A borough stroke support group has been given a huge boost by a kind-hearted organisation.

Bolton West Stroke Group, part of the Stroke Association and based at Horwich Resource Centre, was visited by committee members of The Association of Old Rivingtonians to hand over a cheque for £5,000.

It was described as "the largest single donation in our group’s history".

The money was raised as part of the association’s charity scheme and the branch was chosen by late president Linda Brownlow, as both her parents had suffered strokes. Tragically Linda died earlier this year.

Her immediate predecessor as president, Jim Andrews, presented the cheque on behalf of the association. This was particularly fitting and poignant, as Jim and Linda had been Head Boy and Head Girl concurrently at the school in the 1960s, when it was known as Rivington and Blackrod Grammar School.

The cheque was gratefully received on behalf of the stroke group by lead volunteers Steve Leng and Ian Simmonds, themselves both recovered stroke victims, who explained that the bulk of the donation would be used to boost the group’s programme of excursions, which are greatly anticipated events in the group’s schedule of activities.

Former president of the Association of Old Rivingtonians, Jim Andrews, presenting the donation cheque to lead volunteers Steve Leng, left, and Ian Simmonds of Bolton West Stroke GroupFormer president of the Association of Old Rivingtonians, Jim Andrews, presenting the donation cheque to lead volunteers Steve Leng, left, and Ian Simmonds of Bolton West Stroke Group (Image: Supplied)

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Over the years, the association’s president’s charity resulted in local, regional and national charities benefiting by a total of more than £85,000 in donations.

But the support for the Horwich-based stroke sufferers represented something of the end of an era, being the final act of benevolence of this fund, resulting from a major metamorphosis of the organisation of former Rivington alumni earlier this year.

In the post-Covid era, due to bereavements and illness, the incumbent Association committee members issued an earnest appeal for "new and younger blood" to steer the association in the years ahead, and to perpetuate its long and proud history, which began in 1904.

Members of the "old guard" were delighted when long-standing friends Glenn Jones and Colin Higham enthusiastically volunteered to take over the metaphorical baton, and in recent months their hard work and new initiatives have met with a remarkable level of success.

Glenn and Colin were contemporaries at Rivington during the 1970s, being head boy and deputy head boy respectively during their sixth form years, with their time there embracing the significant change from grammar school to high school.

Remaining great pals ever since, the duo have proved the ideal catalyst for the transformation of the organisation, drafting a new constitution, and introducing a series of new and innovative social gatherings, which are meeting with increasing success.

The "new guard" will ensure that there remains a philanthropic element to the activities, but with a change of emphasis meaning that the beneficiaries will be the school itself, and its students.

Now renamed simply as "The Rivingtonians", membership of a new Facebook group is increasing and provides details of membership and forthcoming events.

Alternatively, further details are available by calling 07970 131460.