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South Shields' The Big Pink Dress fundraising legend Colin Burgin-Plews runs Sunderland 10k in giant sunflower dress to thank St Benedict's Hospice for caring for his late mother

Fundraising legend Colin Burgin-Plews – aka The Big Pink Dress – was back in action at Sunderland City 10k, and he hopes the race will see him smash the £150,000 barrier.

By Neil Fatkin
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 6:15 pm

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The superstar fundraiser from South Shields, known around the globe for is amazing outfits, completed the 6.2-mile route in a giant sunflower dress to raise money for the hospice that cared for his mother before she died.

Colin has raised almost £150,000 over the years for an array of charities but this year’s fundraiser was his most personal yet.

The Best of South Tyneside winner, 53, was raising money for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland who looked after his mother during her end-of-life care.

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He said: “I lost my mother last year and I can honestly say the team at St Benedict’s are one of the most caring I have ever seen. They were amazing with my mother and I just wanted to give a little bit back.

"The City Run is special and the people out here today are phenomenal – it’s just a great day. I decided to dress as a giant sunflower as this is actually St Benedict’s symbol and so I just thought I’d go out of my way to make as much of a statement as I could.”

Colin Burgin-Plews dressed in a giant sunflower dress as he approaches the finish line.

The run also provided Colin with the chance to break his £150,000 fundraising target.

Speaking ahead of the race he said: "I am £467 short of £150,000, so this run should get me over that.”

After his mother’s passing, Colin also pledged to run 40 half-marathons to raise money for Macmillan who also helped to care for her.

Colin Burgin- Plews ran in the Sunderland City Runs 10km race to raise money for St Benedict's Hospice in Sunderland.

Colin said: "For the first time, this is personal. Macmillan were amazing with my mother.”

The 53-year-old has not had an easy time of it.

In July 2019, Colin was rushed to South Tyneside District Hospital after suffering a problem with a valve in his heart and high blood pressure and now needs medication to manage the problem.

Amazingly, he recovered sufficiently to do the Great North Run that same year.

Colin Burgin-Plews collecting money as he runs the course.

In June 2021 he needed an operation to remove a mole, leaving him with 16 stitches and a four-inch scar, and with experts telling him he needs to be checked every three months for skin cancer.

To thank the health heroes who helped him, he did a sponsored walk in the South Tyneside area.