Shed-load of charity work leads to medal for Belthorn man

Blackburn Citizen: Jim Fletcher toasts his award Jim Fletcher toasts his award

A PENSIONER who devoted three decades of his life to raising charity cash will be honoured with a British Empire Medal.

Jim Fletcher, of Lower Fold, Belthorn Road, ran The Shed in Belthorn Road, where numerous charity events have taken place over the past 30 years.

The 79-year-old closed the institution earlier this year due to ill health, but his years of charity work, in which he has raised thousands for numerous charities, has now been recognised.

Jim is to be awarded the medal at Lancaster Castle on September 21.

On Friday, the Belthorn Committee, which often used the shed for committee meetings, organised a celebration party for his achievment at the Dog Inn, Belthorn, along with a surprise This is Your Life book with guests from the numerous charities he has helped.

Jim, who lives with his partner June, said: “Friday night was a really good do. Some of them were former colleagues and I didn’t know how they knew. The place was heaving. They did me proud.

“They even put together a little book and said, ‘Jim, this is your life’.

“It was the best night of my life.”

Jim, who has lived in his home since birth, served in Japan and Hong Kong with the Army during his National Service and worked at Waterside Paper Mill for 36 years before retiring.

He said: “I used to make jams and things and sell them on to raise money for various charities.

“My favourite was Bolton Mountain Rescue, who were there on Friday.

“I still do some charity work but I have to take it easy now.”

Belthorn Committee member Collette Riding said: “Jim had The Shed almost like an allotment with plants growing and there’s a pond next to it.

“Whenever there was a charity event, that is where it would happen.

“Jim loved to support a great many charities and he would plan the events and then meet and greet everyone who turned up.

“The amount of money he has raised over the years must be staggering.”

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