THE coronavirus has curtailed the dedicated activities of Saddleworth Parish Council Chairman’s Charity Committee.

Cllr Jamie Curley said they had planned a full programme of events for March and April including a flea market, canal cruise with lunch, volunteers dinner, coffee mornings, medium evening and a St George's Dinner.

"All has now been cancelled," he said.“This unfortunately means we won't be able to raise as much as we had hoped for this year for our chosen charities.

“We will also have to postpone the presentation evening where we present the cheques to the charities. It’s very sad but necessary at a time of national emergency.

“When I took my seat as chairman in May last year I talked of what I called 'The Saddleworth Season', the long summer of activities and events that help define our unique corner of the world.

“We were lucky that we could take part in last year's summer season, from judging doggie competitors at the hugely successful Saddleworth Show and placing the wreath on Ammon Wrigley’s statue on Yorkshire Day to taking the salute at the Yanks Parade and listening to marvellous concerts by Saddleworth Male Voice Choir, the Saddleworth Musical Society and the Saddleworth Singers.

“All that lies in jeopardy now as the country battles the unseen enemy of Covid-19. But I know the fantastic community spirit of the people of Saddleworth will endure and these events, even if they cannot take place this year, will return bigger and better than ever next year when the hills will once again ring to the sounds of “The Saddleworth Season.”

His charities are: Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund, Samantha Jones Trust, Dementia Friends, Satellite Centre Greenfield, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, Chatty Cafe Scheme, Young Christian Carers, Samaritans Rochdale and Oldham, Maggies Oldham, Chernobyl Kids, Bright Futures School.