Hartlepool couple beat pandemic to deliver hospice cash

A family - whose annual fundraiser in aid of Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice has twice been compromised by the pandemic - have refused to let the crisis get in their way.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 6:34 pm

For the second consecutive year, The Liam Gough night, which is held every November at Rovers Quoit Club, in Easington Road, has been unable to go ahead.

But organisers John Gough and his partner Ann Bates have still raised £500 for the cause.

Mr Gough’s brother, Liam, was a social worker who helped adults and youngsters with disabilities and learning difficulties and was also well known on the local football scene.

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John Gough and Ann Bates

He died on New Year’s Day in 2008.

The event is also held in memory of John and Liam’s sister, Angela O’Hara, who was cared for at the hospice before her death in 2003 aged just 54.

Over the last decade the annual event has raised nearly £30,000.

Undeterred by the recent cancellations, John and Ann organised a series of collections for the hospice and recently handed over a cheque for £500 raised from generous family members and friends.

Greg Hildreth, communications senior manager at Alice House, said: “These events have been a big miss in recent years. They are always fantastic nights and I have had the pleasure of attending almost all of them.

"It is testament to the memories of Liam and Angela as well as the work of the hospice, that so much money has been donated without the event taking place. “It also shows the continued and tremendous kindness of the family who have been as wonderful and supportive as always.”

He added: “I would like to say thank you on behalf of everyone at Alice House. All of this money will be used to provide care and support for local patients and their families.

"Hopefully this year will see the return of the event.”

Donations from friends and family last year resulted in a £900 donation to the hospice, which is based in Wells Avenue, Hartlepool.

Alice House Hospice cost £3.5m to run every year but only receives 20% of this in Government funding.

The outstanding £2.8m must be raised through the local community and other fundraising initiatives.