rushed to South Tyneside District Hospital in July last year after suffering a problem with a valve in his heart and high blood pressure.

He says the inspiration behind the walk is to say “thank you” to the health heroes who saved his life.

Colin went on to say: “I just want to say how proud I am of my hometown – I reckon we’ve got close to £800 and in two, three days that’s absolutely amazing. I’m so, so proud of you.”

Big Pink Dress Man Colin has been fundraising since 2014 – raising more than £104,000 for charity and has wearing 56 dresses along the way

But he confessed that this was one of the most difficult walks he has ever done because of all the different streets he walked down.

He added: “Thank you for all the support and the messages and thank you to everyone who put clothes on, because about 80% of the streets were wearing pyjamas but do you know what fair play to you.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.