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After visiting the Hospice several times to drop items off Anne was inspired to set up a Friends Group and signed up as a fundraising volunteer

Anne tells us more:

“My first connection with the Hospice was when I went along to a coffee morning at a neighbour’s house. They were fundraising for the Hospice and I decided I’d like to also get involved. I’ve always enjoyed making crafts so started making items to sell and raise money. Not long after someone who worked at the Hospice encouraged me to set up Wideopen Friends Group and thirty years on I’m still creating crafts and raising money.”

“When the Friends Group first started out, there were lots of other groups all supporting the Hospice so we used to share ideas, support each other and we were involved with setting up the car boot sales. I must have visited every supermarket in the North East selling raffle tickets and doing collections. I’ve been involved with the Summer and Christmas Fairs over the years, sponsored walks, coffee mornings and more.

“Sadly our Friends Group is no more but I still continue to support the Hospice. During lockdown I was knitting and crafting and selling things on my Instagram page to keep busy. As a result I raised over £700 for the Hospice. As traditional fundraising events were cancelled I wanted to do something to help and my family and friends also got involved by making things.

“I’ve continued to support St Oswald’s Hospice for so long because they do amazing work. I’ve seen first-hand the care they provide and how different it is to a hospital. My husband died in a care home and I wish he had been able to die in a hospice instead.

“Over the years I’ve met so many lovely people and still keep in touch with some now. I find volunteering very rewarding, I do what I do for the patients but I also enjoy being busy. Fundraising is a great way to put my hobby to good use. I don’t do what I do to get reward, it’s a pleasure.”

A huge thank you to Anne for her commitment, hard work and enthusiasm over the last 30 years.