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Andy Sanson from Gateshead is our fundraiser of the month, and also Santa’s helper! He has raised a massive £18,000 over the years for NECCR, and one of his ways to fundraise is to tour the streets of Low Fell doing a Santa Claus collection.

“The charity collection on a Xmas Eve has been an annual event for many years but 15 years ago the organisers decided to call it a day due to age and ill health. As it was such a popular event I decided we needed to try to keep the old tradition going, so I got some friends together and between us, we managed to organise the vehicle, the PA system, lights, sweets, collectors etc. to allow this fantastic tradition to continue.

“Santa and his Elves go into the local pubs and around the streets of the Chowdean Estate giving sweets to the children and collecting for this truly worthy charity, residents are standing on street corners waiting for Santa to arrive. Its just magical seeing the excitement and smiles on the children’s faces.

“I chose the NECCR for our collection on Xmas Eve due to the involvement I had previously and I wanted the donations to go to a local charity, as it was Xmas and Xmas is all about children the NECCR was an obvious choice.

“This years collection was dedicated to my Sister in Law who had collected with us for the past 15 years and sadly passed away after a short fight with cancer on the 7th November 2019.  We raised a fantastic £2,220 this year which is the most we have ever collected, and she would have been delighted to know we had achieved so much as she was a great supporter of the NECCR.”

Thank you, Andy, for all your brilliant work, and good luck for the Great North Run later this year!

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