Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 23.22.50Kind hearted staff at a Tyneside hotel are going daft to raise much needed funds to buy a patient care car ambulance to help cancer sufferers get to and from their hospital appointments.

In its 50th anniversary year, The Newcastle Marriott Hotel Gosforth Park has pledged to buy the vehicle for their close neighbours – the charity, Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, which is also based in Gosforth.

The charity provides staffed, custom-made vehicles free of charge to transport outpatients, who are undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy cancer treatment, to and from hospital. Daft as a Brush operates in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and surrounding areas. Patients are never asked for money for being transported and often the volunteer drivers stay with the patient until their treatment is completed. The charity has made a massive difference to the lives of those that it helps.

The hotel is hosting a special event for the charity on Saturday 19th March with around 400 guests sitting down to dinner including the founder of the charity, Brian Burnie. It is hoped that around £10,000 will be raised on the night through fundraising activities like raffles and the auctioning of donated items ranging from sports memorabilia to hotel breaks.

The link with the charity was formed after Brian Burnie delivered a talk to hotel staff about their work. The talk inspired the staff to nominate Daft as a Brush as their chosen charity and fundraising began.

One ex member of staff who has just retired after 32 years in the hotel’s finance department is 75-year-old Irene Hearne from Fawdon.

“I was so impressed with the charity that I volunteered to escort patients to hospital. I get a lot out of helping people and it’s such a worthwhile thing to do,” she said. “I’m very proud of the fundraising target set by the hotel to buy a new ambulance and I’m sure we’ll see it on the road very soon.”

Andrew Fletcher, General Manager of the hotel was delighted to add his support to such a deserving cause.

“We’ve a lot of good people at the hotel and they are digging deep into their pockets and organising events to raise money. Every penny counts and there is a great feeling amongst everyone. Our chefs are even organising a competition to see who can create the best menu for the fund raising night. Everyone is touched by this dreadful disease at some time in their lives either personally or through a loved one. The last thing patients want to do when going to hospital is battle with traffic or find parking spaces. The ideal solution is Daft as a Brush.”

Photo shows: Hotel staff and Daft as a Brush volunteers with Brian Burnie (left) and hotel manager Andrew Fletcher (next to chefs)