A VOLUNTEER, inspired to quit her career in industry to join the hospice movement by the palliative care she witnessed her mother receive, has launched a major fundraiser.

‘Christmas From Me To You’ will take shoppers on a virtual journey around a Yuletide fair thanks to the organisational skills of Lyn Hatch as she strives to help St Teresa’s Hospice through the rigors of the pandemic.

Lyn, of Hurworth, was so impressed by the care her mother Dindy Hatfield received in her final days that she left her job in the chemical industry and now works for St Teresa’s Hospice.

Her job in administration provided her with the perfect position to witness the devastating effect COVID-19 has had on the charity’s ability to fundraise as countless events were cancelled.

St Teresa’s Hospice needs £3m a year to provide day, in-patient and community care, as well as family support and bereavement counselling, in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

The schedule of annual Christmas events is the latest to be decimated by the continued pandemic.

So Lyn volunteered to organise a virtual Christmas fair which has currently attracted more than 30 local businesses and hundreds of interested people prepared to shop online but locally.

Companies range from furniture restorers, Pilates and photographers to candle makers, skin care and a firm providing afternoon tea in a box.

“I sell Tropic Skincare products in my own time to fundraise for the hospice and was speaking to another local business about Christmas fairs being cancelled,” she said.

“We realised that there has never been a more important time to support small local businesses and charities. Charities were struggling even before the onset of COVID and the pandemic has wiped out so many events.”

Christmas From Me to You has been created to help both with 100 per cent of the registration proceeds going to St Teresa’s Hospice.

“When I lost my mum in 2018 it inspired me to leave my career of two decades in sales and marketing to seek work in the palliative care sector,” Lyn said.

“I was fortunate enough to join St Teresa’s Hospice and am passionate about its work.

But, it all costs money and it is increasingly challenging to raise the level of funds required in this economic climate. The more people who know about this, the more successful it will be.”

Any businesses interested in taking part should contact Lyn at christmasme2you@gmail.com or at the Facebook page @Christmasme2you.

The next step is to send quality images/videos and words for the week ahead and Lyn will be on hand to help businesses work out their best approach.

Shoppers can find the virtual fair on Facebook and Instagram at @christmasme2you.