Porlock great grandfather's remarkable run of fundraising

MOIRA Smyth, chairman of the NSPCC West Somerset fundraising branch, presents Roy Coates with a certificate of thanks. PHOTO: Ron Fitzer.

MOIRA Smyth, chairman of the NSPCC West Somerset fundraising branch, presents Roy Coates with a certificate of thanks. PHOTO: Ron Fitzer.

First published in News

A GREAT grandfather from Porlock has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the NSPCC after setting up an annual fun run for the charity.

Roy Coates, aged 84, set up the event over 30 years ago and it is still going strong today – seeing holidaymakers and locals dash two miles through the streets of Porlock. Roy has been in charge of refreshments in recent years but has now retired from his role.

The keen gardener also used his green fingered skills to grow plants and sell them outside his home for the children’s charity for more than 40 years.

His wife, Betty, who died in 1996, was a passionate supporter of the charity.

Mr Coates has since hung up his gardening shears and retired from selling plants.

Graham Sizer, one of the organisers of the Porlock fun run, said: “Roy is a remarkable man, having raised nearly £80,000 for the NSPCC over the years, but his fundraising legacy will live on in the Porlock fun run.

“It is a hugely good humoured event which everyone enjoys, even if they get caught up in the inevitable traffic jams, and we are grateful to Roy for making this possible.”

Mr Coates added: “It was my wife really who started it all in 1955. “I was married to her for 48 years and only had one holiday – every weekend she was doing some sort of fundraiser for the NSPCC, whether it was a coffee morning or a village dance.

“She felt very passionately about the charity, devoting her life to raising funds for children, and on her death bed she asked that the fun run continue.

“Calling it a day was a very difficult decision for me but I’m so pleased to hear the run will live on, with the proceeds still going to the NSPCC.”

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