Charities benefit from the goodwill of philanthropist

Brian Burnie hands over the cheques to Ann August from HospiceCare North Northumberland and Gordon Castle and John Wright from Alnwick Christmas Lights.
Brian Burnie hands over the cheques to Ann August from HospiceCare North Northumberland and Gordon Castle and John Wright from Alnwick Christmas Lights.
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A generous philanthropist has donated thousands of pounds from his own pocket to two charities in north Nortmberland.

Self-made millionaire Brian Burnie, former owner of Doxford Hall, who now runs Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, has given away £5,000 to honour a promise he made nearly two years ago.

At the 2011 Alnwick Christmas lights switch-on, he agreed to donate £1,000 to charity for every minute that the Duke of Northumberland spoke at the following year’s switch-on.

Unfortunately the Duke didn’t make a speech last year, but Mr Burnie decided to honour his half of the bargain anyway.

And now HospiceCare North Northumberland has been given £3,000 and and the Alnwick Christmas Lights £2,000.

Mr Burnie said: “They are two very worthwhile causes. The hospice started to come to Doxford Hall when I lived there and the Christmas lights lads and lasses just do a fantastic job.”

Ann August, volunteer fund-raiser for the hospice, said: “This money is very gratefully received. We are always fund-raising for different things and it will make a difference.”

Gordon Castle, chairman of the lights committee, added: “Brian Burnie has given us such generous support over the years and this sum will be a brilliant help towards our £13,000-a-year running costs, securing this year’s lights.”