Life’s a gas for ‘parrot’ Pete!

"Gobby" Pete rehearses for his silence - in the mask that almost did for him.
"Gobby" Pete rehearses for his silence - in the mask that almost did for him.

BIG–HEARTED Bolton grandad Pete Finnegan is keeping quiet as he practises his latest madcap fundraising scheme. Too quiet.....

The veteran fundraiser has set himself the challenge to maintain a SILENCE, for 100 minutes at 30 different venues.

And to pull it off, he’s armed himself with... a GAS MASK!

But Pete told how he almost met his maker while formulating this particular charity challenge, to help stricken kids.

Pete, 65 explained: “I bought a gas mask – but when I put it on, I nearly choked myself.

“I had forgotten to take the packing paper out of it – and it cut off my oxygen supply!”

He explained: “I took up the challenge because everyone knows I usually can’t keep my gob shut.

“I know that if I just sat quietly in a corner someone would ask me a question or something and I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.

“So I thought, ‘if I have a gas mask on I won’t be able to say anything at all’!”

Along with his fundraising partner – Mexborough’s “Ironman” marathon-runner Tommy Joyce – Pete is donating the cash he raises to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Pete has continually campaigned in support of Children’s Hospices for almost a decade.

His exploits have often made national headlines – such as the time when he spent 50 cold winter days living in a portable toilet in his back garden.

His dedication to the cause of Government-funding for the hospices was taken up by former Mexborough and Barnsley MP Jeff Ennis and mentioned in the House of Commons.

And he spent the whole of last year, without spending a penny on food... relying entirely on donations, scrounging off friends and snaffling snap which was otherwise bound for the tip. He donated the money saved to charity.

Pete is currently looking for sponsors, venues and events to put his silent fundraising idea into practice. His challenge will run from June 19 to August 6.