SUNDERLAND’S best-loved agony aunt is supporting a fund-raising drive in aid of three poorly little boys.
Author and broadcaster Denise Robertson MBE has pledged her support to the Hat-trick! Charity dinner, which is raising money for the Bubble Foundation, in aid of three-year-old Finlay Kennedy, Team George and Bradley Lowery’s Fight.
Denise, best known as agony aunt on ITV’s This Morning programme, said the fund-raising event, which will take place at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, August 2, is a great idea.
“It is a huge morale boost for both the staff at the hospital and the parents,” she said.
“When anybody organises anything to raise money you think ‘thank God, someone is helping’.
“And it is wonderful for the staff and the parents to know that someone who doesn’t even know them, cares.”
Denise has been president of the Bubble Foundation for 21 years, and said since first becoming involved she has seen the number for babies who die of immune system conditions reduce from every six in 10, to every one in 10.
“I have seen the miracles it has done over the years,” she said.
“In fact we have got so good at looking after children with immune deficiency we can investigate other diseases with reasonable success.
“The money from the Bubble is taken all over the world starting up new Bubble units.
“So not only will the money raised from the charity event children in this country, but it will help children all over the world.”
Four-year-old Finlay suffers from an undiagnosed immune system condition which means he has to have blood infusions, at home, every week.
Team George is raising money for Sunderland Mascot George Johnson, who suffers from an undiagnosed gastro condition which means he has to be fed through the heart. The four-year-old’s family is raising money to take him to the USA for tests to diagnose the problem, and possible receive treatment for it.
Bradley Lowery’s Fight raising £500,000 to send the four-year-old, who has the form of childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, to the USA for relapse treatment, if he should need it.
Denise, who is attending the charity dinner and will be drawing the raffle, said she is looking forward to meeting the families.
“I have lost a child of my own so I know what the families are going through,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting them, it’s always nice to meet the parents.”
Tickets for the Hat-trick! Charity event cost £25 and can be bought by calling 07841 875 057, emailing email@example.com, or visiting www.bradleylowerysfight.org.co/store and purchasing them through PayPal (plus £1 admin fee).
The price includes a drinks reception, three-course meal, auctions, raffles and live entertainment from singers Carolynne Poole and Anthony Stringer.
Auction prizes include a bathroom suite and fitting, six-course meal, for six people, cooked by a private chef in your home, holiday vouchers from Hay’s Travel and jewellery from Collinson’s Jewellers.
Raffle prizes include, from Durham County Council, a family pass to Killhope mine and a one-month membership, including swimming, to a leisure centre of your choice.
There is also signed Sunderland AFC merchandise, cricket memorabilia from England cricketer Tim Bresnan, and a hamper from Juniper’s Pantry.