BARGAIN hunter Elsie Saints has put her spending days behind her to raise cash for charity.
Wearside English teacher and hardened shopper Elsie is being sponsored to give up buying new clothes, shoes, handbags and jewellery for a whole year to raise money for Cancer Research.
The Southmoor Academy teacher, renowned for her love of fashion and shopping, is now eight-months into the ban on hitting the high street and says it has been tougher than she thought.
But, with the support of family and friends, as well as staff and pupils at the Ryhope Road school, she is determined to see it through to the end with the hope of hitting her fund-raising target of £1,000.
Mum-of-two Elsie said in 2012 three members of her family were diagnosed with breast cancer and one with liver cancer, so it was a very bad year for them.
She said: “I decided I wanted to do something to raise money and when I suggested giving up shopping for a year everyone was just laughing.
“They said there was no way I would be able to do that because I am a big shopper.
“But, once I had made my mind up I was determined to do it.”
Elsie began her ban on retail therapy on December 27 last year and her fund-raising already stands at more than £600.
She said: “I used to shop all the time.
“I would call in at the Metrocentre on my way home for a browse around and used to meet friends on a Saturday and we would do a bit of shopping.
“It has been hard, especially during the sales because I love a bargain. But, my bank cards have had a rest.
“I thought maybe after giving up shopping for a long time, then I wouldn’t want to go back to it as much, but that’s not the case, I can’t wait to hit the January sales.”
Elsie, who lives in Newcastle, said the students at school, especially the girls, couldn’t believe she was giving up clothes shopping for a year and have been making donations towards the fund-raising.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Elsie can visit her fund-raising page at www.justgiving.com/Elsie-Saints or text ‘ELSI63 £5 (or the amount you wish to sponsor) to 70070.