Flying high with donation to hospital unit

Tommy Hunt (seated) and John Hunt with staff from the oncology unit at North Tyneside General Hospital.
Tommy Hunt (seated) and John Hunt with staff from the oncology unit at North Tyneside General Hospital.

A group of pigeon fanciers have joined together to raise money for a hospital unit.

John Hunt and Alfie Patterson started the fund-raising in support of the oncology unit at North Tyneside General Hospital, which looks after patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

They chose to support the unit as John’s grandfather Tommy is receiving treatment there.

John, from Palmersville, said: “It started as a bit of banter on Facebook between two pigeon lofts with the losing loft over nine young-bird races making a donation to the winner’s designated charity.

“This gained momentum with friends and pigeon fanciers from across the UK and as far as Ireland kindly donating whatever they could afford.

“The end total was unbelievable so we decided we would split the donations between the oncology unit at North Tyneside hospital and the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

“The oncology unit was my grandfather’s choice.

“We got the loft back in 2014 and it’s been a great way for him to get out.”

Tommy said: “I’ve received treatment at the unit for eight years and the staff have been absolutely brilliant.

“I hope this donation will help other patients like me.”

Unit manager Allison Nielsen said: “We are absolutely delighted and want to thank Tommy, John and all of the pigeon fanciers for their generosity.

“The funds raised will go to providing the special extras which make such a difference to our patients.”