North Tyneside slimmers’ choc block boosts city hospice

From left, Lisa Wakeham, fundraiser Siobhan Sargeant, June Patterson, Rachel Falcus, Trish Davidson and Rachel Thompson.
From left, Lisa Wakeham, fundraiser Siobhan Sargeant, June Patterson, Rachel Falcus, Trish Davidson and Rachel Thompson.

Slimming World members across North Tyneside have just completed their latest annual post-Christmas chocolate and alcohol amnesty in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle.

Throughout last month, members of the organisation’s Shiremoor, Battle Hill, Killingworth, North Shields, Whitley Bay, West Moor, Benton and Forest Hall groups donated chocolate treats they would otherwise have eaten to the hospice to be included in hampers for its Easter raffle.

This is the third year running that the groups have supported the Gosforth charity.

Battle Hill group leader Trish Davidson said: “The chocolate amnesty is great because it benefits our members just as much as it does St Oswald’s. It stops you being tempted, but it’s also nice to know you’re helping charity.

“More people than ever before got involved with the amnesty, and we’d like to say a huge thanks to them.

“It’s an annual institution for our groups, so it will be happening again.”

Siobhan Sargeant, a fundraiser for St Oswald’s, said: “A big thank-you goes out to all of the Slimming World groups across North Tyneside that took part in the amnesty in support of St Oswald’s.

“The chocolate will be made up into hampers for our Easter raffle, which is always popular with our supporters.

“Without donations like this, we’d struggle to find the £7m we need to raise each year to continue to provide our services, so it really makes a huge difference to everyone at the hospice.”

St Oswald’s was suggested as a beneficiary by Shiremoor group leader Rachel Thompson, a staunch supporter of the Regent Avenue hospice since her father David Thompson received outpatient treatment for cancer there in 1996 and 1997.

She said: “St Oswald’s has always been close to my heart since my dad went there.

“He was only 51 when he died, but the care he received at the hospice was amazing.

“He could have complementary therapy and reflexology, which, back then, was practically unheard of, and it made a huge difference.”