Tuesday, 01 September 2015

West Cumbria fund-raisers hit £33,000 in 10 years

Two friends are celebrating a decade of raising money for local charities.

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LATEST EFFORT: Friends Jackie Eve and Brenda Holliday, fourth and fifth from left, at the recent Reach Out concert when they presented Hospice at Home West Cumbria community fund-raiser Gillian Johnston, sixth from left, with a cheque for £2,700. Also in the photograph are members of the Etoile String Quartet and the Lakeland Studio of Dance

Brenda Holliday, of Seadown Drive, High Harrington, and friend Jackie Eve have raised around £33,000 for a variety of charities over the last 10 years and this year they went back to where it all started to raise money for Hospice at Home West Cumbria.

Jackie, 67, of Whitehaven, said: “We were really pleased with what we raised last month because over the years audiences have dwindled but it is the same for everyone.”

Brenda, 68, added: “It was a little bit extra special this year with the hospice having looked after my dad.”

The Reach Out concert held in the Carnegie Theatre in Workingon on October 21 raised £2,700 for the charity.

The pair’s fund-raising journey began after the death of Brenda’s father David Shackely in 2002.

He was cared for by nurses from the hospice and Brenda decided to organise a small concert to thank them and raise funds.

They did another small concert the following year for the orthopaedic ward at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

From there they decided to take it to the big stage at the Carnegie Theatre and they have organised a variety concert there every year since.

Brenda said: “It just struck me that if I could do a small concert with Jackie and the others then if we could get them all to help again I am sure we could do one in the Carnegie and it would give us a challenge and give me something to work for.

“In no way did I think I would be doing it 10 years later. We have just got bigger and bigger.

“It is a pleasure as well as a lot of hard work. You are helping charities raise money, people enjoy the concerts and it shows off our local performers.”

In 2004 the pair decided to become B & J Promotions to give an identity to their fund-raising, which also includes smaller events throughout the year.

They choose a charity each year that is close to their hearts and, most importantly, local.

The causes have included Maryport Cottage Hospital League of Friends, Eden House Children’s Hospice, the Henderson Suite at the West Cumberland Hospital, the Pride of Cumbria air ambulance and West Cumbria Society for the Blind.

Jackie said: “We called on close friends to help and we all had a good pool of know-ledge that could help make this money for charity.

“We have got to the stage now where people ask us if they can perform and the only thing we have problems with is finding something different each time.

“There is a lot of talent in Workington and the rest of Cumbria.”

She added that they had a lot of support over the years from the Carnegie’s former manager Paul Sherwin and Alan Jackson, who was their compere until last year.

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