A MUCH-LOVED local musician is flying high after raising thousands of pounds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Stephen Dowd, best known by his stage name ‘Stevie D’, has dedicated his life to supporting good causes since his retirement and successful battle with colon cancer.
However, the 77-year-old has announced that after nine years of fundraising, his most recent charity event will be his last.
The scouse busker, who now lives in Saltburn, is a regular sight across the North East and recently raised £3,165 after hosting a charity night in aid of GNAAS.
The evening featured local talented acts including the Saltburn U3A Ukulele Band, ‘Circus Stars on Tour’ Marko and Tommy Bungle, and singer Maggie Gee.
He said: “The original goal was £500 but we exceeded that massively and raised more than £3,000 which I’m delighted about.
“I feel very strongly as a cancer survivor to live my life and enjoy it, so that’s why I perform. I get the most joy out of singing and it’s great to see the crowd getting involved.
“I also wanted to help other lives and give back, so that’s why I’ve been supporting GNAAS.
“I want to say thank you to all the businesses and supporters who have either donated or supported the charity night.”
Stevie D was invited to the GNAAS base at Teesside International Airport where he performed his rendition of Shotgun by George Ezra.
He also met some of the critical care team and was given a tour of their helicopter.
He said: “It’s been a real pleasure fundraising for GNAAS. This charity has saved so many lives and the team are amazing are what they do. I am very impressed by the whole operation.”