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Team talks of ‘fantastic’ service

Daft as a Brush volunteers John and Raymond, with trustee Derek and WI secretary Carol Reed, pictured with one of the charity's ambulances.
Daft as a Brush volunteers John and Raymond, with trustee Derek and WI secretary Carol Reed, pictured with one of the charity's ambulances.

Hepscott WI

The spring has now well and truly sprung and new initiatives have begun at Hepscott WI.

Last month we started a Bag of Birthday surprises among the group, and this month a contribution with a difference to Members’ Newstime was begun by Anne McGrath.

As part of the decade competition in April it was decided that each month a member would bring an item of sentimental value along to the meetings, and then tell us why they had selected it.

Anne brought in a treasured Buddy Holly LP and bravely even sang one of his songs.

It wasn’t long before other members joined in the singing — a hit for Hepscott WI. I can’t wait for next month.

Our guest speakers this month comprised a team of five, including trustee Derek Warren, from the Daft as a Brush charity.

The charity’s brightly coloured ambulances are a regular sight across the region as they carry cancer patients to and from the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Around 350 volunteers helped some 30,000 patients in 2017, and the charity is looking to exceed that number in 2018.

Its 26 ambulances are adopted by local first and middle schools, which name them and produce the cheerful pictures that adorn them, such as the Puffin Express by Seahouses school.

Raymond Bowman told us all about the history of the charity, which relies solely on sponsorship and donations to support its valuable work.

The founder, Brian Burnie, who is now 73 and is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is currently undertaking a 7,000 mile walk around the UK and Ireland.

He is living on a double-decker bus called Bluebell as part of the challenge and aims to raise awareness of the charity.

Anne Aitkin then told us how the wonderful service had helped her late husband.

She had then volunteered herself to ‘give something back’. She now loves her voluntary work, even getting up at 5am to carry it out.

Daft as a Brush is a fantastic service, which is provided by so many caring people.

It is a real antidote to the ‘me’ society that we hear so much about these days.

The final moving words were spoken by one of our own members whose late husband was one of those patients helped.

She offered heartfelt thanks to the organisation for its support.

It was particularly appropriate that two of her regular helpers, John and Anne Grey, were part of the team taking part in the presentation.

Later this month Alan Sidney-Wilmot be guest speaker for the group and will talk about Maling China, created in Newcastle — ‘The Hallmark of Excellence’.

Members are invited to bring along any pieces of the china they have at home to show everyone.

The meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 19, at 7.30pm.

Visitors are always made very welcome so if you love china, come along and join us.