ANOTHER inspirational Wigan figure I want to single out is the lovely little Emma Hoolin (pictured).
Never has one person so united a borough to hit a charity target so large.
The four-year-old from Whitley is currently undergoing six months of pioneering treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia which offers her the best chance of surviving a particularly nasty form of cancer long term.
None of this would have been possible though had it not been for the success of the appeal. Set an eye-wateringly large target of £211,000 to raise in two or three months (the immuno-therapy Emma is receiving had to be administered within 100 days of various conventional treatments she had in the autumn), her family friends, school and hundreds of people in the wider Wigan community created an unprecedented tidal wave of charitable events.
The total was reached within an astonishing 62 days and as the year draws to a close it has carried on growing at a remarkable rate to break through the £300,000 barrier already.
In view of how tight money has been this year, it is particularly heart-warming to see folk giving so generously and for whole communities to pull together in that Dunkirk spirit way that many of us feared may have been lost forever.
A truly inspirational and heart-warming story.