Bolton College’s Bernadette Tither has successfully nominated a volunteer from the New Bury Centre in Farnworth to be an Olympic torchbearer this summer.
48-year-old Eddie Birchall, a voluntary youth worker, has been selected as a torchbearer in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay, in recognition of his continuing support for the local community. Eddie, who has dedicated himself to the community for the past 20 years, will proudly carry the torch through Horwich on Friday 1 June.
Bernadette, area learning and hub manager at the New Bury Centre, one of Bolton College’s satellite training facilities, said: “I nominated Eddie as he’s an excellent role model and has truly made a difference to the centre, transforming the lives of many young people in the local community for the better.
“Eddie has volunteered at Bolton College’s New Bury Centre for the past 20 years and is well respected by young and old alike. We can’t think of a more deserving individual to carry the Olympic Torch and we’re all thrilled that the nomination was successful.”
Despite working full-time as a caretaker for Bolton Council, Eddie dedicates most of his leisure time to running the youth club and boxing club at the centre. Each year, he organises a summer challenge for the young, including sponsored walks and cycle trips. These events have raised more than £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Bolton Hospice, in the past two years alone.
Last year, he successfully completed the Ironman Triathlon, with the aim of demonstrating to young people that they can achieve anything if they work hard for it. In 2009, Eddie was also crowned the Mayor of Bolton's ‘Unsung Hero’, in recognition of his efforts.
Eddie said: “One of the best moves I ever made was getting involved with the New Bury Centre in 1991. The centre attracts hundreds of local people from the surrounding areas, due to the variety of activities, courses and voluntary groups that are based there.
“Being successfully nominated as a torchbearer for the Olympic Games has got to be one of the proudest of all my achievements.”
The New Bury Centre, which is part of Bolton College, provides first step courses that also act as a springboard for learners moving onto further education and training. Courses are available to all learners living in Farnworth, Kearsley and Little Lever. For more information, visit www.boltoncollege.ac.uk.
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