Morpeth winner of car raffle helping to drive charity to success

From left, Mark Spring, sales manager at Vertu Honda Newcastle, winner of the raffle Anne Ballantyne and Helen Alderson, fund-raiser at St Oswald's Hospice. Picture by Neil Denham.
From left, Mark Spring, sales manager at Vertu Honda Newcastle, winner of the raffle Anne Ballantyne and Helen Alderson, fund-raiser at St Oswald's Hospice. Picture by Neil Denham.
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A Morpeth woman has won a brand new Honda Jazz in a raffle that raised more than £45,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice.

The lucky recipient of the car, which was donated by three Vertu Honda dealerships in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham, was Anne Ballantyne.

She bought a ticket for the fund-raising initiative when visiting her late mother at the Gosforth-based hospice.

Thousands of people entered the competition and a total of £46,259 was collected – the most the charity has ever raised from its annual raffle.

Anne said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have won the Honda Jazz. I didn’t think I would win when I bought the raffle ticket, I was just happy to support St Oswald’s Hospice.

“When I got the phone call to say I had the winning ticket, I was overcome with emotion. My mam, Jean, recently passed away after spending almost three weeks on the inpatient ward at St Oswald’s and my family and I had visited daily.

“The whole team did so much for mam and the family in such a short space of time. Even our dog Robbie was made so welcome and that made a huge difference at such a difficult time.

“I know first-hand the amazing work that St Oswald’s does, which is why I wanted to support the raffle. I just can’t believe I won.”

Helen Alderson, fund-raiser at St Oswald’s Hospice, said that the money raised is enough to pay the salary, plus additional costs, of a full-time senior nurse working in the children’s, inpatient or outpatient services for an entire year.

She added: “A huge thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and congratulations to our lucky winner.

“We are so grateful to Vertu Honda for donating such a wonderful prize for our annual raffle. Having the car to take to our events was a big talking point and we were delighted to raise such a massive total.”

The charity provides specialist hospice care to North East adults, young people and children with life-limiting conditions and support for their family members.

Richie Carrigan, general manager at Vertu Honda Newcastle, said: “We’re so pleased to have been able to help St Oswald’s raise such a staggering sum.

“We will be opening a new Vertu Honda dealership in Morpeth this summer and this dealership will be equally as involved in supporting local charities and causes.”