Super gran who helped save gymnastic club is up for Pride of Hartlepool award

Alison Hockborn
Alison Hockborn

PROUD gran Allison Hockborn just loved it when her grandchildren took up gymnastics.

And when the club they attended had its old heating system condemned, it was Allison who stepped in and launched a £10,000 fundraising campaign.

In an astonishing display of determination, she had raised enough for a new system and did it within three months.

Her efforts have prompted one of her friends to nominate her for a Pride of Hartlepool award.

She joins a top-class line-up of entrants in this year’s competition.

Allison, from the Headland in Hartlepool, felt she just had to help when her grandchildren Alisha-Mae Trainor, aged five, and Skye Gibson, aged six joined the gym.

Since then, a third grandchild, five-year-old Lewis Gibson has also joined Hartlepool Gymnastics Club which is based in Lynn Street.

Allison said: “Someone asked me to be a fundraiser for the club. After that, we found out about the heating system and that it would cost £10,000 to get a new one.

“I just thought to myself, ‘there’s 350 kids from Hartlepool using this’. Without a heating system, it would have been impossible for them to use it.”

Allison vowed to get the money. To raise it, she approached every councillor in Hartlepool. She contacted charities such as Hartlepool Lions, the Rothley Trust in Northumberland, and TFM Radio’s Cash for Kids appeal.

And she also organised a fundraising night of clairvoyance with Peter Crawford and Irene Wilson. It paid off within three months.

Thanks to her efforts, the heating system is now installed.

Allison added: “We needed to get the money quickly and I said I would get it within three months. I came home and thought ‘I’ll get this if it kills me’.”

Now Allison is in the running for an award and we want to hear from even more unsung heroes in the Hartlepool area.

Ten categories up for grabs in this year’s awards.

You have until early March to put forward your favourites and we want to make this a record year for entry numbers .

So fill in the nomination form in the Hartlepool Mail today, or visit and complete the online entry form