Dolly’s legacy lives on

Dolly Cruddis

Dolly Cruddis

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YOUNG carers will benefit from a cash gift donated in memory of their mentor who tragically died in a car crash aged just 25.

Dolly Cruddis was killed when her car left the road between Northallerton and the A19 when travelling home to Wheatley Hill.

After the aspiring social worker’s death, on June 8 last year, her friends set up the Dolly Foundation to raise cash for worthy causes.

Since then at least £3,000 has been raised, £500 of which has been donated to County Durham-based Family Action, which is a service for young carers.

In the past, the service was provided by Barnardo’s, where Dolly was a volunteer and whose “can-do” attitude and energy were a huge benefit to the young carers she helped.

John Atkinson, of Family Action, said: “Dolly was only with us for 18 months before she died, but within that time she put so much time and effort in.

“Another volunteer might not give as much in three years as she did in one year alone.”

The money will be spent on summer events for the young carers.

Dolly’s mum, Fatma, 62, said: “It’s still so hard to come to terms with what happened.

“But it’s nice to know the Dolly Foundation is carrying on her caring and giving nature.”

Dolly’s friend, Debbie Corbett, 26, set up the foundation shortly after Dolly’s funeral with Dolly’s twin sister, Nadia, Nadia’s boyfriend Graeme Smith, 29, and David Stokes, 26.

Debbie said: “Dolly did a lot of fundraising in her lifetime and it just seemed right we would continue to do it for her.”

Dolly, a former pupil of Wheatley Hill Primary School, Wellfield Community School, in Wingate, and Hermitage School, in Chester-le-Street, and an ex-New College Durham and Newcastle University student, was planning to study a masters degree in social work.

Dolly, who had an older sister Melanie, 42, and brother Stephen, 38, and foster brothers Brad and Joe, appeared in the Mail in 2007 launching a fundraising campaign after her dad, Peter, 58, died of cancer.

She completed a 100-lap swim at Peterlee Leisure Centre in aid of Hartlepool and District Hospice after she and her family attended bereavement classes there.

The Dolly Foundation plans to donate some of the money to the Great North Air Ambulance, which airlifted her to hospital after the crash, and James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where medics battled to save her.

Donations can be made by logging onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link at the bottom of this story.