Wigan workers will make rickshaw journey to Blackpool to support former colleague

Staff at a Wigan engineering firm are heading to Blackpool as they take on a sponsored challenge in honour of a former colleague.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:00 am

Employees at Global Engineering Ltd wanted to do something to support George Melling, who worked as a steel erector for more than 15 years before being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) at the age of 36.

So they have organised a 36-mile trip from the firm’s head office at Cricket Street Business Centre in Wigan to George’s home in Blackpool.

The team will take it in turns to man a rickshaw, which will be decorated and hopefully carry George for parts of the journey.

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George Melling, in the rickshaw, with staff at Global Engineering who are preparing to travel 36 miles to Blackpool

Those not on the rickshaw will be walking, running and cycling the 36 miles to Blackpool.

Paul Norton, production manager at Global Engineering, said: “People can either run it, walk it or cycle it. We will have stops every hour or so. We reckon it will take about 10 hours in total.”

The challenge will begin at 7am on Saturday, June 12.

So far 20 people have pledged to take part - mostly employees at Global Engineering along with contractors and suppliers.

The group hopes to raise £5,000 to support father-of-three George as he battles MND, an incurable progressive disease which can affect movement, swallowing and breathing.

They are already being sponsored online and will collect donations on the day.

It is one of several fund-raising events being organised in honour of George.

As well as working at Global Engineering, he played football semi-professionally for clubs including Blackpool FC, Morecambe, Altrincham, Leyland Town, Kendal, and home team Coppull.

He was diagnosed with the life-limiting condition in January after first noticing symptoms a year ago.

Now he is determined to raise money for a cure, to play with his children and to be well enough to walk down the aisle this summer to marry his fiancee Nicola Kendall.

Celebrities from the world of football, including Gary Neville, Jamie Rednapp and Peter Reid, are also rallying round his cause, and teams are pitching in to help.

Speaking to our sister newspaper Lancashire Post, George said: “I knew from day one that it was MND. I’d already mentally battled it. I knew my own body from footballing injuries and I’d watched a documentary on it and I could see the similarities.”

Donate at www.gofundme.com/f/help-george-melling-fight-mnd

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