Our President & Vice President 2018-02-05T14:55:17+00:00

Ted Robbins

Ted Robbins


TED ROBBINS has been our President now for a number of years and has been a great ambassador and supporter of Bleakholt. Due to his ill heath Ted has reluctantly decided to step down as President but has confirmed that he will still be involved and continue to support us. I know you will want to join us in thanking Ted for everything he has done for us and to send him our very best wishes for the future.

The good news is that our VP Gemma Atkinson, who has been a loyal supporter, promoter and regular visitor of Bleakholt for a long time agreed without hesitation to become our new President. Our Chair, Vicki Appleton, took the opportunity of welcoming Gemma as President at the Bleakholt Black Tie Ball on 1 April. Gemma said she was honoured to accept, so thank you Gemma! Ted tweeted to thank Gemma for taking up the baton and said “I shall always support this wonderful place”.

Many thanks again Ted, we’ll miss you.

Previously – about Ted as President…

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 2016 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.

 Gemma Atkinson

Animal-loving actress Gemma Atkinson, an Emmerdale favourite in the extremely popular soap, has visited us numerous times and she visited the Sanctuary regularly as a child growing up in Bury, so the Sanctuary is close to her heart. Gemma also co-presents the Key 103 Breakfast radio show.

In 2016 she 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 company and Bleakholt supporters ‘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 was not the end of her support either, as Gemma 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”.  As Ted has now stepped down she agreed without a moments hesitation to fill the breach as our President and we welcome her whole-heartedly.

Gemma also led the Bleakholt Team of runners in the Great Manchester 10K Run on 22 May 2016 and has continued to fundraise for Bleakholt.

Our sincere thanks go to Ted and Gemma – your support is invaluable