Sunderland raises a cup to World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Former Sunderland footballer Julio Arca visiting Barclays bank, Southwick, Sunderland to sign aotographs as part of their Macmillan Big Coffee morning event, on Friday. Julio is pictured with Andy Smith personal banker ad Alison Humphrey branch manager.
Former Sunderland footballer Julio Arca visiting Barclays bank, Southwick, Sunderland to sign aotographs as part of their Macmillan Big Coffee morning event, on Friday. Julio is pictured with Andy Smith personal banker ad Alison Humphrey branch manager.
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GENEROUS fund-raisers netted thousands of pounds for charity with their morning cuppa.

More than 2,000 organisations across Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, took part in the annual Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event.

Friends, schools and businesses, including staff at the Sunderland Echo, all put the kettle on to do their bit for the cancer charity.

Former Sunderland AFC player Julio Arca went along to help staff at the Southwick branch of Barclays serve up tea and cakes to customers.

Andy Smith, personal banker at the branch, said: “We take part in the event every year. Staff bake cakes and we have tea and coffee going all day for customers.

“I am friends with Julio and he said he would come along and help serve on the day. We also had a raffle going on.”

The branch is hopeful of raising at least £500 through the event, which Barclays has agreed to match.

It was a special year for friends, Deb Dobinson and Carol Robertson, who began hosting a coffee morning for Macmillan 12 years ago at St Andrew’s Church Hall in Roker and through this year’s event they broke through the £10,000 barrier of cash raised.

Deb, who began holding the event in memory of a loved one, said: “We started it with just a couple of stalls and it has grown bigger every year.”

Now, dozens of people pitch in to make the event such a success, with people running tombola stalls and others selling crafts and other items and donating the money.

Deb said: “Some of the same people have been coming every year from the beginning and it is a really fun day now.”

The Macmillan Cancer and Information Support Centre, based in Sunderland Royal Hospital, also held a huge coffee morning with staff, patients and visitors all joining in.

Liz Airey, Macmillan’s fund-raising manager for Sunderland, Teesside, Hartlepool and Peterlee, said the coffee morning is always a huge success and she is very proud of how much effort is put in across the region.

She said: “Sadly it is the case that everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. The coffee morning is a lovely way for family and friends to get together and raise money.”