North East Connected

Charity urges others to get involved with Christmas raffle fundraising

The manager at a North East charity has spoken of how it benefited from a major Christmas fund-raising raffle, as organisers get ready to launch this year’s follow-up.

Two of the North’s leading businessmen, Jeremy Middleton and Robert Forrester, came together last Christmas for the Great Northern Raffle to help the region’s battered charity sector, as it struggled in the aftermath of the Covid-pandemic.

The 2021 ‘Christmas Raffle’ again sees Vertu Motors offering a top prize – this time a MINI One 3-door Classic Hatchback in Moonwalk Grey, with an RRP of £17,405.

One of the charities to benefit from Charity Escapes’ 2020 Christmas raffle, was the If U Care Foundation, which is based at South Pelaw, Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

It aims to save lives, support communities, and prevent suicide by providing a range of services fundamental to its three main aims of prevention, intervention and supporting those bereaved by suicide.

Dominic McDonough, Fundraising and Events Manager at the Foundation, said: “The Great Northern Raffle raised much-needed funds for the If U Care Foundation last Christmas, allowing us to expand our support service at a very difficult time of year.

“This allowed us to help even more people as we saw demand go up. The money made a huge difference to us and to the people that we support.”

Jeremy Middleton, founder of the Middleton Foundation, said: “Many charities suffered financially during the Covid restrictions, as fundraising events were cancelled, leaving a huge hole in their finances, and jeopardising the support they are able to provide.

“This year’s Christmas draw will go some way in helping North East charities plug that funding gap and continue with their vital work.

“We are grateful to businesses for making this charity initiative possible and, in particular, to Robert Forrester and Vertu Motors for providing a fantastic top prize.”

Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, said: “It is great to see how fundraisers, organised by Charity Escapes, are having such a positive impact on good causes in the region, such as the If U Care Foundation.

“We are delighted to be involved again and hope that even more charities will come on board. We know what a tough time they have had during the pandemic, and this is a really good opportunity to boost their fundraising, and their profile.”

The raffle is the brainchild of the Middleton Foundation and its subsidiary Charity Escapes, which was founded by entrepreneur Jeremy Middleton CBE, and raised several hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes.

Charities wishing to get involved can contact Jordan Proctor at Charity Escapes –

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