Fair and jail event raise over £17k for hospice

 Volunteers Margaret Middlebrook, left, and Linda Swalwell at the Christmas fair (to order ring 353597)

Volunteers Margaret Middlebrook, left, and Linda Swalwell at the Christmas fair (to order ring 353597)

Words and photo by Dave Barry

Saint Catherine’s is over the moon with the success of two events, which raised over £17,000.

Its Christmas fair raised £6,127 and a bail-or-jail event raised at least £11,000.

At the fair, over 30 local traders ran stalls selling chocolates, baking, beauty products, hand-made crafts, etc. The stalls were buzzing, with lots of visitors browsing.

Hospice trustee and volunteer Margaret Middlebrook said: “We want to say thank you to the fantastic local traders who came along and to our brilliant volunteers who helped on the day”.

Saint Catherine’s hit on a novel way of raising funds when it ‘imprisoned’ 10 local people in the old jail in Dean Road.

They had been accused of such crimes as “buzzing the tower when the pattern was full” (whatever that means), hoarding oranges, possession with intent to supply bad dad jokes, supporting Leeds United without due care and attention, attempting to set Yorkshire Coast Radio alight by leaving toast in the toaster for too long, impersonating Tina Turner (badly), possession with intent to supply class-A 90% pure cocoa, stashing loot (in the form of Ringtons biscuits) in the office and speeding to the bathroom before his four daughters get there.

Using their phones, the pretend-prisoners had to persuade people to bail them out with donations. But people who wanted any of them to stay behind bars could pay for that too.

The jailbirds were Heath Samples, Ed Asquith, Simon Bull, John Easby, Paddy Billington, Mike Shingler, Susan Richings, Suzanne Burnett, Kerry Hope and Will Cammish.

* The next fundraising activity is a coffee morning (4 Dec 10am-noon).

Entry will cost £2 which includes a mince pie and a drink. The hospice’s recently refurbished shop will be open, selling Saint Catherine’s Christmas cards and its 2018 calendar.

* The hospice’s annual Santa Dash (10 Dec) will see hundreds of people in Father Christmas costumes walking and running along the seafront.

There are two options, both starting at the Sealife Centre at noon. The 5k route is to Hairy Bob’s skatepark and back. The 10k route is the same but twice.

* About 5% of the hospice workforce has been threatened with redundancy, as part of a “restructure” aimed at addressing “a significant financial deficit”.