We are very lucky and privileged to have as our President, Mr Ted Robbins. You will recognise Ted as a well loved and well known theatre, television, presenter and radio personality. As well as being an actor and comedian who has appeared in stand up and in numerous shows, including starring in Phoenix Nights with Peter Kay, he also supports us by promoting the Sanctuary on his Sunday morning radio show on BBC Radio Lancashire. It will also not have escaped your notice that he recently appeared on the cobbles of Weatherfield as newcomer bad guy Brendan in Coronation Street.
Ted has been our President for a very long time and has always given us his full support. This includes frequent mentions on his radio show and a radio interview with us was featured last year on his show. Despite being a very busy man, he still manages to find time to support us here at the Sanctuary too and can often be seen mixing with our supporters and visitors at our Open Days.
On 12 March he presided over the official opening of our Charity Shop in Ramsbottom which had been closed for a short time for a refit and makeover, which made the occasion extra special both for us and for our supporters.
Our Vice President – Gemma Atkinson
Animal-loving actress Gemma Atkinson, an Emmerdale favourite who plays Carly Hope in the extremely popular soap, has visited us numerous times over the last several months. It’s not the first time by any means that Gemma has been to Bleakholt as she visited the Sanctuary regularly as a child growing up in Bury, so the Sanctuary is close to her heart.
She recently raised a staggering £35,125.00 for Bleakholt after starring on the television game show ‘The Chase’ with a celebrity panel. We were her personal Charity of choice as her team romped home with a slam dunk win! She bagged £25,125 as her share of the winnings and the total was then topped up with a further £10,000 from pet Insurance firm Animal Friends. The money will go a long way towards modernising and improving our facilities and there are several projects for which we are currently raising funds.
This is not the end of her support either, as Gemma has offered to continue to help Bleakholt, so we invited her to step in as our Vice President to work alongside Ted Robbins. We were thrilled to announce that she accepted, saying that she was very flattered and that “it would be an honour to do so”.
Gemma will be leading the Bleakholt Team of runners in the forthcoming Great Manchester 10K Run on 22 May 2016.