Fund-raiser nets cash for hospital

Malcolm Stewart (far left) presenting the cheque with Neil Dickinson (far right) to ward sister Nicola Walker (front right).
Malcolm Stewart (far left) presenting the cheque with Neil Dickinson (far right) to ward sister Nicola Walker (front right).

A family has netted thousands of pounds for a hospital unit thanks to a football fund-raising event in memory of their late mother.

The second Match for Margaret was held to celebrate the life of Margaret Stewart and to help raise money for Wansbeck General Hospital’s palliative care unit which cared for her.

The match, held at Ashington Football Club in May, was organised by Neil and Helen Dickinson with the support of their family and friends.

Margaret, a former nurse who cared for elderly patients and trained young nurses, passed away in January last year.

Nicola Walker, ward sister, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Neil and Helen and their family and friends for their continued support of our palliative care unit here at Wansbeck hospital.

“The support the Match for Margaret receives is just remarkable and the funds raised will make a real difference to our patients.

“Our warm thanks go to Neil and Helen and everyone who supported the Match for Margaret.”

Neil, from Ashington, said: “It was Margaret’s choice, which she made whilst being cared for on the ward, to raise money for the palliative care unit to thank all the staff for the wonderful care she received.

“After the success of our first year, raising over £3,000, we set ourselves a target of £4,000 for 2016 and we were really surprised when we smashed through that and passed the £6,000 total – it’s brilliant.”

“My wife Helen and I would like to thank our friends and family along with many others who were influential in making this day the success it was.

“To mention a few, they were Koast Radio, Ashington Football Club, Ant Rutherford and Les Langley of The North East Football Show ‘Made In Tyne & Wear’, Tony Lewis, Junior Turner, and obviously everyone who came along on the day itself.

“Next year’s event – M4M17 – is already being planned with the date set for Sunday, April 30, 2017, again at Ashington Football Club. We hope for another successful event next year.”

The donation was made through the trust’s Bright charity, which aims to provide the extras that make a different to patients.

For further information contact Bright Northumbria on 0191 203 1354 or email brightcharity@northumbria.nhs.uk/charity