• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Wideopen Friends raise over £50,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice

Wideopen Friends groupA fundraising group are celebrating over 25 years of raising money for St Oswald’s Hospice, based in Gosforth.

Wideopen Friends have supported the Hospice since 1989 through various fundraising activities, and have recently received their 25 year badges for volunteering. Although only a small group, they have raised over £50,000 for the Hospice who are this year celebrating 30 years of caring for local adults, children and young people in the North East.

The group is made up of Audrey Trobe, Anne Wilson, Sylvia Rowe, Joan Brodin and Pat Shields. Norma Land, Vivian Trotter and Dorothy Dickinson were also members but have sadly died.

The Wideopen Friends group talk about their time fundraising for St Oswald’s over the years: “The reason we first began fundraising for the Hospice is because Anne’s brother died in hospital and didn’t get the treatment that the family felt he deserved. This was before St Oswald’s was founded so when we heard about the Hospice and the type of care it provided, we thought it was a great cause and decided to begin fundraising.

“Our first fundraising events were coffee mornings in 1989 which went really well and we raised £680. It was then that a fundraiser suggested we started a group and in 1992 we became Wideopen Friends. Since then we’ve organised summer fairs, dances, nearly new sales, and we’ve always had an annual coffee morning where we sell lots of cakes and arts and crafts which we spend all year making – Anne especially can turn her hand to anything and we once even had an order for crafts from Austria!

“We have taken part in events the Hospice has organised, such as the Sunflower Walk, and it was the Friends groups who started off the St Oswald’s car boot sales.We also used to do door to door collections, and I think we’ve stood in just about every supermarket bucket collecting.

“We’ve raised a total of £51,160 so far, and there have been so many highlights for us over the year.

A couple of our most memorable moments have been meeting Princess Diana and Prince Andrew, who thought that Wideopen was a really funny name.”

The group ended:

“It doesn’t feel at all like 25 years since we started off, it’s flown over. We’ve really enjoyed fundraising; it helps to keep you from being bored and out of mischief! It’s also fantastic when you see what the money is going towards. We were invited on a tour of the Children’s Hospice before it officially opened in 2003 and were so impressed, it reinforces why you are doing it. We take comfort in knowing that our fundraising is going straight to a local charity for the benefit of the local community.”

Natalie Santamera, Community Fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said: “We are so thankful to Wideopen Friends for their continued support over the last 25 years. We need to raise 7million through voluntary giving each year to continue to provide our services, so we really couldn’t do without people like them.”

If you would like to support St Oswald’s, see how you can get involved at www.stoswaldsuk.org/get-involved.

By admin