St Helens Council is pleased to announce that it will be supporting Local Charities Day on Friday 15 December by hosting a celebration event in the town hall to highlight the incredible work done by many of the borough’s local charities.
Organised by St Helens Council and Chocolate Orange Challenge founder, Chris Lamb, the Make a Difference Friday event will welcome a number of charities – including the Mayor’s charity, St Helens Mind – into in the town hall’s assembly room for a morning of fundraising fun, with musical entertainment also on offer at the most charitable time of the year.
Chris, from Rainford, set up the nationally-recognised Chocolate Orange Challenge in 2011 following the loss of his four-year-old son Elliott the previous year to a condition called Congenital Cytomegalovirus.
While Elliott was in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Chris bought a chocolate orange as a thank you to one of the physiotherapists for their kindness, care and compassion.
Word soon got around among other medical professionals, and Chris ended up buying more and more every time Elliott was in hospital.
Following Elliott’s death, Chris decided he wanted to do something positive to cherish his memory, and so came up with the idea of collecting as many chocolate oranges to be shared with hospital staff nationwide.
To date, over 20,000 of the treats have been donated.
Explaining his reason behind bringing the Make a Difference Friday event to St Helens, Chris said:
“Coming from St Helens, one of the stand-out things that makes me most proud of coming from this town is the overwhelming support I receive from the public. I even get stopped in the street from people who know me as the ‘Chocolate Orange man’ to praise me for the work that I do.
“Last year I was fortunate enough to host my Chocolate Orange Appeal event in the fabulous St Helens Town Hall which was a huge success, and so the idea came about how amazing it would be to have several of the borough’s extraordinary charities under one roof for a celebration of their achievements, and to give the public an insight to the incredible work that they do.”
Showing his support to the event, St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald said: “We are lucky to have so many inspiring charities here in St Helens and Friday 15 December – National Local Charities Day – will be a significant time to come together to recognise the remarkable work that goes on for the benefit of so many people in the borough.
“It’s an event I’m very much looking forward and it promises to be a great occasion.”
The event, which will run from 9am to 12pm, is open to members of the public to attend who are asked to contribute –if possible –a chocolate orange to go towards this year’s Chocolate Orange Challenge.
The Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Joe Pearson, is also encouraging event visitors to wear Christmas hats for the day and to make a contribution to his appeal.
Any local charities wishing to take part are asked to contact St Helens Council’s Events Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – or by calling 01744 676731.