Grandmother devoted to helping charity

PUBLISHED: 13:48 25 January 2009 | UPDATED: 09:22 13 July 2010

A fundraiser has raised thousands of pounds in honour of her granddaughter after spending the equivalent of one day a week for an entire ear manning bric-a-brac stalls.

A fundraiser has raised thousands of pounds in honour of her granddaughter after spending the equivalent of one day a week for an entire year manning bric-a-brac stalls.

Doreen Newell spent every Saturday between Easter and November last year at car boot sales and another 28 Mondays throughout the year holding a collectors stall in Aylsham.

Her amazing efforts, which raised a total of £3,700, were all in aid of Quidenham Children's Hospice, near Attleborough, where her granddaughter Lucy received respite care before she passed away in September 2007.

Lucy, who died aged just two and a half, was born severely disabled and had to be fed through a tube into her stomach throughout her short life.

Ms Newell, who lives with her partner John, said: “She was in intensive care for three months when she was born. The doctors didn't know why she was like she was, and we still don't know.”

The grandmother described Lucy, whose brother Oliver, 15, and sister Harriet, 9, go along to the car boot sales, as “a very happy and very pretty” little girl.

The 70-year-old, who lives in Colby, near Aylsham, began raising money while Lucy was still alive but stepped up her efforts last year in a bid to repay the hospice for all their help.

The money will be spent on new carpets at the hospice and Ms Newell has already raised about £400 this year which she hopes will help buy flooring for a planned extension.

Like many other charities, East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which runs the Quidenham hospice, has seen its running costs increase dramatically over the past year just as people find themselves with less money to spare for good causes.

Spokesman Rachel Wright said it was thanks to fundraisers like Ms Newell that EACH could meet its £5.5m running costs each year.

She said: “As a charity we rely on public support for the vast majority of our income, so we really appreciate the generosity of our supporters, particularly in the current economic climate.

“EACH remains in good financial shape, but only because the public of East Anglia continue to offer much-needed support for their local children's hospice.”

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