Sounds like charities in town need support

Pictured with M&S staff, from left, Lauren Heyes, Sharon Berrisford, Jordan McLaughlin, Maureen Ward, musician Jim Taylor, Joanne Green, Joshua Bish and Lynne Vernon
Pictured with M&S staff, from left, Lauren Heyes, Sharon Berrisford, Jordan McLaughlin, Maureen Ward, musician Jim Taylor, Joanne Green, Joshua Bish and Lynne Vernon

A stalwart fund-raising musician is urging Wiganers to dig deep in their pockets and help a host of local charities.

Generous Jim Taylor, from Appley Bridge, has been playing the keyboard in the town centre’s branch of Marks and Spencer for around 15 years.

His musical talent for taking shoppers on a trip through popular music history has raised thousands of pounds for Wigan causes as well as national and global relief efforts and aid drives.

However, he is worried that support for charity is

dwindling and says organisations in the borough desperately need backing from the public.

Jim, 68, said: “There are a lot of charities collecting on the main street now and it can be harder to get people to put money in the bucket.

“I’ve made so many good friends in Marks but you often see the same people putting money in.

“I think everyone needs to take note that all these charities are struggling.

“There’s an unbelievable spirit of giving in Wigan. I raised hundreds of pounds for the Manchester bombing victims’ fund and a couple of years ago I got £1,900 in the bucket for the tsunami in Haiti.

“I play stuff from the 1940s for the elderly shoppers in Marks right through to the present day.

“I’ve always done voluntary work, I think it’s just in my nature to help out.”

Causes Jim uses his music to help include The Brick, Wrightington Hospital, funds for disabled children, the Rainbow Ward at Wigan Infirmary and the town’s parish church.

He is embarking on a 15-day trip from Torquay back to Wigan in September to help the hospital and its radio station, stopping to perform in M&S stores along the way.

The company has also paid tribute to his generosity and contribution to the branch.

Jacqui Lancaster, store manager at M&S Wigan, said: “Jim has been coming to our store every Wednesday for many years to entertain customers and raise money for great local and national causes.

“We’re firm believers in supporting the community ourselves, so we’re pleased to support him and our customers love him.”

Die-hard Latics fan Jim also visits the DW Stadium at least once a season to play music in the lounges.