Big Pink Dress launches latest drive for donations as he takes on Great North Run Solo challenge - how you can help

The Big Pink Dress has announced his latest challenge – to put a smile back on the faces of some South Tyneside children hit hardest by the lockdown.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 4:45 pm
Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews is fundraising for KAYAKS.

Colin Burgin-Plews has launched an Amazon Wish List for children and young people with additional needs in the borough.

Taking on the Great North Run Solo, which has been launched following the cancellation of the half marathon in September, Colin will attempt to run 300 miles in 40 runs over the coming weeks.

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The challenge will end on the day the 40th anniversary of the race should have taken place, Sunday, September 13 when he will walk the famous route from Newcastle to South Shields in one of his unmissable costumes.

The 52-year-old has appealed for gift donations of items such as arts and craft supplies, activities and bean bag chairs for the KAYAKS sessions at Mortimer Community Centre when it reopens.

Colin, who has ADHD and dyslexia himself, commented: “These kids mean so much to me and they deserve a little bit of happiness. I know how hard it is growing up with a learning difficulty and it’s a horrible time at the moment - they won’t understand why they can’t get back to the club.

Colin says he has been ‘amazed’ by the response to the Wish List so far, with items ranging from £1 – £30 being gifted.

KAYAKS founders Malcolm Osborne (left) and Jill Osborne (second right) with volunteers and members.

“There are some wonderful people in the world,” he added.

“A lot of charities are at risk of going under during this time and I just hope people will support the KAYAKS – I wish it had been around when I was a child.”

Kimberley Elliot, vice chair of KAYAKS, said: “The lockdown has had a profound effect on our families and we have taken steps to ensure their mental health and wellbeing is being looked after in the way of counselling sessions, but there’s nothing quite like being hands on and offering services to help build confidence, fitness, resilience and social interaction. This comes in many forms but one of the activities we provide is games and arts and craft sessions.

“Equipment does run low and we are so grateful to Colin our patron for arranging an Amazon wish list to help build up our stock for our return, so we can offer the very best to our members.”

Colin completes the Great North Run 2019 for the KAYAKS.

She added: “Colin has been a fantastic supporter of our charity since we met and we have built an amazing bond with the big man with a big heart aka the Big Pink Dress. I know that this will make a huge difference to our children, to be able to offer them even more fun activities through the generosity of others.”

Donate via Colin’s fundraising page

The Amazon Wish List can be found here

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