Jam-making Sunderland grandad spreads some charity cheer

Dennis Smith has raised hundreds of pounds for a wide range of North East charities by making and selling his own jam. He's pictured with his grandson Daniel and Ron Musgrove from the Great North Air Ambulance.

Dennis Smith has raised hundreds of pounds for a wide range of North East charities by making and selling his own jam. He's pictured with his grandson Daniel and Ron Musgrove from the Great North Air Ambulance.

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When it comes to fundraising, Sunderland grandad Dennis Smith is exceedingly “jammy”.

Eighty-six-year-old Dennis has raised hundreds of pounds for a wide range of North East charities by making and selling his own jam.

What we normally do is allow it to get up to £100 then look for a charity , or if someone suggests a charity to me, we will give it to that.

Dennis Smith

Dennis, of Rocksbury Street, Fulwell, uses fruit from his own allotment to produce his preserves, then sells them at fundraising events and his local pub, The Cliff, in Mere Knolls Road.

“I have donated to quite a few charities,” said Dennis.

“I have been doing it for about 10 years now. My grandson Daniel helps me out quite a bit.

“We had a jam stall at the hospice before Christmas and raised £245, which we donated to the hospice.”

Dennis and Daniel keep a charity box which they pay the proceeds of their jam sales, then choose a fund to receive the contents of the box when it hits three figures.

The Great North Air Ambulance is the latest worthy cause to have benefitted, with Dennis and Daniel handing over a cheque for £200 to fundraiser Ron Musgrove at the pub.

“The Cliff had a charity day – we put a stall on and raised £137,” said Dennis.

“We decided to make it up to the £200 mark from the charity box.

“What we normally do is allow it to get up to £100 then look for a charity, or if someone suggests a charity to me, we will give it to that.

“The last donation we made was for Parkinson’s Disease and we have donated to Help for Heroes, Macmillan cancer relief and various other charities.

“We have been talking about donating to the air ambulance for a while now.”

As well as helping local good causes, the jam sales keep Dennis busy: “It keeps me occupied and gives me an activity,” he said.