Charity champ Colin is in the pink after smashing £10,000 fundraising target

The Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with his five-year-old fan, Ruby Caulfield, who has become the 'Lil Pink Dress.
The Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews with his five-year-old fan, Ruby Caulfield, who has become the 'Lil Pink Dress.

Colourful fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews is in the pink after smashing his £10,000 target with time to spare.

The 47-year-old, of West Harton, South Shields, is known for his unusual attire.

I set myself a target of raising £100,000 in 10 years, but the way things are going I think I’ll raise it way before then. The support has been fantastic.

Colin Burgin-Plews

He became the Big Pink Dress for last year’s Great North Run, and set himself the target of raising £10,000 for Breast Cancer Now by the time this year’s event rolls around, and another £10,000 every year for the next decade.

Already Colin, who lives with fiancee Cath Burgin and son Ollie, has reached his goal for this year.

He said: “We’re doing each year from Great North Run to Great North Run and I can’t believe I’ve raised the £10,000 already, it’s up to about £10,500 actually.

“When I first signed up to do the Great North Run and saw that you had to raise at least £350, I was worried that I wouldn’t even manage to get that so it’s amazing how much it’s blown up – everyone has been so amazingly generous.”

Colin, who stands at 6ft 6in and weighs in at 19st has carried out a number of challenges in his handmade pink dress to raise funds for the organisation which carries out research into cancer, including the London Marathon and posing for a charity calendar.

He also has a copycat fundraiser in young Ruby Caulfield.

The five-year-old, from Killingworth, North Tyneside, has become the ‘Lil Pink Dress.

Colin said: “I met her and her mam Louisa at the launch of the Great North 10k. She had borrowed her mam’s phone and was trying to take a picture of herself with my in the background.

“Her mam came over and said Ruby loved me and asked if I’d get a picture with her. I said of course I would and Ruby told me she loved my dress and that I looked beautiful. That’s the last thing I expected to hear dressed like that.

“I asked her if she’d like a dress of her own and she said she would so I made her an exact replica. She’s just adorable, and I think she’s going to do the Junior Great North Run this year.”

Colin will again be donning his famous outfit for this year’s event, on September 13, where he’ll be running alongside fellow fundraiser ‘Big’ Jon Green.

Colin said: “We’re going to be Beauty and the Beast and I’m Beauty apparently.

“I met Jon at the London Marathon. I broke my toes seven mile in and was going to give up after 11, but Jon encouraged me to keep going and helped me round the whole way – we crossed the finish line together.

“I’ve just found out I’ve got a place in the next London Marathon too so I’m thrilled.”

He added: “I set myself a target of raising £100,000 in 10 years, but the way things are going I think I’ll raise it way before then. The support has been fantastic.”