A DEDICATED group of fundraisers walked 15 miles on Christmas Day in aid of the Fallen Fusiliers charity — raising £1,300.

Lea McGowan and partner Alison Gilmore teamed up with Darren James and Andy Malius to raise money for the charity, which supports past and present Fusiliers.

The group started at Bury Town Hall in the morning, making their way to Bolton Town Hall around midday.

They then travelled to the Radcliffe Old Town Hall and finished at The Swan and Cemetery pub in Manchester Road just after 2pm.

If the 14 and a half miles was not challenging enough, Mr McGowan and Mr Malius walked the entire distance carrying 50lb of sand in their rucksacks.

Ms Golmore and Mr James accompanied them on mountain bikes.

Mr McGowan, aged 49, of Harrow Close, said: “It was a great feeling when we finished and went to the pub — several well-earned pints were drunk after walking with 50lb of sand on my back.

“We were all chuffed that we’d done something for charity. The Christmas dinner tasted all the better after that.

“Our supporters have been absolutely superb. I always said to myself, if we can raise £500, that would be really good. But to raise £1,300 is awesome.”

Ms Gilmore, a market manager, aged 47, added: “It’s very humbling to see how many people are prepared to donate money, even at Christmas.”

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Glover, the Area Regimental Secretary for the Fusiliers in Lancashire, complim-ented the group on their achievement.

He said: “This is a fantastic effort. The fact that people are willing to help out at this time of year shows real dedication.

“It’s absolutely vital that people keep raising money for Fallen Fusiliers.

“We are a small charity with large commitments, so something like this makes a huge difference.”