Edna is a charity champion

Edna Tone outside one of the collection points
Edna Tone outside one of the collection points

An Otterburn woman has helped to raise more than £34,000 for charity.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) receives daily reports of charity bags going missing.

But in Otterburn and the surrounding villages, one woman makes sure they always get picked up.

Edna Tone organises biannual collections for GNAAS and has done so for the last eight years.

She arranges clothing collections from four points in the remote areas of Otterburn, Bellingham, Kirkwhelpington and Falstone.

Residents in the surrounding areas group together to gather bags and drop them off at local churches, village halls and post offices where GNAAS Trading Company picks them up.

Mrs Tone said: “It is hugely beneficial for us to come together as a community because no one is afraid the bags will be stolen and it means GNAAS only have to make one trip.

“I have been overwhelmed by the response each time.

“It’s magnificent. Everyone in the local area is so supportive, they highly respect the service.”

Mrs Tone stresses that it is the individuals who bring the clothes who deserve the recognition.

She said: “It just shows how much can be raised if everyone joins together, I would encourage other areas to do this too.

“You never know when you’re going to need the air ambulance.

“It can take so long to get to hospital by road – it is a vital life-saving service.”

The GNAAS Trading Company was established by GNAAS and is committed to giving 100 per cent of its profits to the charity.

Julie Woodcock, general manager at GNAAS Trading Company, said: “We are so grateful for Edna, she has been such a big help to us over the years by coordinating community giving.

“Working together can make a huge difference.”

Mrs Tone’s next clothing collection takes place on Wednesday, October 9, at Otterburn Memorial Hall.

For more information on setting up a community collection, contact the GNAAS Trading Company on 01325-30813.

The charity is always looking for new volunteers to help with the running of events and collections.

The roles are varied and spread out across entire area of operation which covers the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

GNAAS supporters are never far away from a donation tin but more locations are always welcome.

If you would like a tin to install in a public place contact the charity on 01325 304245.