A FAMILY has handed over almost £16,000 to a hospice where a loving dad spent his final days.
Brian Barnes, from Penshaw, was just 39 when he died of stomach cancer last year.
The transport worker had been ill for about a year, spending the last two weeks of his life at St Benedict’s Hospice.
Sister-in-law Julie, 24, of Barnes, said her husband Colin, 37, promised his brother he would launch a fund-raising drive in his memory.
The dad-of-two, who had previously taken part in the Great North Run in aid of Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK, had received “wonderful care” at the former Monkwearmouth hospice, which has now moved to a new site in Ryhope.
“We really wanted to do something to help the hospice,” said Julie. “They’d been fantastic with Brian and the whole family.
“It was such a terrible time for everyone, but they helped us through it and we’ll never forget that. It’s an amazing service they provide.
“It was also great to see the new facility, meet the staff and volunteers, and be given a tour of the site.
“Hopefully, the funds will help the hospice continue its important work.”
Brian’s family, including mum Edith, 59, and dad Barney, 62, of South Hylton, held a fund-raising night at the Roker Hotel, attracting 300 people.
The night, Barnes 4 Benedict’s, raised £10,700, with “match funding” by Barclays boosting the total to £15,900. “The turnout was amazing,” said Julie.
“We want to thank everyone for being so supportive and so generous.
“We never expected to raise so much.
“The Barclays funding was a huge help, and the event raised a staggering amount. Nobody could believe the total.”