Big thanks from the hospice

Graeme dressed as cartoon character Shrek with Greg Hidreth
Graeme dressed as cartoon character Shrek with Greg Hidreth

HOSPICE bosses have thanked a kind-hearted fundraiser after he raked in nearly £6,000 for the cause in just one year.

Graeme Smith, 40, chose Hartlepool & District Hospice as the official charity of Hartlepool Round Table during his year as chairman.

The organisation’s annual beer festival, held in October, raised more than £4,000 for the cause.

And Graeme took on his own challenge for the cause – going 12 months without touching a drop of alcohol.

Two race nights also helped to rack up a total of £5,851 – to the absolute delight of hospice staff.

Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator at the Wells Avenue-based hospice, said: “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with Graeme and the other Round Table members who were such a huge part of the year’s fundraising activities.

“We are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication they have shown to making a difference to the lives of hospice patients and their families.

“I would like to say a massive thank you on behalf of staff, volunteers and patients to Graeme and the rest of the guys.”

Graeme’s year as chairman is now over but he is still a member of the Round Table.

He was quick to praise his fellow members for their role in helping to raise the cash.

Graeme, a harbour pilot who lives in the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool with wife, Amanda, 34, a childminder and their 10-year-old daughter Hannah, said: “I had to choose a charity for the year and I wanted to keep it local.

“The hospice is an emotive cause and is something which all of the town feels strongly about getting behind.

“I would like to thank all of my fellow Round Table members, without who none of this would have happened.

“I had my ideas, but I needed people to make them go ahead.”

Francis McAllister, director of fundraising at the hospice, added: “The hospice is the only provider of specialist palliative care to the communities of Hartlepool and East Durham.

“To have support from a group like this really shows how much the service means to the local people we care for.

“I would like to thank Graeme and all of the members of the Round Table for their support.”