A BOSS at one of York's leading employers has shed over two stone - and raised an amazing £13,000 for charity.

Mike Kirsch, the operations director at Norwich Union in York, raised the cash following a three-month long sponsored diet, losing an astonishing 31lbs - which means Mr Kirsch raised a staggering £420 for every pound in weight he lost.

He raised this money for the company's staff charity, Make-A-Wish, simply by getting colleagues and friends to sponsor him.

Mr Kirsch, who lives in Strensall, started dieting and going to the gym to loose weight at the end of January, and kept going up until the end of April.

The company agreed to match whatever Mike raised, and at the end of that period he had accrued £6,500 of his own, which was matched, taking the total to £13,000.

Make-A-Wish Foundation UK turns the wishes of children aged three to 18 living with life-

threatening illness into a reality, and operates with the help of more that 800 volunteers.

Mr Kirsch said: "Make-A-Wish is a great charity which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

"I am delighted to have been able to help, and I'd like to thank everyone who supported me and hope this money can make a real difference."

Make-A-Wish volunteers can be corporate, celebrity and individual sponsors from around the country.

The charity has granted 3,500 wishes since it began in 1986 and is currently granting more than ten wishes a week.

Originally founded in America, Make-A-Wish Foundation is now established in 32 countries on five continents.

The charity concentrates on providing happy memories for the child and their family as well as respite from their normal routines of hospitals, doctors and treatment. Regardless of the nature, cost or complexity of a wish the charity tries meet to demands of every child. To find out more about the charity log on to www.make-a-wish.org.uk

Updated: 10:23 Wednesday, July 06, 2005