Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Champion Fundraiser

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Champion Fundraiser

Article excerpt

WINNER: Joyce Dowding AT 90 years old Joyce Dowding would be forgiven for putting her feet up.

But sitting back and relaxing isn't for this Redcar charity worker. For nearly 40 years she has been doing her bit for good causes. Three main groups have benefited from her sterling efforts - Redcar Ladies Lifeboat Guild, the Friends of Redcar Cemetery and the old Stead Hospital League of Friends.

Nominating Joyce for the Champion Fundraiser title Joan Elders, the old League's former chairman, said: "Over the years, she has raised thousands of pounds for all these good causes and others as well."

But modest Joyce says she's just pleased to be able to do her bit. Her charity involvement started four decades ago when she joined the Ladies Lifeboat Guild inspired by her grandfather, Frederick Readman, who was a seafaring man in the 1800s and her uncle, William Bullock, who was in the Navy.

She subsequently embraced the Stead League of Friends and the Redcar Cemetery group, often raising money through tombola and gift stalls.

While delighted to be nominated for the award she says she does it to help her home town, not for recognition.

She said: "I'll keep doing it as long as I'm able. Even if it's only a little contribution, it all adds up."

RUNNERS-UP: Leanne and Graham Nellis HARNESSING their own personal heartbreak inspired Coulby Newham couple, Leanne and Graham Nellis, to do their bit to help save poorly newborns. The couple's own daughter Maisie was born in October last year with the umbilical cord around her neck, starving her of oxygen for 14 minutes. Rushed to James Cook University Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit tiny Maisie was placed on a cooling mat which reduces the deterioration of cells. The mats are potential lifesavers, but for Maisie the treatment didn't work and four days later, she passed away. …

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