Hospice’s fund-raising ball helps fund 51 days of counselling support

SUPPORTERS of a County Durham hospice have helped fund a total of 51 days of specialist support for patients and families of loved ones who have been diagnosed with a life-ending illness.

Willow Burn Hospice’s annual Diamonds and Pearls Ball raised close to £23,000 which is the equivalent of more than 50 full days of care provided by the charity’s Family Support and Counselling Team.

The hospice provides end-of-life and palliative care for people with incurable illnesses through a range of support services, and its Family Support provision helps on average 450 people each year.

Willow Burn Hospice Director David Barker MBE and Chair of Trustees Paul Jackson at the Diamonds and Pearls Ball.

The team provide support to adults and children from the point of diagnosis right through to bereavement, and is offered to in-patients at Willow Burn’s Helen McArdle Wing and day care clients at its base in Lanchester. Referrals from the community are also accepted.

David Barker MBE, the Director of Willow Burn Hospice, said: “The Diamonds and Pearls Ball was a huge success and a true celebration of the Willow Burn community.

“The income generated at the event will ensure that our Family Support and Counselling Team will continue to be there for patients and their families when they need support the most, from diagnosis and beyond.

“A huge thank you to the sponsors and donors who made this incredible fund-raising total possible.”

Hospice supporters and members of the local business community threw their weight behind the sold-out Ball, held at Beamish Hall Hotel, by digging deep into their pockets on the evening.

Host Alfie Joey introduces David and Benjamin Nicholson (left) to draw the Diamond Raffle which raised £4,380.

A Diamond Raffle with a prize of a pair of 18ct White Gold Diamond Stud Earrings worth nearly £4,000 – donated by the Newcastle branch of Berry’s Jewellers – was a big draw and raised £4,380 for the hospice.

Store manager David Nicholson said: “I will forever be grateful for the fantastic care and support my mam Ann Johnson received from the team during her illness, and donating these earrings was just a small token of appreciation to the wonderful hospice team from me and my family.

“To be in a position where we’re able to provide a raffle prize which helped raise such a large amount of money for the hospice is a great feeling, and we’re so glad that our donation was able to contribute to such a fantastic fund-raising total.

“The money raised at the Ball will make a huge impact to hundreds of families who have to use the services of Willow Burn like my family did.”

In addition to the Diamond Raffle, various other fund-raising activities were held at the Ball including an auction and tombola.

North East personality and former BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Alfie Joey returned to host the evening.

Willow Burn provides end-of-life and palliative care for people with incurable illnesses through a range of holistic day care, inpatient services and family support and bereavement counselling services.

The Willow Burn Hospice fund-raisers during the Diamonds and Pearls Ball.

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