Marching on together into brave new era for the Army

From left, Jim Thompson, chairman of ANNEC, Carole Catchpole, from Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, and Gazette editor Paul Larkin.
From left, Jim Thompson, chairman of ANNEC, Carole Catchpole, from Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, and Gazette editor Paul Larkin.

The two charities supported by this year’s Jam Jar Army campaign, which begins now in earnest, are both pleased to be marching on together.

It’s a new one for everyone involved with the fund-raising scheme, but the early signs are that the dual-beneficiary set-up will lead to some interesting events, opportunities to support each other and, of course, money being raised for two worthy causes.

This year’s charities, which drew the public vote, are Abbeyfield North Northumberland Extra Care Society (ANNEC), which runs Abbeyfield House in Alnwick, and Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, based in Longframlington.

Carole Catchpole, from Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, said: “We are very pleased and absolutely delighted to be sharing it with Abbeyfield.

“We hope that we can work well together and some of the residents can come here and see hedgehogs and see what we do.

“We are always trying to raise money because it costs around £10,000 a year in vet’s fees, food, etc.

“No one gets any expenses from here; everyone is a true volunteer so all the money will go to help the hedgehogs. I can’t do it without them, that’s the bottom line.”

Jim Thompson, chairman of the executive committee at ANNEC, said: “We were over the moon to be nominated, to be accepted and then to come out as one of the winners, and over the moon that the community thinks so much of our organisation.

“We are very pleased to be working with another worthwhile charity and I hope we can become more hedgehog-aware at Abbeyfield.

“I hope everyone continues to support the Jam Jar Army because it’s made a great contribution to many local charities over the years.”

In terms of using the money raised, he added: “At the minute, we are looking to improve the facilities for our residents and make life even better them.”