Rudolph and his reindeer friends will be brightening up County Durham’s homes and gardens this Christmas – thanks to a donation of logs from Durham County Council.

Each year Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland sells decorative wooden reindeer to raise much needed funds. But this year the hospice was struggling to find enough logs to make the Yuletide animals.

Knowing that Durham County Council had been carrying out work on trees in the area, the hospice contacted the council to see if it could spare any leftover logs.

The council’s chief executive, Terry Collins, said, “We always try to help when charitable organisations come to us for help and we are aware of the really important work the hospice does in supporting those with life-limiting illnesses and their families.”

“So, when we got the letter asking if we could donate some logs, we were only too happy to help.”

The reindeer are made by local pensioner Ian Clark, who has volunteered at the hospice for the last ten years. Mr Clark began making the reindeer three years ago.

In the letter to the council, Mr Clark’s wife Dorothy, who also volunteers at the hospice, wrote, “I write to call upon your generosity on behalf of Butterwick Hospice, Bishop Auckland.”

“My husband and I make reindeer to sell to our supporters in the Christmas period to help raise money for our hospice.”

“As we are finding it difficult finding the logs which we need, I wondered if we may ask to have some from the recent tree felling please.”

“We would really appreciate this … yours respectfully and hopefully.”

Council workers present the logs to Ian Clark, watched by representatives from Butterwick Hospice

Mr Clark said, “There are so many people in need of the kind of support provided by the hospice these days and that is why it is so important that funds are raised to allow it to continue its good work.”

“I’m really grateful to the council for donating the logs and in turn helping the hospice.”

Helen Kirby, a fundraiser at Butterwick Hospice, said, “Ian and Dorothy are very dedicated volunteers who help us on a regular basis with projects and events.”

“Everyone seems to love the reindeers and we’d like to thank both the Clarks and the council for what they’ve done for us.”

Terry Collins added, “It’s great that Ian is willing to give up his time for what is a truly excellent cause and we hope the reindeer will add an extra touch of festive cheer to people’s Christmases.”

The wooden reindeer are so popular that they have already sold out. Orders can, however, be placed for Christmas 2018 by phoning the hospice’s fundraising team on 01388 603003.

Durham County Council workers have also been getting into the Christmas spirit by donating festive items to Durham Foodbank.

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David writes about local news, thought provoking stories, and yearns to capture the community spirit with a unique writing style.


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