Charity champion sets new target

Stephen Picton.
Stephen Picton.

A CHARITY champion who has raised more than £50,000 for good causes has set himself a staggering new target of £100,000.

Stephen Picton’s fantastic charity efforts have so far helped him to raise £51,435 for charity.

Stephen, who has featured in the Hartlepool Mail on a number of occasions and was honoured as Fundraiser of the Year at the Mail’s inaugural Pride of Hartlepool Awards, set himself the audacious target of raising £50,000 before his 40th birthday.

After a range of weird and wonderful fundraisers Stephen, a taxi-driver in the town, hit his target earlier this year the night before he celebrated his birthday.

But just four months on and the dad-of-four is back with a new target – to raise another £50,000 before he reaches his 50th birthday.

“I told myself that I would get to £50,000 and that would be it,” said Stephen, who lives near Blakelock Road, in Hartlepool.

“I wasn’t planning on stopping raising money for charity for good, I just wasn’t going to organise as many events.

“But I want to come back, I want to do more and I want to raise even more money.”

Stephen’s fundraising efforts have helped to support a number of charities.

Some of the money has gone towards Support Your Bowel.

The charity is close to Stephen’s heart after Stuart Rayner, the dad of one of his close friends, died of cancer last year.

He is now trying to help the charity raise enough money to buy a new machine which will make it easier to detect bowel cancer.

He says he will continue to support them until they have enough money for the machine and then raise money for numerous other causes.

He added: “People in Hartlepool have been so generous in the past and I’m hoping they will be able to show their support again.”

Stephen’s fundraising will start again next year after he was forced to cancel this year’s Conga For Wonga, an event which sees hundreds of people conga down the seafront.

Stephen’s wife of 20 years, Sandy, is suffering with illness and he said he wants to dedicate all of his efforts to helping the love of his life back to full health.

He added: “Sandy is my best friend, she has been there for me and supported me through all of my charity events so far, now I need to be there for her.

“I have apologised to people for cancelling the Conga For Wonga, but everyone understands and they have all offered their support.”