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Fundraiser spent birthday raising cash for hard-up families

Shonette's birthday party at the top of Roseberry Topping.
Shonette's birthday party at the top of Roseberry Topping.

A fundraiser spent her birthday to raise cash to buy food hampers for struggling families.

Charity was the present birthday present for Shonette Bason Wood, who raised £800 on her birthday by swapping her heels for a pair of trainers and walking boots and taking part in three charity fitness challenges.

The teams playing soap hockey at Atom Health and Fitness.

The teams playing soap hockey at Atom Health and Fitness.

The stand-up comedian and motivational speaker, who also describes herself as a happiness guru, held the Outdoor Challenges event across three venues in County Durham and North Yorkshire, including Roseberry Topping, to raise money to buy hampers for families living in deprived areas of the North East.

The event raised £800 in total, the equivalent of 53 family hampers, and kick started at Atom Health and Fitness, in Billingham.

Guests were split into three teams and taken from the fitness centre to Roseberry Topping, in Great Ayton, for the first of three ‘fitness and happiness challenges’.

At the peak, organiser Shonette was presented with a surprise birthday party – complete with birthday banners, balloons and tasty treats.

Shonette Bason Wood

Shonette Bason Wood

After completing the first fitness mission, the party-goers were taken to Hardwick Park, in Sedgefield, for their second challenge, before returning for their third and final task back at the Billingham fitness centre – a soaking soap hockey tournament.

The £800 raised will be put towards 53 hampers packed with useful family essentials including toothpaste, toilet roll and tins of food. These will be gifted to families living in the region’s poorer communities.

Shonette, from Wynyard, is currently touring the UK on a one-way mission to spread joy across the country.

The 46-year-old’s calendar of events includes comedy shows as well as fundraising events via her business Spread the Happiness, and she organises regular charity events in highly deprived areas of the UK, giving out family hampers to those most at need.

A former primary school teacher, she also aids teachers in the classroom on neurological teaching techniques to support pupils at a disadvantage.

“Making a difference and bringing happiness to people across the country is a huge passion of mine”, said Shonette. “The Outdoor Challenges event was a great success and I’m pleased we raised so much money to put together hampers for those that need them most.

“It is extra special to me as it was done on my birthday. Everyone had a fabulous time and really enjoyed themselves, and we got to explore some great areas around the North East.”