• Wed. May 29th, 2024

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Running Legend Jarra Jim Spreads Christmas Cheer by Donating to Disability Charity

Christmas has come early for disability charity The Percy Hedley Foundation thanks to legendary runner ‘Jarra Jim.’

The 95-year- old, whose real name is Jim Purcell, has donated £1,000 to the Foundation, which works to improve the lives of disabled children, young people and adults in the North East.

The Dunkirk war veteran, from Jarrow, has supported Percy Hedley for many years having raised sponsorship by doing the Great North Run and has visited the Foundation’s adult day service, Hedleys Able 2, in North Shields.

The service, based on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, houses a music studio called Soundscapes, and Jarra Jim’s donation will be used to purchase specially adapted musical instruments.

“I don’t need this money, but there are people out there who do,” said Jarra Jim.

“I save throughout the year and when the pot builds up I like to give it out just before Christmas.

“I’ve supported The Percy Hedley Foundation for a long time and I love to visit every now and then.

“They do great work with disabled people of all ages and hopefully the money will help them buy something useful.”

Jarra Jim was recognised for his outstanding contribution and dedication to fundraising at a special event held in his hometown earlier this year.

The former Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Richard Porthouse, held a civic reception for Jim, who is famous for raising money for local charities and has taken part in 29 Great North Runs.

The Second World War veteran first put on his running shoes at the age of 65, after the death of his wife Betty in 1982, and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

Mary Gallen, Support Manager at Hedleys Able 2, said: “It’s a huge privilege to know Jarra Jim and we would like to thank him for all his fundraising and for all the time he has spent with people across the Foundation.

“The donation will provide sensory equipment for people to enjoy and we hugely appreciate the gesture.”