Right Said Fred

In 1960 Bernard Cribbins released in to the music charts a unique and well-loved song called ‘Right said Fred!’ We were reminded of this song when one of our valued volunteers came to the Urban Outreach office with an amazing donation of £520, and all because Fred Kelly said; “RIGHT…. what can I do to raise some money to help towards the purchasing of chickens for the Christmas Dinner on Jesus hampers?”

Fred has been volunteering with Urban Outreach for three years as a result of making sandwiches for our Bolton Lunches project. In the 1950’s when Fred was in education he too was in receipt of free school meals so having heard about the project and the need for provision over the summer holidays he decided it was ‘pay back’ time. Fred has been volunteering with us on a number of different projects ever since. Fred is a 72 year old ex-publican from the Hen and Chickens in Bolton town centre. Having been inspired by the Chicken Run, Fred decided he would swim the English Channel and in doing so try to raise enough money for 22 chickens! Now that takes a “plucky character!”

Although this challenge did not require Fred going south and physically getting into the Channel, it did mean Fred swimming a total of 22 miles at Hindley Community Pool (who sponsored 10 free sessions) the equivalent of 1,416 lengths in a 25 metre pool with a time limit of 12 weeks to complete. To achieve his target, Fred scheduled his swimming to include a mile a day over three days a week. AMAZING! So in record time of only 9 weeks with a lot of effort, discipline and determination, Fred achieved his goal of 22 miles and successfully swimming the English Channel! Fred said: “What drove me to the baths to swim a mile a day was to earn that one chicken! If I didn’t make a mile in any session then I knew that I probably would only raise enough for a chicken with one leg!”

When we asked Fred how he felt now having achieved his goal he said: “I’m so pleased with the achievement and will keep on swimming because I enjoy it. People’s generosity has blown my mind! There are a lot of nice people out there and doing this has reinforced my belief that people do really care.”

The grand total to date is an incredible £520 – enough for more than 100 chickens!

As for Fred, well, there was no ‘poussin footing’ around. He did say “RIGHT”, he did set his goal and he certainly went all out to achieve it in style! Many, many thanks Fred to you and to all those people who supported you.

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