CHARITIES from all over Bolton gathered in celebration at Westhoughton Rotary Club’s annual presentation evening.

Rather than supporting just one charity, the group makes smaller donations to several groups, with 16 selected this year.

About £4,000 was handed out at Brookfield Hall in Peel Street at an annual event which started in 1992.

Westhoughton mayor Cllr Christopher Peacock, who attended the night, said it had been “remarkable” and highlighted the strong “community spirit” in the town.

The club’s president, Arthur Price, said: “Sometimes we Rotarians don’t realise quite how much we are appreciated.

“A wide variety of local people and organisations have been helped. Thanks to everyone also for donating to our Christmas sleigh again this year.

“We support many events, including speaking competitions, the Student of the Year award for Westhoughton College in May, as well as our annual spring party for older people.”

Former rotary president Ken Miller was among attendees — he presided over the first presentation night 22 years ago.

Another former president, Ronald Bell, was awarded a special Paul Harris Fellowship for his efforts at the club.

North West Air Ambulance, Urban Outreach, CATS, the Bolton branch of Parkinson’s UK, visiting service Senior Solutions and Bolton Kidz2gether were among the beneficiaries.

After receiving his cheque, Colin Stott, Prostate Cancer Support Group vice-chairman, said: “Our job is about more than helping local prostate sufferers. We also must build much greater awareness amongst men about the disease which is affecting 40,000 men each year.”

Roland Arthur, of Bolton Samaritans, added: “We provide 24-hour confid-ential support for local people experiencing feel-ings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts. For 30 years we have been able to rely on our volunteers, but we still have to meet some costs to keep going.”

Other charities involved were Breaking Barriers North West, Rainbow House Legacy, Street Soccer Academy, Harmony Youth Project, Chew Moor-based Wednesday Club, Bolton CVS, disabled equipment charity REMAP and Westhoughton Inner Wheel.

Cllr Peacock said: “It was brilliant to listen to the stories of how these groups help people.”

All the charities chosen were awarded an equal share of the total cash pot.