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Northumberland woman to give back to charity after cancer treatment

Katrina Wanless with staff at Northumbrian Gifts and some of the donations for her fundraising raffle.
Katrina Wanless with staff at Northumbrian Gifts and some of the donations for her fundraising raffle.

A Northumberland businesswoman diagnosed with breast cancer is looking to give something back, thanks to her customers and suppliers.

Katrina Wanless completed her treatment for breast cancer earlier this year and decided she wanted to do something to raise money for research into the disease.

The 43-year-old mum-of-one, who founded Northumbrian Gifts with her husband Stephen in 2004, put a call out for donations and has been overwhelmed with the response.

Thanks to the generosity and support, a mountain of prizes has been assembled at the company’s Ashington headquarters.

Among the delights up for grabs are golf days for four at Burgham Park Golf Club, bottles of gin, cases of beer, afternoon teas, brewery tours, castle visits, shop vouchers and much more.

Katrina has grouped the spoils into six prize bundles, selling raffle tickets at £5 each, with the money raised split between Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK.

She said: “When I finished my treatment, I felt strongly that I wanted to do something to raise money – to give something back. We’ve spent many years building strong relationships with both customers and suppliers and the response from everyone has been absolutely wonderful.”

Katrina and Stephen, who have an 11-year-old son Harry, will be selling the raffle tickets via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/northumbriangiftsraffle until the end of November and are hoping to raise £5,000.

Northumbrian Gifts promotes, distributes and sells produce from the counties that once formed ancient Northumbria – Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

The company’s suppliers and customers include a multitude of local breweries, tourist venues, farm shops, delis and specialist off-licenses, distilleries, soft drink and gift producers, many of which are family businesses.

“Putting the raffle together has been a really nice way to bring everyone together,” added Katrina.

“We wanted to give everyone time to get their tickets while making sure we’d get the six prize bundles shipped out to the lucky winners in time for Christmas.”

The winners will be drawn by Katrina’s surgeon Michael Carr, consultant breast surgeon at Northumbria NHS.

He said: “I am very pleased to be able to help Katrina in raising money which will be donated to Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK to help support their vital research into breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is, unfortunately, a very common disease: approximately one woman in every eight will develop the disease at some point in her life.

“Over the past few decades, the prognosis of patients with breast cancer has improved dramatically.

“The developments in treatment and improvement in prognosis would not have been possible without the clinical and scientific research funded by organisations including charities such as Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK.”

To find out more about Northumbrian Gifts, visit www.northumbriangifts.co.uk