Another sleepout for Morpeth's Mayor - this time to raise funds for the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank

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Morpeth’s Mayor and two friends were out in town all night long to raise funds for an important service.

Having done two successful charity sleepouts in Morpeth Market Place in the past, Coun Alison Byard decided to do a third one on Saturday in aid of Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, which is one of her mayoral charities this year.

This time, her willing accomplices were fellow town councillor Elaine Skinner and June Rose – both Stobhill Link volunteers.

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A grand total of £1325.69 so far has been raised, with Elaine setting up a Justgiving page that brought in more than £500 up to now and June received £185 in sponsorship.

From left, Coun Alison Byard, Coun Elaine Skinner and June Rose.From left, Coun Alison Byard, Coun Elaine Skinner and June Rose.
From left, Coun Alison Byard, Coun Elaine Skinner and June Rose.

Coun Byard said: “October was somewhat later in the year than my previous sleepouts, but we were able to take advantage of the fact that Morpeth Lions Club were doing their grand fundraising book sale weekend and kill two birds with one stone.

“We would mind their stalls for them overnight and take advantage of their gazebo, with lighting and a heater during the darkest hours.

“It was indeed a long, cold night but we were well prepared and in good company. Various friends came by to support us – bringing cake, sweets, homemade soup and, of course, donations.

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“Catherine Byfield Adams brought us coffees and played her saxophone, attracting much appreciated extra cash.

“We didn't get much sleep, dozing off in our chairs for an hour or so around 5am on Sunday, so we're very glad to see Morpeth Lions take over again at 10am.

“We were cold and very tired, but cheered by tremendous community support for the food bank, which provides an emergency stopgap service of three days food for referred clients in desperate need, whilst more sustainable solutions are put into place.”

Speaking to the Gazette earlier this year, Wansbeck Valley Food Bank project manager Linda Fugill said that it had distributed 2,500 days’ worth of food in March 2021 and this had risen to more than 3,000 days’ worth of food in March this year.

For more information about the food bank, go to

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