Former Burnley Mayor smashes London Marathon to raise over £1,500 for two causes close to the hearts of so many

A former Mayor of Burnley has spoken of his 'unbelievable pride' at completing his fourth London Marathon, two days after his 66th birthday.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 3:45 pm

Not only did Coun. Charlie Briggs smash the challenge in just under six hours, he raised the grand total of £1,591 for two causes very close to his heart, Pendleside Hospice and BK's Heroes.

Charlie, a member of the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party, chose the hospice in memory of former Burnley councillor and devoted champion of the homeless, Paula Riley, who died suddenly earlier this year at the age of 70. Paula was a mentor for Charlie when he first entered politics.

Paula had represented the Lanehead ward in Burnley on the council and she was due to stand for election in May for the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party.

Charlie (left) receives his 'Kind of Big Deal' certificate from Dave King of BK's Heroes.

She was also one of the recipients of the Mayor' s Medal from Burnley Mayor Coun. Wajid Khan for making food and turning up to dish it out every week, without fail, whatever the weather in Burnley town centre.

Charlie began fundraising for BK's Heroes when he was Mayor in 2019 and it all happened quite by chance.

He overheard the trustees, Dave and Fiona King, talking about the charity in a supermarket so he approached the couple and asked if he could take it on board during his year in office

The charity was originally set up by the couple's son Ben, an inspirational young man who suffered with kidney problems from the age of five. He dreamed of raising £10,000 each for brain and kidney disease charities but sadly, only managed to get to half that total before his death in 2016, aged just 27.

Charlie with a cheque for the money he raised for Pendleside Hospice

His parents took on the mantle of the charity and went on to raise the staggering total of £156,000 thanks to generous donations from charity 'heroes' and also fund raising events including an annual masquerade ball.

Dave presented Charlie with a 'Kind of Big Deal' certificate as mark of gratitude and thanks from the charity.

A grandfather to three, who has two sons and a daughter, Charlie is a veteran runner who last took part in the London Marathon in 2003 and before that 2000 and 1986.

Over the years he has competed in a number of half marathons and several 10k runs but the London Marathon, which attracts athletes from all over the world, is perhaps the ultimate challenge.

His efforts were almost scuppered when he slipped on a wet towel someone had thrown down on the ground.

Charlie twisted his knee and the setback added extra minutes to his finishing time.