Former Mayor's Charity Challenge to Fund Crash Course Swimming Lessons

Monday, 15th July 2019

Local primary school children are to benefit from the former Mayor of Pendle’s weight loss efforts.

At the beginning of this year, the recently-retired Councillor for Higham & Pendleside, James Starkie, set himself a challenge – to lose weight and climb Pendle Hill by the end of his Mayoral year in May, raising money for local children who need additional help with learning to swim, to spur him on.

With the help of a dedicated team of gym instructors from Pendle Leisure Trust, Mr Starkie lost just short of two stones in weight and fourteen inches overall.

He hoped to raise £1,000 to pay for a number of crash courses to be held throughout the summer holidays to enable Year 6 pupils to reach the National Curriculum standard.

But Mr Starkie smashed his target and has raised over £2,000, which will now allow Pendle Leisure Trust to run two four-day crash courses at Pendle Leisure Centre in Colne and Pendle Wavelengths in Nelson.

And his fundraising hasn’t stopped there! He has committed himself to climbing up Pendle Hill again at the beginning of August for a £300 bet! And he is determined to do it to add to the funds.

This money will enable a whopping 120 primary school children to take part in the crash courses at the end of July – with three Year 5 and 6 pupils from every primary school in Pendle - 60 from schools in Colne and Barnoldswick and 60 from schools in Nelson and Brierfield - invited to take part in the swimming lessons, which will hopefully help them to achieve National Curriculum standard.

Mr Starkie said: “I understand whilst most children go swimming with school and learn successfully, there are a few that slip through the net for various reasons and need the extra lessons. Therefore, I wanted to raise money to help these children.”

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