‘Super Gran’ raises a glass to supporters

St Oswald's fundraiser Amy Slater and Monkseaton Arms manager Leigh Dryden with Nancy Rutherford.
St Oswald's fundraiser Amy Slater and Monkseaton Arms manager Leigh Dryden with Nancy Rutherford.

A ‘Super Gran’ has raised a glass or two to supporters who helped raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Daredevil Nancy Rutherford, 81, popped into the Monkseaton Arms to thank pub staff and customers who helped her raise more than £4,500 for St Oswald’s Hospice.

The grandmother of six, from Whitley Bay, recently took part in a tandem skydive at Peterlee Parachute Centre in County Durham.

Nancy said: “My granddaughter, Laura Swan, worked at The Monkseaton Arms, and when she heard I was planning my skydive, she spoke to the manager to see if there was a way he could get involved and help spread the word.”

Manager Leigh Dryden said: “When Laura told me about Nancy’s plans, I thought it sounded brilliant.

“We like to support charities which benefit our community, so I immediately contacted my beer supplier, Cullercoats Brewery, and spoke to the boss, Bill Scantlebury. He suggested branding one of ales as ‘Super Gran’ in Nancy’s honour.

“The level of interest was great with everyone asking about Nancy and her challenge.”

The ‘Super Gran’ ale raised £750 towards Nancy’s total thanks to 10p from every pint sold.

Nancy added: “I would urge any seniors who have always fancied doing something like this to just give it a go.

”You only live once and I can honestly say I had a great time doing something while raising money for a wonderful local charity.”

Nancy received donations from around the globe, with money coming from as far afield as Dubai, the United States and Australia.

She added: “I can honestly say the whole thing has been brilliant. I initially aimed to raise £500, but with the support from people like Leigh and the customers at the Monkseaton Arms, I have managed more than I ever imagined.”

Amy Slater, fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said: “We were thrilled to hear that Nancy wanted to do a skydive in support of the Hospice, it’s absolutely fantastic.

“She is a brilliant sport and it’s been lovely to see her local community, and those further afield, rally round to help her raise this wonderful total.

“We rely on supporters who take part in fundraising events such as this one to help raise the £6.5m needed each year to continue providing care and support to local north east families.”