A DURHAM golf club have provided a £15,000 Christmas present for ill children.
Golfers at Ramside Golf Club chose The Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital as the Captains Charity for 2013 by men’s captain Gordon Dance and ladies captain Anne Wilkinson.
They have spent all year raising funds to pay for vital equipment, salaries and family-centred care on the ward.
A total of £15,841.68 was collected, and last week Mr Dance dressed as Santa to visit the ward and hand over the funds as well as toys and selection boxes.
The money was raised specifically for youngsters needing cardiothoracic surgery, involving conditions affecting children’s hearts and lungs, just one of many types of specialist care provided by the unit.
Mr Dance said: “The Children’s Heart Unit is an incredible, life-changing place, delivering hope and bright futures to children who have yet to scratch the surface of life.
“I’m overjoyed that, in our own small way, we could pull together a good amount of money that can help this special group of health professionals do their amazing work.”
The cash was raised through charity golf competitions, raffles, auctions, gala dinners and private donations.
The final total was boosted by match funding from Barclay’s Bank, through its employee and Ramside member Paul West, who donated £5,250.
The unit is one of the leading children’s heart surgery centres in the world and delivers care for critically ill babies, children and young people.
The CHU successfully carried out the first infant heart transplant in Europe 1987.
That young girl is one of only 100 transplants worldwide to have survived 25 years.
Julie Flett, transplant liaison sister at unit, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Children’s Heart Unit, we’d like to thank all the golfers of Ramside Golf Club who teed off and putted out in aid of the children and young people who need our help. I’d especially like to thank Gordon Dance and Anne Wilkinson for their tireless fundraising and generous support for the CHU.”
Ramside Golf Club undertakes a range of charitable work for local and regional causes, and holds an annual golf day to raise funds for children who have been affected by meningitis.
The club’s 2014 Captain Kevin Maddison, has agreed in principle to support two local causes in 2014 – Veterans at Ease, a local armed services charity that specialises in the support of servicemen and women who have suffered mental illnesses due to the lack of government funding for those without physical injuries, and Tiny Lives, the specialist unit in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, which carries out surgical procedures on babies and infants and is mainly self-funded.