Treemendous boost for three charities

Christmas Tree of Light collection, left to right: Mayor Jack Gebhard, Sanderson Arcade Manager Jack Plumley, Rotary President Bob Kendall and Rotarian Rhona Dunn.
Christmas Tree of Light collection, left to right: Mayor Jack Gebhard, Sanderson Arcade Manager Jack Plumley, Rotary President Bob Kendall and Rotarian Rhona Dunn.

MORPETH ROTARY

Following another successful year with the Christmas Tree of Light collection, Morpeth Rotary President Bob Kendall handed over cheques for £1,400 to each of three chosen charities.

They were Henry Dancer Days, the Mayor’s charity Mind Northumberland and Tyneside, and the Sanderson Arcade charity Cleaswell Hill School.

Henry Dancer’s grandma Gillian Irvine was pleased to call in at a recent Rotary Club meeting to say something about the work of the charity and to receive a cheque on its behalf. It was set up in memory of Henry Dancer, who lost his life to cancer aged 12.

Mayor Jack Gebhard and Sanderson Arcade Manager Joel Plumley accepted cheques for the other charities.

Gillian Irvine said that Morpeth Rotary had been a keen supporter during the six years that the charity had been running.

During that time Henry Dancer Days had been able to support 400 young cancer sufferers and their families with grants of up to £500 and had introduced storytelling and pottery distraction therapy sessions at seven children’s cancer hospitals throughout the country.

It has just received a large grant from Children in Need to introduce the therapy sessions to five other children’s cancer wards at Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, and to employ a part-time fund-raising co-ordinator.

Work has started in the five new hospitals and the fund-raiser has been appointed.

Other small grants to help the work have come in from the William Leech Foundation and from collections at the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle.

The money from Morpeth Rotary will be used to fund work at the Great North Children’s Hospital and for young cancer sufferers and their families generally.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind aims to help people with a mental health problem to stay in control of their own lives and to get the support they need from people they trust.

It helps those referred to them to live full lives and be part of the community. It offers a range of services based on the principles of wellbeing, recovery, resilience and prevention.

Cleaswell Hill School at Guide Post provides special education for 174 pupils from Northumberland, aged two to 19.

They all have challenges to overcome in getting the best they can from education. Some have physical difficulties, medical needs, emotional difficulties or autism.

Sanderson Arcade aims to help the school raise more than £5,000 to buy a canopy and outdoor swing that can be used to develop skills.

Hosting the evening was Rotarian Rhona Dunn, who organises the Tree of Light Project each year.