Wedding guests hand over almost £2,000 to three charities after Pendle bridegroom turns to verse

A touching little poem written by the bridegroom, asking guests to make a donation to charity rather than buy a present, struck the right note with the wedding guests of Craig and Caroline Ainsworth.

For the guests contributed a massive £1,960, to three charities chosen by the happy couple, who tied the knot last month, a year later than planned due to the pandemic.

They split the money between Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research and Pendleside Hospice, all charities very close to the couple's hearts as, in the last year, they have lost nine close family members and friends, seven of them to cancer.

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Both 58, and big fans of Northern Soul, the couple live in Roughlee, Pendle. They met 11 years ago at a Northern Soul night at the former Keirby Hotel in Burnley. Mum of three Caroline is originally from Bradford.

Craig and Caroline on their wedding day last month

Friendship blossomed into love and they tied the knot at the Higher Trapp Hotel in Simonstone.

The couple, who have two grandchildren, had five DJs, playing all genres of music, and each gave their services free of charge in honour of the charitable request made by the Ainsworths. And this week the couple went along to hand over £660 to Pendleside Hospice.

The Ainsworth's idea coincides with a campaign the hospice is hoping to promote through its 'celebration giving,' asking for donations in lieu of gifts and also producing bespoke wedding favours with all proceeds from the sale of these going to Pendleside Hospice.

Craig, who works at The Original Factory Shop head office in Burnley, said: "We have everything we need so decided we wanted to help the charities that have helped us over the years."

The couple presented the hospice's share of the cash given by their wedding guests from Craig and Caroline Ainsworth

Here is Craig's poem which was sent out to wedding guests

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"Our lives together have already begun, we have everything we need under the sun

We have been together a year or more, so help us celebrate as you walk through the door

Pots, pans and toasters are just fine, scented candles abundance at mine

Craig and Caroline's grandsons, Leon and Jake, at the wedding
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So don't think us cheeky and don't think us brash, as we send you this invite and ask for your cash

All monies donated throughout the day and night, will go to good causes as cancer we fight

So with your support and a lot of fuss, we can beat this disease as you enjoy with us."