Benn pulls on gloves for twins

Nigel Benn with Emma and Katie Sutcliffe, their mum Caroline, dad Wayne, brother Ciaran and Twins Appeal committee member Madeline Elliott
Nigel Benn with Emma and Katie Sutcliffe, their mum Caroline, dad Wayne, brother Ciaran and Twins Appeal committee member Madeline Elliott
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Former boxing world champion Nigel Benn was the star of the show as he put on an entertaining exhibition in aid of Lancaster twins Katie and Emma Sutcliffe.

More than £1,000 was raised at the special charity event held at Lancaster & Morecambe College on Saturday.

The funds will go towards the Twins Appeal, which – backed by the Guardian – aims to raise £85,000 to pay for life-changing surgery to help Katie and Emma walk unaided.

The 15-year-olds suffer from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, and currently need wheelchairs to get around.

The appeal has so far raised almost £60,000.

The night of boxing, organised by local boxing promoter Frank Harrington, included a three-course meal, comedy and an after dinner speech by Benn.

Afterwards, Harrington said: “It was by far the best show I’ve ever put on and I’ve fulfilled a lifelong dream by being in the ring with one of my heroes.”

The event was the second boxing extravaganza which Harrington had organised to help the Twins Appeal.

Caroline said: “I really want to thank Frank for supporting our appeal again.

“I would also like to thank all the people who donated on the night and the committee members for all their hard work on the night.

“It was a fantastic event, and great to meet Nigel Benn!”

A great day was also had by all at the John O’Gaunt pub in Lancaster on Saturday, when a day of music raised nearly £600 for the appeal.

An array of talented musicians entertained customers until midnight, and chef Francois Tilman from The French Institute supplied free food for everyone. The money was raised by donations, two raffles and an auction which took place in the evening.

Caroline said: “The manager and staff worked hard all day, along with Mark Coyle and Mark Simpson, who organised the whole event.

“A big thank you to all who worked hard to make it happen, attended and donated.”

Family friends Kath Dean and Nicola Rillie organised a Pampered Chef Night last week.

The evening included a bake-off, a presentation of the Pampered Chef products by the hostess Amanda and cakes baked by Kath and Nicola.

Caroline thanked Kath and Nicola for holding the event and also Julie Allonby for helping on the evening and her daughter Hannah for baking.

Caroline also wanted to thank all the people who supported the event and helped make it such an enjoyable evening.

Caroline recently received a cheque from Alex House Friends group for £100.

She said: Katie and Emma went to Alex House as infants and they do a fantastic job there. I am so grateful to them for their support.”

A Zumbathon at Lancaster University on Sunday raised more than £400.

It was led by Zumba instructors Emily Meade, Jade Taylor, and Laura Dalglish.

“The day was a great success with a brilliant turnout,” Caroline said. “I want to thank Lancaster University Sports Centre for their continued support, the fantastic instructors for leading everyone and making it such fun, and to all the people who attended the event.”

Jan Urey completed her 10k Mud Challenge on Saturday, raising money for the appeal.