A PENSIONER has raised more than £600 for the Garden of Tranquillity appeal.

Despite his wife being seriously ill, 85-year-old Alf Hales felt so strongly about The Bolton News' campaign to transform the run-down gardens at Bolton Hospice that he did all he could to help.

Mr Hales, of Little Lever, a veteran fundraiser who has collected £35,000 in the last six-and-a-half years for countless local charities, used collection boxes to raise £620 for the garden, even though his wife, Eunice, is being treated in hospital for a serious chest infection.

He said: "I collected in various shops in Bolton, Farnworth and Little Lever and I'm delighted at how much has been raised, people have been very generous.

"It's a great appeal and will really benefit patients and their relatives at the hospice."

The Bolton News launched the Garden of Tranquillity appeal to raise £100,000 to transform the dilapidated grounds of Bolton Hospice.

The gardens have not been renovated since Bolton Hospice was opened 14 years ago.

Since then, more than £76,000 has been raised through donations and events.

Currently, the gardens are mainly covered in grass, meaning people in wheelchairs and those using Zimmer frames cannot access them.

Patio areas are filled with cracked, broken and uneven paving stones and the borders are sparsely planted.

Under the new plans, pathways will be created to provide disabled access and there will be private seating areas where patients can spend quality time with their loved ones. There will also be a water feature and sensory garden.

If you want to contribute to the appeal, your cheques and postal orders should be made payable to Bolton Hospice and can be returned to The Bolton News, Newspaper House, Churchgate, Bolton, BL1 1DE.

If you are organising an event and want your picture to appear in the paper, contact Jane Lavender on 01204 537350.We will try to cover as many as possible and pictures will be included online at www.theboltonnews.co.uk.