A Saltburn man has handed over a cheque to the region’s air ambulance after a fundraising mission.
Stephen Dowd, of Zetland Mews, Saltburn, has spent three months fundraising in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The 71-year-old has held charity nights in aid of good causes since his retirement and his latest fundraising spree raised more than £4600 for GNAAS.
The evening attracted around 100 people and took place at the Spa Hotel in Saltburn on May 11.
Mr Dowd auctioned off one of his works – a framed photograph of Saltburn’s iconic Huntcliff which raised £50 to go towards the final pot of money. The photographer has won awards for his pictures after taking up photography when his brother gave him a digital camera around four years ago.
The crowd enjoyed performances from The Persuaders, John Newell Brown and Curse Pie as well Mr Dowd’s own take on “Amarillo”.
He said: “Organising the event has been a lot of hard work but a fantastic experience and I really pulled out all the stops. Everyone has been a huge support – from local businesses to the individuals who attended the night and people in the street who have given generously to the cause. A big thank you to everyone in Saltburn, Redcar and Guisborough. I am proud of the local spirit.
“I was really touched by a young girl who came up to me and handed me 80p. She said ‘that’s for the ‘copter.’ The air ambulance is a fantastic service and one we are very lucky to have.”
GNAAS does not receive government or lottery funding and it relies on the generosity of the public to raise the £4million needed to run the service every year.
Mandy Drake, deputy director at GNAAS, said: “Stephen has put a lot of effort and hard work into organising the event at Saltburn and it sounds like it was a resounding success. The money raised from his fundraising will go directly towards keeping our aircraft airborne and we want to thank him for his tireless commitment and support.”