Bonkers Bingo to hold charity event this weekend in memory of late Macclesfield teenager

By Imogen Strickland

21st Feb 2024 | Local News

Snaps from previous Bonkers Bingo events in Macclesfield. (Image - Bonkers Bingo)
Snaps from previous Bonkers Bingo events in Macclesfield. (Image - Bonkers Bingo)

A fun charity event is happening in Macclesfield this weekend.

Bonkers Bingo, a tribute to an old Macclesfield nightlife venue, is taking place this weekend to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

This will be in memory of Broken Cross teenager Mia Jennings who passed away in January 2023.

The Bonkers Bingo event will be held at The Fallibroome Academy on Saturday 24th February, which was also Mia's school.

Doors will open at 6:30pm, with tickets starting from £15.

Ex-Fallibroome Academy pupil Mia passed away on 21 January 2023. A Macclesfield performance company will hold a fundraiser at the school this weekend. (Image - The Jennings Family)

Macclesfield Nub News met up with Scott Hulme, founder of Bonkers Bingo to find out more.

"Here's how it started," recalled Scott.

"Well, my lad's going to Kenya this year with school."

"This is a four week expedition for students of Tytherington School.

"He'll be helping out in the villages, building schools, vaccinating all the livestock, things like that," Scott explained.

A wacky evening will raise money for a national charity this weekend. (Image - Bonkers Bingo)

"But he's got to raise the money himself."

Students are given two years to fundraise.

"Whilst he was generating good money, it wasn't coming in fast enough." Scott said.

An idea struck. "My son asked 'what about this bingo that's all the rage?'" Scott revealed.

As Scott is friends with owners of the Pack Horse Bowling Club near Bollinbrook, they gave them a venue, and Bonkers Bingo was born.

(Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay)

Fast-forward to today, and now they are raising money for other causes as well. Scott was asked to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Despite not knowing the Jennings family, Scott did not hesitate to take the opportunity up.

He went on to detail what we have to expect from this weekend's fundraiser.

"I based it on The Bonkers, where we did a few acts," Scott adds.

Back in the 1980s, The Bonkers was a club in Macclesfield, near the football ground was opened by a man from Liverpool.

The Fallibroome Academy, of Priory Lane, Macclesfield. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

"Basically, it was like a big circular bar and in the middle of that bar was the DJ," Scott recounted. "At the back of it there was a spiral staircase and we used to come down there, work behind the bar and every now and again, a couple of us would go up, get changed and do an act."

Since those glory days, the pub was renamed the Bramble and later knocked down.

Obviously, many people still hold fond memories of the venue, including Scott. He runs GEC Home Improvements on Byrons Lane by day, but by night runs Bonkers Bingo.

And things are quickly escalating, in true tribute to the Bonkers style, things are getting crazy!

After doing the impromptu fundraising event for the Kenya expedition, Bonkers Bingo gained popularity. And has now even been asked to do the show in Liverpool, as well as an upcoming shows in Macclesfield's nearby town of Buxton.

They have over 510 followers on Facebook. (Image - Bonkers Bingo)

"We're getting our name out there, without trying to!" Scott proclaimed.

"Wherever we go we're selling out."

Their next event, this Saturday in the Upton Priory area of Macclesfield, is a fundraiser for Cardiac Risk for the Young in memory of Macclesfield teenager Mia Jennings who passed away in January 2023.

Parking is free at The Fallibroome Academy, the venue for the evening's entertainment.

In the 13 months since Mia's passing. family and friends have raised over £30,000 for charity, the majority for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Cardiac Risk in the Young gave a rousing quote of thanks. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

Hopefully, Bonkers Bingo this weekend will add a significant sum to that total.

"Everybody wants to raise as much money as they possibly can," Scott said.

Balcony seats are £15 and table seats are £20.

The event features dancers, performers and more, with madness, mayhem, singing and dancing "guaranteed".

"We have funny prizes, as it is Bonkers Bingo," Scott revealed.

Click the red links on this article to secure your tickets. (Image - Macclesfield Bonkers Bingo)

"In the past, we've given out lifesize prints of Boris Johnson!

"There's some serious donations as well."

Many local businesses have sponsored the event, including Chestergate's PR Jones Macclesfield.

This demonstrates just how the Bonkers brand has flourished.

"There were 5 of us originally, now there's 12 of us.

There will be buckets on the night to raise additional funds for the charity as well. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

"There are 7 professional dancers," Scott expanded.

"It's a proper choreographed dance. We've been buying assets: lighting and better costumes.

"We're putting on a real show."

When asked about what makes Bonkers Bingo different, Scott said: "We're audience participation, audience interaction, engagement."

"It's engaging the audience all the way through, from start to finish."

The poster for this weekend's event. (Image - Bonkers Bingo)

Bonkers Bingo is holding the event for CRY at the Fallibroome Academy on Saturday 24th February with doors opening at 6:30pm.

The show starts at 7:30pm sharp.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Chief Executive of the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Dr Steven Cox says: "Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) people in the UK die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition."

"In 80% of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms of a heart defect until it is too late, which is why CRY believes screening is so vitally important (particularly for those involved in regular, physical activity).  

The Fallibroome Academy used to have a performing arts specialism, and still holds performances for the community, so it is the perfect 'new home' for the Bonkers now that the building it used to be in has been knocked down. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

"CRY now tests around 27,000 young people each year, aged between 14 and 35 – and the charity wants every young person to have the choice to have their heart tested.

"As CRY receives no government funding, our UK-wide screening programme is only possible because of the backing CRY receives from families (such as Mia's wonderful family and friends who have done so much to raise huge funds over the past year) to help us provide this service free to the public. 

"For almost 30 years, CRY has been supported by those who've been affected by the young sudden cardiac death. And, here at CRY we never forget that this support is driven by the will to prevent others from having to endure the same devastating grief as they have."

Dr Cox concludes; "In addition to our pioneering screening programme, CRY also funds a world-renowned research centre in London and a unique, nationwide Bereavement Support network.

"These services are vital and I'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone involved with the 'Bonkers Bingo" event and hope it's a really fun night as well as helping to raise funds in memory of Mia."

For more information about CRY's services please go to; www.c-r-y.org.uk  or to register interest for a cardiac screening near you, visit: www.testmyheart.org.uk.

Cardiac Risk in the Young recently conducted heart screenings at Macclesfield Leisure Centre, Mia's former place of work.

For more information about Bonkers Bingo and other upcoming events they are holding, please click here.

Macclesfield: Click HERE to follow them on Facebook.

     

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