Readers race to help our birthday appeal

The Journal is marking its 175th birthday by raising money for one of the region's most deserving charities.

The Journal is marking its 175th birthday by raising money for one of the region's most deserving charities.

The Journal 175 St Oswald's Appeal aims to raise cash for St Oswald's Hospice, Gosforth.

The charity, which opened in 1985, helps thousands of people with life-limiting illnesses in the region every year.

Based in Regent Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle, the purpose-built unit, adult hospice and children's centre, costs £6m a year to run.

A staggering £4.5m of this has to be raised each year through donations.

It makes no charge for any of the services it provides.

And Journal readers are already getting into some serious fundraising.

Cyclist David Tindle is just one of scores of riders who will be getting on their bike for St Oswald's this summer.

The 56-year-old has signed up for a sponsored ride in the Northern Rock Cyclone, a three-day cycling festival in Newcastle and Northumberland.

Festival organisers have guaranteed 250 places for our readers to help raise cash for the 175 Appeal by taking part in the Cyclone Challenge, which has rides staged over 31, 62 and 100 miles on Saturday June 16.

Closing date for the cyclone challenge is May 21.

Staff at two branches of Alliance Pharmacy on Tyneside have already pitched in with £380 for the appeal.

Coffee was served at the Alliance shops in West Denton Shopping Centre and Stamfordham Road, Westerhope Village.

Relief manager and pharmacist Susie Barnes said: "It was such a lovely day. We carried on for an extra half hour as we had such a good turnout."

It was a similar story at the Martha and Mary drop-in centre in Chillingham Road, Newcastle, which raised £175 and was organised by Elizabeth Screen.

Over 50 runners dressed as nuns got the fundraising habit in Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

The world's first Nun Run - sponsored by international financial services group Foresters - was also part of The Journal 175 St Oswald's Appeal.

And super-fit fundraisers at Impulse Fitness at Gosforth Pool, are currently slogging through a month-long challenge to cover 175 kilometres by any means necessary - on a running machine, exercise bike or cross trainer.

Impulse Fitness gym supervisor Susan Lant, 51, said: "We've had a great response so far."

Journal Editor Brian Aitken said: "We can't think of a better way of celebrating our anniversary than raising cash for St Oswald's."

Debbie Hamilton, St Oswald's director of fundraising and marketing, said: "We are thrilled that The Journal has chosen to celebrate its 175th birthday by raising money for St Oswald's.

"We've always had a super relationship with The Journal and its readers, and would like to say a huge thank you for your ongoing support."

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer