The Journal, Newcastle, has raised close to £7,000 for the Josie Grove Leukaemia Fund in a campaign led by former Daily Mirror editor David Banks.
Banks, a columnist on The Journal, started a sponsored slim at the suggestion of his wife, after being moved by the story of 16-year-old Josie Grove, from Northumberland, who decided to refuse any more treatment for terminal Leukaemia in a bid to enjoy her time left.
Readers of The Journal are being asked to sponsor Banks, who’s starting weight was 23 stone, in his bid to shed the pounds as well as to get involved themselves by leading a healthier lifestyle or coming up with their own fitness-related fund raising method.
Journal editor, Brian Aikten, has lost 6lbs since 4 January as part of the campaign. He said: ‘The whole staff feels engaged with this effort of ours because Josie is just such a smashing and inspirational character. I think it’s fair to say we’re incredibly proud of our success so far; hats off to Mrs Banks for the original idea. What’s really pleasing is the way that the team have taken that idea and built on it. David has been absolutely tremendous.”
Prime Minister Tony Blair has backed the campaign, though it is unknown whether he has sponsored Bank’s weight loss. Banks himself is in remission from leukaemia, having undergone two bone marrow transplants, the second one a success.
For more information or to sponsor Banks visit http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/journallive/campaigns/josiegrovefund/