Big Pink Dress will be back on the South Tyneside roads this weekend to thank the health workers who saved his life

Charity champion Colin Burgin-Plews is planning a fundraising walk this weekend – to thank the health heroes who saved his life.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 1:10 pm

‘Big Pink Dress’ Colin only set up the ‘10k Rainbow Dress NHS Walk’ plan on Tuesday this week.

But he has already been inundated with messages from people in lockdown, wanting him to walk past their house and wave during his route round South Shields on Saturday.

The route for Colin’s walk is still being formulated, and it will raise money for the nationwide NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal which is gathering pace.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Colin pictured in hospital during his health scare and the dress he will be wearing for the fundraiser.

It aims to show thanks for the heroes of the health world who are battling to save lives during the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than £16million has been raised for the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal which wants to fund well-being packs and gifts for staff and volunteers on wards. It will also fund food deliveries; pay for the cost of travel, parking, and accommodation for NHS staff and for volunteers; and enhance the well-being of NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.

It’s target is to raise £100million and more than 5,000 people have already pledged their support.

Colin pictured in hospital during his health scare.

Colin said: “My walk might be a little help towards the appeal but every penny helps.”

Big Pink Dress has had so many messages of support that he is already thinking of spreading the walk over a few days.

He wants to fit in every street where people have asked him to visit and wave to children who are stuck inside under lockdown.

But that’s no chore for Colin who said: “The help I got from the NHS saved my life.”

Colin is determined to thank the health workers who saved his life.

After experiencing chest pains and numbness in his arm while at home, Colin went straight to South Tyneside District Hospital, where doctors told him he may have a problem with a valve in his heart, exacerbated by high blood pressure.

He had a scan and now has to take tablets to control the problem for the rest of his life.

Charity champion Colin Burgin-Plews in the rainbow dress he will wear for this weekend's charity walk.

And he added: “I am doing brilliantly now and that is down to these people. I might have to do this walk over two or three days but whatever I have to do, I will do it.

“I just want to do it for the NHS workers who are putting their lives on the line for us. There’s doctors dying and people are finally realising how serious it is.

“If I can do this and put a smile on people’s faces, then great. And I will be doing it while social distancing.”

“I know money is tight but if you can spare anything it will be truly appreciated.”

Colin Burgin-Plews pictured in 2017 at the Sunderland City 10k run.

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.

One of Colin's many amazing charity efforts was the 2016 Great North Run.