Ribbon appeal for Wigan dad with cancer

Residents in Standish have joined together to help raise money for a family hit by cancer while also brightening the village's Christmas tree.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 1:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 10:05 am
Standish Voice chair Gill Foster, Coun Ray Whittingham, Gordons wife Donna Thorpe and Standish Voice vice chair Paul Ogden

Neighbourhood Forum Standish Voice has launched its Ribbon For Gordon fund where the group will add a red ribbon to the unsightly fencing around the village’s Christmas tree for every pound raised by the campaign.

The money raised will be donated to the family of Standish businessman and dad-of-six Gordon Thorpe, who have launched a £50,000 appeal to fund treatment after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Standish Voice stepped in to help the appeal after the village’s Christmas tree, which is in front of St Wilfrid’s Church, was highlighted in a national news report naming and shaming the worst Christmas trees in the country.

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The tree has been ridiculed on social media for its “lack-lustre lights and ugly metal fencing” which encloses the fir so residents offered to help decorate it themselves.

Paul Ogden, vice chair of Standish Voice, said: “As we had organised Standish’s first Christmas Market – which was a huge success – we were very disappointed at the state of the tree and decided we needed to do something about it.

“Decorating the high metal fencing seemed the easiest solution to make it more festive, so we decided to raise vital funds for Gordon and his family at the same time.”

Coun Ray Whittingham gained Wigan Council’s approval for the initiative and collecting boxes have been distributed around Standish’s shops, cafes, pubs and bars. The appeal will run until the end of December.

Paul added: “We will be regularly collecting the money and then building up the number of ribbons around the tree in the run-up to Christmas so Gordon and his family can see how much support there is for them in the community.”

Gordon was diagnosed with cancer in September and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

But his wife Donna, with whom he has three children, launched the campaign in the hope of funding treatment for Gordon that isn’t available on the NHS and is only available in Germany.

So far they have raised more than £13,000 for Gordon, who has three daughters from a previous marriage. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Gordon-Thorpe