Ann’s a g-olden wonder

This Is Lancashire: Ann Wood Ann Wood

FOR most people in their 60s, the thought of stopping working and resting up during retirement is an inviting one — but Ann Wood is not most people.

Not only is Mrs Wood, aged 61, the dedicated manager of the Motorcise Healthy Living Centre, which provides specialised exercise programmes for women, but she is a genuine charity champion.

By the end of this year, Mrs Wood expects to have raised a huge total of £57,000 for various charities over the past five years.

The money has been raised for a host of charities including the MS Society, the Christie Hospital and the North West Air Ambulance Service as well as many others.

Mrs Wood said she gets her inspiration for her charity projects from the ladies who attend her gym in Victoria Square, Bolton town centre.

She said: “Most of the women who come the gym are older and have had some dealings with the charities we support — they come to the gym and tell me stories about things going on in their lives and I immediately think, we could do something for that — I suppose it is a bit like a light going on in my head.”

Mrs Wood’s recent fundraising exploits have included a charity evening at the Railway Club in Great Lever, a pantomime put on at the Motorcise centre and a toy appeal for the Salvation Army. She took over the gym five years ago and said she relies on the support of the ladies who attend the centre when organising her events.

She added: “I might put the things in place but they support me all the way, I couldn’t do it without them.”

One of those ladies, Winifred Higson, aged 73, from Farnworth, has known Mrs Wood for 10 years.

She said: “When it comes to charity, you name it and Ann has done it, she is a wonderful person and only thinks about other people.

“She is a fantastic, kind hearted and loveable creature and I don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves for all her work – I don’t know where she gets her energy from.”

Mrs Wood, who says she will not stop fundraising until she has raised £100,000 puts her stamina down to a healthy lifestyle.

She said: “I have always exercised and eaten healthily, it is never too late to start — our oldest member is 93.”

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