CHARITIES and voluntary groups across Bolton are set to benefit from a new type of fundraising event just launched by the town’s Mayor, Cllr Hilary Fairclough.

The Big Bolton Raffle involves tickets being sold with half the proceeds going to the Mayor of Bolton’s Charities and the other half going to the organisation selling the tickets.

“During my year of office, I wanted as many groups and charities as possible to benefit from my fundraising as well as the six charities I’m specifically helping,” explained the Mayor.

“So I felt the best way was to run a campaign involving a partnership with organisations right across the borough, selling the raffle tickets and sharing all the money raised.”

There are 20 top prizes on offer, with the main prize being flights with Oman Air to Muscat in Oman on the Middle East’s great sunwashed Arabian Peninsula.

The luxury flights are with Oman Air who have also donated three days’ accommodation at the sumptuous Millennium Resort Mussanah, which can be extended by the winners.

Other prizes include an overnight stay at Bolton Whites Hotel with dinner, lunch in the Platinum Suite and tickets for a Bolton Wanderers’ match, an overnight stay with dinner at the Holiday Inn on Bridge Street, a meal for two at The Northern restaurant, signed football shirts, dining at Blackrod’s Cherry Tree restaurant, champagne, a Fortnum and Mason hamper and a Bolton FM Experience.

“We have already signed up local charities and voluntary groups and want to hear from as many as possible to benefit from this initiative and make money for themselves,” added Cllr Fairclough. “Local businesses are also taking tickets to raise money for their chosen charities.”

One of the groups already signed up is Bolton Scout Trust. Commented its chairman, Diane Hawkins: “Everyone is now competing to see who can sell the most raffle tickets for The Big Bolton Raffle. We hope to make the raffle a Big Bolton Success!”

The raffle tickets are sold in books of five or 10 or individually. They are available from PLM Lettiings on Churchgate in Bolton town centre or by contacting the Mayor’s Office on 01204 331090 or emailing

The closing date is Tuesday, February 14 and the draw will take place live on Bolton FM at 10am on March 27.

Added the Mayor: “I am very grateful to everyone who has supported this initiative so far by donating prizes or taking tickets. This could really help local organisations with their fundraising and so help the town.”