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Charity champ tackles year-long challenge

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Charity champ tackles year-long challenge
CHARITY CHAMP. . . John Patterson has already raised over £2000 in less than a week

A FUNDRAISER has set his sights on his biggest challenge yet to raise money to help replace Annan’s destroyed bridges.

Flash flooding at the end of October 2021 saw both the Jubilee and Cuthbertson Bridges get swept away in an instant.

While the remains of the bridges were removed from the River Annan during late May of 2022, replacement bridges have yet to be fully funded, and a £50,000 study was initiated to aid in the replacement.

Now John Patterson, who has become renowned in the region for his fundraising activities, will be running a 5k every day for the entire year to raise funds for the replacement bridges, his biggest challenge yet.

John said: “I already do a lot of running for local charities. One day, someone mentioned that the bridges hadn’t been replaced and it inspired me to make that my next fundraiser.

“It’s been over a year since the bridges were swept away, and nothing seems to have changed.

“The bridges were both a big part of my

life growing up. My dad used to take me across them as a child and I used to jump off of them as a teenager.

“So far, the reception has been fantastic. It’s only been a week and we’ve already raised £2000. My original target was £10,000 but it seems like we might surpass that.

“The weather over the past week has been a hassle. I keep getting caught out in the wind and the rain. I’d wish for summer to come around faster but then I’d just complain about the heat.

“I’ll be trying to host raffles every other weekend and I’m still looking for businesses to take sponsorship sheets.”

John is running in collaboration with Annan – A Tale of Two Bridges, a group created after the incident in October 2021 to help raise ideas and funds for replacing both destroyed bridges.

Stuart Thompson, a member of Annan – A Tale of Two Bridges, spoke more about the sudden fundraising and the group’s plans in the future.

He said: “John made the decision to start fundraising for the bridges of his own volition, but we are grateful for the aid and hope to invite him to a future meeting later this month.

“It’s slightly frustrating at the moment, as we have done everything we can until the council carries out a feasibility study of the bridges.

“But the council has already given us it’s full support in repairing the bridges and we hope to have two of their engineers with us on our next meeting alongside John.”

A GoFundMe has been set up where you can donate to help fund the new bridges at https://gofund.me/c305cd4e.

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