TWO major sporting stars have thrown their support behind their home town's charity week which takes place this month.

Cockermouth Charities Week takes place from Monday, July 15 with stalls around the town on Saturday, July 20.

The fundraising extravaganza is organised by Cockermouth & District Chamber of Trade.

Now, in its third year, two of Cockermouth’s sporting superstars - world-class cricketer Ben Stokes and Olympic swimmer Luke Greenbank - have thrown their support behind the event.

Ben, the England Test team captain said: "I have huge affection for Cockermouth and know what a fantastic community it is. To every business taking part in the 2024 Cockermouth Charities Week – I hope you raise a fabulous amount of money.

"And to everyone living in and visiting the town – please be as generous as you can with your support."

Speaking ahead of competing at the Paris 2024 Olympics, medal winner Luke added: "Cockermouth is such a special place for me – it's where I've lived and trained, and where I went to school – and I know the local people will really get behind Charities Week.

"This is such a great initiative which will make a difference to thousands of lives through the causes it supports and I am very pleased to show my support."

In 2023, the Chamber of Trade’s event saw £18,000 raised for 35 different charities by more than 70 companies. This year, Fairfield and Cockermouth Schools are taking part for the first time, while some of the charities themselves will have stalls on the town centre streets.

But it’s not all about the money – it’s also about raising awareness of the charities and the people and places they are involved with. Businesses do this in some creative ways, like colour-coded cocktails, and engineering giant James Walker is hosting a mental health and wellbeing week for all its employees.

There will also be a free children’s treasure hunt, a food-themed prize draw with a top prize at Michelin-starred Cottage in the Wood, and an 'Eat In To Help Out' initiative to encourage residents to cook for their friends in return for a donation.

Charities Week co-ordinator and Chamber of Trade member Andrew Marshall, whose family run Strolling4Shoes, said: “Huge thanks to Ben and Luke for supporting Cockermouth Charities Week. This year’s event is looking bigger and better than ever before.

"Watch this space for details of the massive raffle with some fantastic foodie prizes, and please come to Cockermouth to support the businesses who are hoping to raise loads of money for their favourite charities.”

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