Charity group marks 20 years of raising funds

A PONTELAND charity fund-raising group is celebrating a landmark anniversary.

Coffee mornings with plant and cake stalls, lunches with a guest speaker, selling Christmas cards and Chinese banquets are among the activities put together by the Barnardo’s Ponteland Committee since it was set up 20 years ago.

Over the two decades an impressive £87,000 has been collected by the volunteers.

Chairman Janet Robertson, one of four founding members still involved with the committee, said: “Ponteland resident Betty MacFarlane, who was employed by Barnardo’s at the time, approached 12 of us about starting a local group and we were keen to do our bit to help the charity.

“The numbers have stayed about the same over the years and we’ve been fortunate to receive lots of support from the Ponteland public.

“We’re grateful to all past and present members for their fund-raising efforts and Betty, who is now a volunteer like the rest of us after retiring.

“It’s nice to reach this landmark and hopefully the committee will continue for many years to come.”

Group members, along with other charity volunteers from across the region, also sell Christmas cards at the Church of St Thomas the Martyr in Newcastle in the run-up to the festive season.

Organised by Cards for Good Causes, a high proportion of the money raised goes to a range of charities, including Barnardo’s, which helps children in poverty, young carers and families looking to foster or adopt.

Anyone who would like to join the Ponteland Committee can contact the Chairman on 01661 823410 for more information.