Brian’s in the running to be Pride of Britain

Tuesday 24th September 2019

A star parishioner from the Diocese of Salford is one of four people from the North West to be shortlisted for the Pride of Britain Local Fundraisers Award.

For more than 40 years, Brian Bennion has supported pupils from Holy Family RC and CE College in Heywood to raise more than £43,000 for a variety of international charities and projects.

After a conversation with the head of RE at Holy Family (formerly St Joseph’s) in 1976, Brian and his colleague John McGuinness were moved by hearing the stories of children in poverty around the world.

They decided to do two things. First, to make the children at their school aware of the developing world and the challenges being faced by people living overseas, and second,they vowed to do something about it.

It was then that their daily collection within school began, a simple event which has raised tens of thousands of pounds for CAFOD and Christian Aid, as well as projects supporting trafficked young people in Albania and a community in Nigeria.

Brian retired in 1992 as a teacher at the school and took up post as Governor. Today, he still visits the CAFOD group on a daily basis to encourage and inspire them to show care and compassion to our global neighbours.

On being shortlisted for the award, Brian said: “If the children weren’t so generous, there would be no point in this.

“I didn’t know anything about this but apparently there have been a lot of people in the know working behind the scenes!

“It has been a huge surprise and a bit embarrassing too. I’m overwhelmed, but I’m pleased, particularly for the children because now their hard work and efforts are being recognised.”

Brian’s story will appear on the 6pm Granada Reports on the week commencing 30th September.   

After this, he will find out whether he and a group from Holy Family have been chosen to attend the national awards ceremony in London.

Good luck Brian!

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