Car raffle under way after supporter’s poignant gift

THE boss of an engineering firm has thanked the charity who helped his dying mother by buying them a brand new car to raffle.

The generous donation is just the latest gift from Tom Robson to the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

The 50-year-old from Dunston, Tyne and Wear, has now raised in excess of £50,000 for the charity since the death of his mother, Sylvia Mitchell, in 2003.

Mrs Mitchell lived near Rothbury, Northumberland, and was herself a keen fundraiser for GNAAS. She had never expected to have to call upon the charity’s services, but sadly she developed a serious heart condition and the air ambulance she had helped fund had to be called in to take her to hospital.

Mr Robson, Managing Director of engineering firm Roflow, said: “She would not have survived the journey to hospital by road. The helicopter picked her up and went straight there.

“It allowed all the family to go and see her before she died. It was massive to us.”

Determined to continue his mother’s good work, Mr Robson organised various fundraisers for the charity, as well as supporting the charity’s own events. He held band nights at Dunston Social Club and sponsored race days at Newcastle and Sedgefield Races.

Earlier this year, he decided to help the charity by providing a brand new Ford Fiesta as the first prize in their raffle. A similar draw last year raised more than £100,000 for the charity, with the first prize of a car won by a pensioner in Tyne and Wear.

Ruth Davey, of GNAAS, said: “Tom has been a phenomenal supporter of the charity over the years and this gesture is just the icing on the cake. He has seen first-hand the importance of supporting the air ambulance and we are so very grateful for his commitment to the cause.”

To enter the draw, call 01325-487263, email or visit

The car will be present at the Roflow-sponsored Ladies Evening at Sedgefield Races on Tuesday 28th August. Hospitality with Roflow costs £70 and features three-course meal and entertainment from Kenny Thomas. To book call the course on 01740 621925.

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