A WINSFORD dad who inspired the community to raise almost £6,000 for local charities and organisations has had his name set in stone.

Dad-of-two Shaun Kirkpatrick was honoured at the annual Oscar evening hosted by the town mayor in March when he won the Community Initiative of the Year award.

The 48-year-old was also named as the overall winner of the 2019 Walk of Contribution.

Winsford Guardian:

Shaun Kirkpatrick was honoured at the annual Oscar evening hosted by town mayor Cllr Gina Lewis

At a special ceremony, a specially inscribed granite tablet has been unveiled on the walkway outside Winsford Leisure Lifestyle Centre.

"I was completely gobsmacked, lost for words," said Shaun, who works as a plant operative at British Salt in Middlewich. "From the start it was never for me to be in the limelight. I only did it to get the community involved."

His crusade started 18 months ago when Shaun and two friends Johny Hannon and Steve Long bet one another to grow their beards. Shaun suggested they should raise funds for charity.

Using Winsford Awareness Forum, the community rallied round the lads and £500 was donated to the Salvation Army.

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford town Cllr Mike Kennedy and outgoing mayor Cllr Gina Lewis with Shaun Kirkpatrick as the inscribed granite tablet is unveiled

Shaun decided to build on the generosity of Winsford residents and continued to organise a quarterly collection amongst the forum's 2,200 members.

Everyone who makes a donation is then invited to join Shaun's crowdfunding site and nominate a local charity. The cause which receives the most votes is given the cash.

New Images youth club, GGO community group, Foodbank, the Salvation Army, Hebden Green Community School and Cotswold House have received donations over the past 18 months.

Outgoing mayor Cllr Gina Lewis said: "Shaun has developed a great idea for fundraising and has put every effort into getting as much money for local causes as possible. He is a great example to us all."

Shaun added: "The support I have had has been fantastic. It has been astounding the amount of money we have raised.

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"It started off as a simple idea. It is very rewarding when we get the money in and give it out.

"The community decides where the money goes which is why I think it is succeeding."

New members are welcome to support Shaun's online fundraising campaign through Winsford Awareness Forum.