Hospice fundraiser’s effort passes £10,000 mark

Saint Catherine's Hospice fundraiser Kevin Graham

Saint Catherine's Hospice fundraiser Kevin Graham

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A Whitby man who began raising funds for Saint Catherine’s Hospice after being diagnosed with cancer has generated more than £10,000 in just five weeks.

Kevin Graham, 47, became the fourth member of his family to be struck down by the illness in 12 months when he was diagnosed in January, yet since receving the bad news his efforts have raised £10,043.

In addition to the amount already collected, Gift Aid is expected to boost the total by in excess of £1,000.

Kevin’s wife, Susan Graham, said that the family had been left “overwhelmed” by the response from people around the town.

“It’s just unbelievable,” she added.

“It’s lovely to know that we live in such a caring community and that Kevin is so well thought of.

“You just don’t realise until something like this happens how much support you have.”

Kevin initially announced that he would undertake a sponsored head shave and 15 other people volunteered to join him in losing their hair.

On the day of the event, he was in hospital and too ill to attend, but his sister, Juliet Jewell, took his place and had her head shaved instead.

Subsequently, fundraising efforts in aid of the hospice have continued to gather pace with more people from the local community coming forward to organise events to support Kevin’s campaign.

A coffee morning is being planned for Easter Saturday at Helredale Play Centre and the following weekend, on Saturday April 11, there will be a bag pack at Sainsbury’s in Whitby.

Hairdresser Lorraine Locker, who helped with the headshave, is hoping to organise dancing classes, and members of the East Whitby Slimming World group are also raising money for the fund.

And staff from local firm Whitby Insurance are undertaking both a Total Warrior challenge and the Great North Run later this year.

Carolyn Jackson, fundraising manager for the hospice, said that the amount already raised was “exceptional.”

“We are so grateful to the family for raising a staggering amount for us at such a difficult time,” she continued.