Livewire - January 11, 2012

Ron McAndrew of Poulton Road, Layton. (running from Lands End to John O'Groats for charity).

Ron McAndrew of Poulton Road, Layton. (running from Lands End to John O'Groats for charity).

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By race organiser and charity fundraiser Ron McAndrew of Layton

I feel very strongly about where donations to charities go – having worked for one for many years before retirement last year.

In the old days, small charities had maybe one or two paid employees, so it saddens me to see some charities spend money on highly-paid staffing.

If charities choose to pay for extra help they should do so sparingly – not spend 25 to 30 per cent plus of donations on advertising, marketing and staff salaries.

I’ve been involved in athletics for 50 years, fundraising on the Fylde coast for 15 years, organising many running events, and have raised more than £1m in that time, and received the annual Blackpool Hero in the Community award last year for services to sport and charity work.

I use such events as a benchmark for charities to recruit runners to raise funds. It has worked very successfully for many.

Fylde Coast Running welcomes any charities who want to get involved. We will help them.

We do not levy entry fees for participation, unlike the country’s two biggest events, London Marathon and The Great North Run.

This year we are supporting Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Cerebral Palsy, Aspired Futures, Age Concern, The Hilton In The Community Foundation (including Donna’s Dream House and Brian House) in Blackpool and any other charities which want help.

We are also sponsoring a football team.

This is going to be a hard year fundraising, so encourage your friends to support us – and in particular our local hospices, for they are the real heroes in the community for their work and commitment to the cause. Many volunteers work tirelessly for hospices such as Trinity, Brian House, with staff helped by people giving up their time for free. This is a far cry from charities which are over-staffed, with huge salaries to pay, money raised by donors having to pay for this. Some charities also get government and NHS assistance, but hospices have to survive on their own, so let’s help them. Even some of the larger charities, such as Cancer Research UK and The Christie in Manchester need to be supported – and they do a great job.

If you want to do your bit to help raise funds, or want an event organising, contact me on 07854 763016 for information, or join us via Facebook.

n To contribute to livewire email jacqui.morley@blackpoolgazette.co.uk.