Northumberland charities receive over £12,000 each thanks to Alnwick Castle

Four local charities are sharing almost £50,000 thanks to Alnwick Castle visitors.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 7:00 am

A percentage of adult ticket revenue has been split between HospiceCare North Northumberland, Alnwick Playhouse, the Fusiliers’ Museum of Northumberland and the Bailiffgate Museum.

Northumberland Estates has revealed that each charity will receive in excess of £12,000.

Nina Burnett, HospiceCare’s clinical lead, said: “We are hugely indebted to the team at Alnwick Castle and Northumberland Estates for choosing HospiceCare as one of their beneficiaries in a year which has seen an increase in referrals into our services.

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HospiceCare and Alnwick Playhouse are among the charities to have received donations from Northumberland Estates.

"Funding has been particularly difficult because we had to cancel our traditional fund-raising events and close our shops. It is local organisations such as this that have become a vital source of income for the hospice and put simply, we wouldn’t exist without this kind of support.”

The donation will contribute towards the delivery of over 500 hours of its specialist Hospice at Home for end-of-life care.

Alnwick Playhouse manager Jo Potts added: "To receive such a fantastic donation at the end of the year has been a wonderful surprise for which we are extremely grateful.”

The castle attracted around 72,000 visitors over its Covid-curtailed season from July 28 to November 1. In a ‘normal’ year it would expect around 300,000 visitors.

The nursing team at HospiceCare North Northumberland.

Andrew Robson, director at Northumberland Estates, said: “Huge thanks must go to all the staff at Alnwick Castle who worked so hard to get the doors open and welcome visitors into a Covid safe environment this summer.

"We realise how difficult it has been for all charities this year, so it was an honour to be able to specifically help four of those operating in our hometown, in particular HospiceCare who were the nominated charity of Northumberland Estates in 2020 and saw many of the planned fund-raising events related to this cancelled.

“Tourism is vital to our local economy, so getting the castle open was always a priority. We will continue to support the local community going forwards through our Community Development Fund amongst other initiatives. This goes from strength to strength, giving money to local organisations, charities, and other community-based projects.”

Other recent financial assistance includes a substantial donation to both the Alnwick Chamber of Trade Christmas lights appeal and to the Alnwick Christmas lights team.

Alnwick Playhouse reopened after a major refurbishment shortly before Covid-19 hit.

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Alnwick Castle. Picture: Sean Elliott Photography