Car dealership donates car to support hospice’s work

William Blackshaw, Sue Gilbertson, clinical/hospice manager, and Debbie Allen, specialist lymphoedema nurse.
William Blackshaw, Sue Gilbertson, clinical/hospice manager, and Debbie Allen, specialist lymphoedema nurse.

An Alnwick-based family firm has helped ensure a local charity can always get out to its patients by donating a 4x4 car for it to use.

Blackshaws of Alnwick gave HospiceCare North Northumberland a Suzuki Jimny as a courtesy car to use during the winter to ensure the charity’s staff can continue to visit people at home whatever the weather.

The dealership is a long-term and regular supporter of HospiceCare, which helps and supports patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families from its bases in Alnwick and Berwick.

William Blackshaw said: “We recognise how vital it is for the hospice team to be able to visit people at home and as we live in a rural county, this can be difficult during bad weather.

“Therefore, we were delighted to offer our support by providing a four-wheel drive Suzuki Jimny for their use during the winter months. 

“As a long-established local company, we feel it is really important to give something back to our community whenever we can and HospiceCare carry out such important work in north Northumberland.

“The Jimny is a very robust vehicle and we feel sure it will enable the hospice team to reach the most remote households even in difficult driving conditions.”

HospiceCare’s clincical/hospice manager, Sue Gilbertson, was accompanied by specialist lymphoedema nurse Debbie Allen, to collect the car and both were delighted with what they described as a ‘wonderful and generous gift’.

Sue said: “We feel very privileged that Blackshaws values the work we do within the community.

“Having this 4x4 car over the winter months means that we will be able to continue to deliver our vital services across north Northumberland, irrespective of the weather conditions and that is of great comfort to us as a team.”

As well as donating the Jimny, in 2015, William (dressed as a monkey) and others from the Blackshaw family ran the Great North Run, raising more than £1,100 for HospiceCare and the Great North Air Ambulance.

Earlier in the year, the firm hosted the UK’s leading criminologist at its Lionheart Enterprise Park base.

Professor David Wilson spoke about his ITV programme, Bring Back Borstal, which was filmed at Ford Castle, to an audience of 240 people.

The event raised £2,287.50 for HospiceCare, while another £400 was brought in through a zip-wire off the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.

Sue added: “The Blackshaw family are no strangers to supporting the hospice.

“Over the last few years, they have held a number of fund-raising events within their showroom, taken part in zip-wire and golf challenge events, as well as joining our Great North Run team.

“It is only with support such as theirs that we are able to continue to meet the growing demand for our Hospice at Home Services, which has seen a 238 per cent increase in just the last 24 months.”

HospiceCare North Northumberland is the main provider of palliative care in north Northumberland, delivering care and support to adults with diseases such as cancer and motor neurone disease, their families and carers.

Visit www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk/