Jim wins Pride of Manchester Award

Francis House fundraiser Jim Nicholas wins Fundraiser of the Year in the Pride of Manchester Awards

Jim Nicholas as Elvis with Pride of Manchester trophy

Jim Nicholas with his Pride of Manchester award.

DJ and mobile entertainer Jim Nicholas raised more than £200,000 for Francis House Children’s Hospice and his fundraising efforts have been recognised with an MEN Pride of Manchester Award.

Jim, from Swinton, was surprised to be presented with the award by Pride of Manchester award host Kym Marsh. He thought he was attending a hospice fundraising meeting at a hotel to discuss ways of raising money. His wife Denise even persuaded him to dress in his Elvis outfit for the occasion, but he was met instead by hospice CEO, David Ireland with Director of Care Sharon Doodson and former Coronation Street star and singer Kym Marsh.

Jim said: “It was fantastic to meet Kym. I’m so proud that someone has thought about nominating me and I feel very humble to get this award.”

Jim, 73, started performing when he was eighteen but after losing his voice, he switched to become a Disco DJ and Elvis impersonator. He worked as the head gardener at Bishop of Salford’s residence at Wardley Hall, Worsley, when he was also introduced to Francis House in the early 1990’s.

For more than half a century Jim has taken to the stage at hundreds of club venues with his unique mix of music and Elvis performance. At each gig he puts out a collection box for the charity close to his heart and his efforts have been rewarded by donations from grateful fans.

“I am hoping the fundraising has helped the families who come to Francis House and the staff who do a heck of a job to care for them.”

“If I stay in good health, I’d love to continue fundraising. I get a real buzz from performing and a big thrill from getting on that stage. As long as people enjoy themselves - and they must do as they keep coming back - then I’ll keep doing it and raising money for Francis House.”

Jim Nicholas

Coronavirus restrictions ruled out a glittering red carpet event planned for the MEN Pride of Manchester Awards in partnership with TSB. The winners will instead be honoured in a unique virtual celebration, free for all to watch on Facebook Live and YouTube at 7pm on Thursday October 1 www.facebook.com/prideofbritain

After being handed his trophy, Jim performed a short rendition of the Elvis classic ‘Are you Lonesome Tonight’.

David Ireland of Francis House said: “What Jim has achieved is phenomenal. He has shown incredible generosity and commitment to Francis House with his fundraising for more than 25 years. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jim for a long time and he lives for doing things for other people. We are thrilled his dedication has been recognised with this fantastic award.”

The hospice supports more than 500 families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across the whole of Greater Manchester including, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Stockport, Trafford, Cheshire and Manchester.

The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the bulk of its work and has been hit hard with the cancellation of fundraising events as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Join Kym Marsh as she meets Jim, fellow winners and some special surprise celebrity appearances on Facebook, when the Pride of Manchester Awards premieres at 7pm on Thursday 1st October. For a preview watch https://vimeo.com/462398703

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