Hartlepool EuroMillions winner sheds the pounds in aid of fundraising appeal for town's young carers
A 20-strong group of slimmers are shedding the pounds in a fundraising campaign to deliver a respite caravan for young carers.
EuroMillions lottery winner Frances Connolly, who is spearheading the campaign led by her Hartlepool-based PFC Trust, has already achieved her personal goal by losing 26lbs with four weeks to spare in UChangesLives25.
The slimmers, who are from the town as well as from as far away as Northern Ireland, have collectively lost a combined 172lb between them so far.
In doing so the women have raised more than £10,000 towards the £50,000 target in aid of Hartlepool Carers and Stockton’s Eastern Ravens.
Mrs Connolly, who is renowned for her generosity towards good causes with husband Patrick, said: “I am really pleased to have reached my target already, swimming regularly has helped, and I just want everyone to keep going so we get this caravan for the young carers.”
More than 60 individuals and groups have joined the campaign since its January launch.
Fundraisers are asked to think of a challenge linked to the number 25 as that is the minimum number of unpaid hours many young carers complete weekly.
Organisers hope to reach the target by Good Friday, April 2, with more than half already raised.
Mrs Connolly, who lived in Hartlepool for a quarter of a century and who founded the trust after the couple’s £114.9m win, added: “This is an absolutely worthy cause. This caravan will give the little kiddies a break from something that is almost inconceivable to people.
“The £50,000 divided across the life of the caravan over 10 years is about £95 a week or £14 per day to give a hard working unpaid young person a much deserved break.
“This lockdown has felt so much more oppressive, although it is feeling a little lighter now with the vaccination roll out.
"When it started in January it felt so much more oppressive this time round, so it seemed a good idea to try to lift people’s spirits by giving them a worthy cause to get behind.”
Email [email protected] if you are interested in fundraising.
Donations can be made at justgiving.com/pfctrust or by texting UC25PFC 3 to 70085 (you can donate any amount by changing the number 3). Texts cost one standard rate message plus your donation.