Helping hospice

Maria Harrison from Place In The Park
Maria Harrison from Place In The Park

BOSSES at a park cafe are looking forward to building on their relationship with a town hospice.

The Place in the Park, at Ward Jackson Park, has already boosted Hartlepool & District Hospice by providing a base for the 2012 and 2011 Santa Fun Runs, which have raised thousands of pounds for the cause.

Now Maria Harrison, director of the Place in the Park, says she hopes to offer more support in 2013 by hosting a number of charity events for the Wells Avenue-based facility.

Amongst her plans are a Winter Wonderland ball to be held in the coming months, as well as the Santa Fun Run in December and other events in the pipeline.

Maria said: “We are going to try and do some new events in the park to try to benefit the community and raise money for the hospice.

“The Santa Fun Run was the best the hospice ever had, I think with the location being more central than Seaton Carew, it attracted a lot more people, allowing us to raise even more funds for the hospice.

“Hopefully we can keep that momentum – we are already booked in this year for the Santa Fun Run.”

Maria said she wanted to highlight the cafe, which raised more than £100 for Hartlepool Rotary Club by hosting a remembrance Christmas tree, as a real community venue and is keen to do a lot more to help local charities.

She added: “There is no community centre in West Park and there are a lot of lonely people in West Park.

“I’m their local business and it’s a meeting place, with lots of friendships blossoming.

“It’s all about getting that old-fashioned sense of community together again.”

She stressed the importance of helping the town’s hospice, adding: “I think unfortunately what the hospice stands for does affect an awful lot of people and I think it’s incredibly important that people do try to raise as much funds as possible for those who are affected and for them to get the best possible treatment they can.”

The hospice’s events and community facilitator Greg Hildreth said: “It’s fantastic news that Maria wants to be more involved with fundraising.

“She’s been a great support so far and has been an absolute pleasure to work with. We all look forward to working with her in the future.”