Jim reaches 200k fundraising goal

Retired head gardener for the Bishop of Salford, Jim Nicholas, has been delighting audiences for more than half a century as a DJ and Elvis impersonator.

Jim Nicholas with cheque for David Ireland

Jim Nicholas with David Ireland at Francis House.

For 25 years, Jim has put out a collection box at venues, even travelling to Birmingham to perform for the Cliff Richard fan club. Now Jim has reached his goal of raising an incredible £200,000 for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Jim and his wife Denise were invited to the hospice in Didsbury, where they were thanked for their long-standing fundraising efforts and presented with a special gold collection tin by chief executive, David Ireland.

“From day one when I first went to Francis House and saw the families, I felt that I wanted to do everything I could for them. Without Francis House these families would be stuck. If I can entertain people and they enjoy what I’m doing, and if that helps in some small way, I’m happy to do it.

“I’m thrilled to bits to have raised £200,390! Thank you to Denise and lots of supporters. It takes up a lot of my time with ticket sales and promotion to venues, but I enjoy it and I’ve probably performed to 1,000 venues over the years.”

Jim Nicholas
Group of people with Jim Nicholas

Hospice chaplain Monsignor Thomas Mulheran, Denise Nicholas, Jim Nicholas, chief executive officer David Ireland, director of care Gill Bevin and chairman of the board of Trustees Chris Roberts.

The hospice supports more than 500 families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across the whole of Greater Manchester, and has recently undergone a refurbishment programme including an updated family lounge, new cinema space and multi-sensory rooms.

Jim is also the impresario behind the Jimmy Cricket Variety shows organised for Francis House and in 2013, he was awarded a Papal medal, known as the Bene Merenti in recognition of his contribution to the parishes where he’s lived, his work for the Catholic Church and fundraising.

David Ireland said: “I was introduced to Jim back in the early 90s. Since that time his fundraising has been prodigious, and he has represented Francis House as an excellent ambassador.

“When around 2013 Jim reached £100k I told him he had paid for the drains on the new building.

“We are really thrilled to have gone through the £200k barrier and wish Jim well in his continuing fundraising efforts.”

Denise added: “He’s 73 and he still dresses up as Elvis.”

With an average of twelve shows a year Jim already has plans for 2020 including dates at St John Fisher Catholic church in Kearsley and ‘The Stars Come Out for Francis House’ at the Oldham Coliseum in October.

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