A Sunderland mum who has offered a lifeline of support to countless Wearside charities has been shortlisted in the Pride of Britain awards.
Since the death of her son Peter, 13, in a tragic rope swing accident in 2002, Julie Reay, from Barnes, has raised more than £150,000 for charities across her home city.
She created a trust fund in 2013 with £50, which has gone on to change the lives of many Wearsiders.
Just some of those who’ve benefited from the Peter David Lane Trust Fund she created in her beloved son’s memory, include a Sunshine Coach for Southwick Primary School, Cancer Research UK, St Benedict’s Hospice, Kian’s Gift, Wearside Women in Need and the RNLI.
Now, the charity champion has been shortlisted in the ITV Local Fundraiser of the Year for the North East.
“I am totally overwhelmed and humbled,” she told the Echo.
“It doesn’t matter if nothing else come from this.
“To be nominated for Pride of Britain and to be shortlisted to the last four in the region has blown me away.”
Julie is best-known for her efforts at the annual Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn, which she took part in with a dedicated team of Footprints in the Sand fundraisers for 10 years.
Julie, who is a past winner of the Echo’s Best of Wearside award, was nominated by Janice Procter, mum of Private Michael Tench, who died aged 18 in 2007 in Iraq.
Janice said: “She really is the Queen of Hearts and no medal is big enough.
“Julie doesn’t expect anything back from anyone and I don’t think ‘thank you’ is enough for what she does.”
The winner for the North East region will be announced on Friday.