MORE than 100 people recently joined West Cumbrian-born singer/songwriter Francis Dunnery in a weekend of sponsored activities to raise money for local charities.

The former It Bites front man also played two charity gigs, attended by around 400 people, during the annual fundraising weekend for the Charlie and Kathleen Dunnery Children’s Fund, which he set up in memory of his parents.

Francis decided to play the extra gig on Sunday, October 23, after the first one, on the Saturday, sold out.

Sunday’s gig was held in aid of the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal and raised £800.

Francis, who has carved out a successful music career in America, where he is now based, led a 77-strong group in a sponsored walk around Ennerdale.

The walkers included youngsters from Bookwell School from his native Egremont, which will receive cash from the fund this year.

Six football teams took part in a five-a-side tournament at Wyndham School the following day.

Francis performed with David Sancious and Dorie Jackson at Rosehill Theatre.

He said after the busy weekend: “It’s really humbling to be supported by people from my home town. I can’t believe how enthusiastic people have been.”

Last year the fund raised £4,000 for Francis’s old school – St Bridget’s RC School in Egremont.

The charity, which aims to help improve the health and education of children in Egremont and the surrounding area, hopes to have raised a similar amount this year.

Published in The Whitehaven News

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