Campaigning grandmother is inspiration for young Pendle man's efforts for good causes and mission to recruit more blood donors

A dedicated fundraiser and blood donor, Nelson man Andrew (21) has just completed a 30 mile bike ride for Pendleside Hospice.

By Susan Plunkett
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:30 pm

The mission was to cycle from North Pier to South Pier in Blackpool 11 times, but, as the day progressed and donations rolled in Andrew decided to do more laps.

Between each checkpoint he was met by friends and family who cheered him on before he was rewarded with a chippy dinner at the finish line.

Andrew's efforts have raised over £1,700 for Pendleside Hospice. Supporters, including Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, donated to the cause and a generous donation of £1,000 came from the GMB Trade Union in honour of Andrew's grandmother, Edna Fallows who died at the hospice in 2010.

Andrew prepares for his Tour de Trickett fundraising bike ride

An active member of the GMB Union for many years Edna was passionate about equality, anti-racism and gay rights and, in recognition of her work on women’s equality, she was awarded the GMB president’s award in 2010 as the union’s “most inspirational individual."

Andrew, who is a supervisor and customer advisor at B and Q in Nelson, has taken on his grandmother's mantle in wanting to help others as much as possible. Until ill health put a stop to it, Andrew's dad was also a regular fundraiser carrying out numerous sponsored walks and charity event to raise thousands of pounds.

Obstacles Andrew has faced in recent years include losing his family home in a fire in 2015. The incident happened while Andrew was away at Halton Barracks with the Lancashire Army Cadets and also while he was studying for his GCSEs at Marsden Heights Community College in Nelson.

Andrew said: "It was total madness for six months and, as a family we were temporarily split up.

Andrew with Neil Jurd OBE of the Lancashire Army Cadets after he raised £7,000 for the poppy appeal

"With all this going on at the time, I still managed to pass all my core subjects and left with 8 GCSES."

Thanks to fundraising by the Lancashire Army Cadets HQ (Fulwood Barracks) and Marsden Heights Community College more than £2,000 was raised to secure accommodation for the family.

Andrew then went on to single handedly raise £7,000 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as a Lancashire Army Cadet between 2016 and 2018. He was awarded the best cadet out of all three services and promoted to Cadet Colour Sergeant.

After being accepted into Burnley College Andrew went on to pass his Extended Diploma Level Three in Uniformed Public Services, achieving the highest grades possible, triple starred distinctions.

Andrew's late grandmother, Edna Fallows, a campaigner for equality, is his inspiration

An active blood donor, Andrew is also on a mission to register as many young people as possible to sign up.

He said: "The NHS Blood and Transplant Unit needs 400 new donors each day to donate blood to meet the national demand.

"The blood donations are vital for treating patients, many of them young children, with diseases such as sickle cell and different types of cancer treatments where blood has been lost due to on going surgical operations and blood transfusions."

And on a personal note of success for Andrew, after completing his charity bike ride he received the news that he had achieved a distinction in his retail apprenticeship training which he started in March last year just as the pandemic hit.

Andrew at a blood donor session. He is keen to encourage more young people to become blood donors like him

To make a donation to Andrew's hospice bike ride please click HERE