Crafty Beryl nears £5,000 target

A CRAFTY pensioner’s aim of raising £5,000 for a North-East charity by selling her homemade cards is nearly complete.

In the six years that 78-year-old Beryl Howard has been fundraising, it is estimated she has made and sold an incredible 10,000 cards – the equivalent of four every day.

She started fundraising for GNAAS in 2006 and has so far raised £4,720 for the charity. Every penny of this total has been made through the sale of homemade cards through a handful of outlets, mainly in Teesdale where she has a caravan. The Farmhouse Kitchen and the Teesdale Hotel at Middleton-in-Teesdale, and chemists at Middleton and Billingham all stock the cards.

The cards are for all occasions including birthdays, anniversaries, newborns and Christmas and range in price from 25p to £1.25.

Beryl, who used to work as a driving instructor around Peterlee, said: “We have a static caravan at Middleton and it turns into a crafts room on the rainy days we can’t go outside. It’s a lovely hobby, I really enjoy it.”

This week, (Nov 22) Beryl went to the GNAAS base at Durham Tees Valley Airport, near Darlington, to see one of the three GNAAS helicopters and meet the crew.

She said: “I’ve loved coming here today, especially seeing the helicopter up close. It’s been an absolute privilege talking to the staff. It makes it all worth it and it’s spurred me on to continue.”

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “Beryl is a true unsung hero. She has never asked for recognition, she just got her head down to support the work of the charity. We are so grateful to her for the phenomenal effort that has gone into this and hope she can soon hit her £5,000 target.”

Beryl’s sister-in-law Sylvia Howard also makes cards and has contributed towards the total. They need just £280 to reach their long-standing target.

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