Morecambe's 'Sooty Man' thanks everyone for helping him to reach his £500,000 RNIB fundraising target: VIDEO

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Morecambe's famous 'Sooty Man' has said a big 'thank you' to everyone who helped him achieve his half a million fundraising dream.

Keith Ainsworth has been raising money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) for 35 years.

He is currently being looked after in St John’s Hospice and his final wish was for his fundraising to pass the half a million mark.

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And this week, he raised the big amount with a £600 anonymous donation taking him past the magic number.

Keith Ainsworth with staff at St John's Hospice.Keith Ainsworth with staff at St John's Hospice.
Keith Ainsworth with staff at St John's Hospice.

Keith, 75, has lived in Warton and Morecambe for more than 58 years. Famed for his fundraising throughout the area he is known as the Sooty Man, after the Sooty mascot for the RNIB.

He said: "I never thought I would get there but I have done it and I want to thank everyone who has donated. I got a bit emotional, I think it was two or three hours before I stopped crying!"

Catherine Butterworth, director of income generation at the hospice, said: "It's been an absolute privilege to help Keith to achieve what he really wanted to do."

Keith is now asking for people who still wish to help to give a donation to the hospice.