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Mother to hold annual charity night for GNAAS after car crash rescue

A MOTHER whose two children were left fighting for their lives after a head-on car crash is holding an annual charity night for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Written by Araminta Hartley on July the 11th, 2018

A MOTHER whose two children were left fighting for their lives after a head-on car crash is holding an annual charity night for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Julie Elstob is raising money for the charity after they went to the aid of her children, Jack and Sophie Handyside, when they suffered life-threatening injuries following a collision in Staindrop, County Durham, in September 2012.

Two of the service’s aircraft were sent to the incident where Jack, now aged 16, had a bleed on his brain, which was severely swollen, while Sophie, now aged 14, suffered a fractured skull and broken wrist.

Ms Elstob from Barnard Castle said: “Every day is a battle because they both have problems. They still have regular check-ups and it’s going to be a lifelong struggle for them. Physically they are both well and Jack is now looking at colleges to go to, but we need to find the right one for him considering the circumstances.”

To help support the work of GNAAS, Ms Elstob is hosting a charity night at GlaxoSmithKline Sports and Social Club in Barnard Castle on Saturday July 21 at 7.30pm.

There will be live music from Borderland, playing soft rock, pop and party anthems.

Ms Elstob said: "I believe without the Great North Air Ambulance Service being available that day, Jack and Sophie wouldn’t be here today. Trying to raise money for this charity is my way of showing my gratitude to a fantastic service.”

Mandy Drake, deputy director of public liaison, at GNAAS, said: "This family gets behind us every year and we want to say a big thank you for their continued support. We wish them every success for their charity night and hope everyone has a fun time.”

Tickets are £7 and are available to buy from Ms Elstob by calling 07707 793954.

To support GNAAS and its doctor-led trauma teams, please visit the charity’s website at www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to survive.


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