RETAIL therapy has done wonders for a cancer charity, thanks to the generosity of Morpeth shoppers.
A grand total of £850 has been raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care through a series of initiatives at Rutherfords of Morpeth department store.
A Handbags and Teabags campaign included a handbag amnesty to encourage customers to swap their old bag for a ten per cent discount on a new one.
Almost 50 bags were collected, which were donated to Marie Curie to sell in its North East shops.
The teabags element was in the form of a fund-raising tea party in the Rutherford’s restaurant.
And local schoolchildren joined in the charity drive by designing Christmas cards for sale.
Pupils from Chantry and Newminster middle schools came up with their designs in art lessons. Four winners — 11-year-olds Erin Cooper and Halona Mason from Newminster, and Chantry pair Holly Mavin, also 11, and Emily Caisley, 12 — saw their work put into print to create the cards, which raised nearly £150.
Now all funds have been presented to Marie Curie to help provide care for terminally ill patients in their homes or the Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle, and offer support to their families.
Community Fund-raiser Lisa Corfield said: “Marie Curie Cancer Care is thrilled with the response of the Rutherfords’ fund-raising campaigns throughout 2012.
“The handbag amnesty and children’s Christmas card competition were great examples of innovation to help us raise much-needed funds for our hospice and nursing services in the region.
“All of the money kindly donated from the card sales and the handbags donated to our charity shops will help us provide vital support to families where they need it most. We hope all involved found it fun and rewarding.”
Store owner Jane Rutherford said: “We were delighted to help raise money for a major cancer charity, which does so much tremendous work in the North East.
“It proved what we have always known — that our customers are very generous and supportive of the charity work we do.”
More fund-raising events will be organised at the store this year and the schools will again design Christmas cards.