Kind-hearted millionaire Ken Townsley gives £1m to Dreams Come True charity

Kind-hearted Fylde coast philanthropist Ken Townsley has given away another chunk of his fortune – this time in the form of a £1 million grant to the charity Dreams Come True.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 7:38 am
Ken Townsley at the re-opening of Donnas Dreamhouse in Blackpool in 2017 after an overhaul he helped to fund
Ken Townsley at the re-opening of Donnas Dreamhouse in Blackpool in 2017 after an overhaul he helped to fund

Gifting the cash through his Blackpool-based foundation, the former travel magnate will help the charity realise the dreams of seriously ill children from poorer areas.

Margaret Ingram, chief executive of the Kentown Wizard Foundation, which has handed out millions over the past two years, said: “We are delighted to offer this transformational funding to Dreams Come True.

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Richard Ashton, chief executive of Dreams Come True, added: “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Kentown Wizard Foundation, working together to positively impact the lives of more young people who have life-limiting medical conditions and are living in some of the most deprived and hard-to-reach communities in the country.”

The foundation was set up in 2015 by Ken, who made his cash after founding Gold Medal Travel, to help children and young adults living with serious illnesses or disabilities. Around £100m was pledged, with ten per cent given away in the first two years.

The media-shy tycoon, who spends much of his time in Florida but still has a flat in St Annes, has helped local causes such as the Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bispham, where he sponsored the annual Santa Dash run and funded two nurses – at the ongoing cost of £75,000-a-year.

Donna’s Dreamhouse in Blackpool was gutted and given a full refurbishment, with Kentown’s £40,000 paying for the materials, while a charity golf day at Royal Lytham and St Annes was also funded.

Some £865,000 was given to a charity founded by the late Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Paul Newman, while £23,000 was spent funding 46 epilepsy alarms that were to be handed out across the north west.

Some £10,000 went to Rainbow House in Mawdesley, near Chorley, which supports 90 families a week, mainly from the Lancashire area, while the same sum was given to Stick n Step in Runcorn, for youngsters with cerebral palsy.

Ken worked at Blackpool Airport as a baggage handler but went on to open Gold Medal after being made redundant in 1968.