Over 180 staff and residents at three North East care homes enjoy a free lunch thanks to a five-year-old girl

Jessica Willey from Washington has raised enough money selling homemade bookmarks to pay for the lunch of over 180 staff and residents at three North East care homes.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 1:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 1:17 pm

Jessica Willey, aged five, from Washington has raised £200 by selling homemade bookmarks and has used the money to pay for the lunch of over 180 staff and residents at three North East care homes.

She teamed up with Wysteria Avenue in Houghton-le-Spring – who provided the lunches with no service charge – to deliver them to North View Lodge in Castletown, Washington Lodge and the Pavillion in Houghton.

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Five-year-old Jessica Willey was able to provide over 180 lunches by selling homemade bookmarks.

Her mum, Andrea has told the Echo where Jessica’s latest fundraising idea came from.

She said: “After making and selling the rainbows, she decided that she was going to start with bookmarks and named it the ‘bookmark for hope’ campaign.

“People were asking for her for their own unique patterns, in the end she made around 100 which have again been bought by people from as far as Florida.

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Jessica with carers at North View Lodge in Castletown, Sunderland - one of the care homes to receive some of the lunches.

“We have family in nursing homes so she is aware that residents can’t see their own families so she wanted to do something to help bring cheer to them and their carers.”

She added: “It was Joe Mccormick’s (owner of Wysteria Avenue) idea to have Jessica come along this time to help with the deliveries.

“There was a little bit of money left over and Joe’s daughter works on the Covid ward at South Tyneside hospital so I told him to use the rest of the money to do packed lunches for her and her colleagues.

Jessica sold 100 uniquely designed bookmarks, with people as far as Florida buying them.

“I am so proud of her and there was such a positive reaction from the residents and their carers – who knows what Jessica will do next.”

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