Co-op supports Daft as a Brush

Branches of the Co-op in Northumberland have raised over £37,000 through fun activities to help cancer charity Daft as a Brush replace ageing vehicles used for palliative and one-to-one patient transport to hospitals.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 1:33 pm
From left: Derek Warren, Daft as a Brush trustee, Kayleigh Davidson, Co-Op Wooler, Sean White, Co-op area manager Northumberland; and Ernest Young, Daft as a Brush trustee. Picture by Tony Iley Media

Co-op area manager for Northumberland, Sean White is delighted with the amount raised: “Cancer unfortunately has affected many colleagues and customers alike within our locality and with our stores being in quite remote parts of Northumberland in the main the charity has a real significance to the importance of the service that is not provided by local government.

“We felt this charity was relative to both our Co-Op values (Showing you Care , Doing what matters most , be yourself always and succeeding together) and our community values (Stronger Co-Op, Stronger Communities) that we have a very strong belief in.

“Our aim was to raise as much money as possible after we spoke to Brian Burnie direct at one our monthly area meetings, after this meeting myself and my team were inspired by Brian’s Daft as a Brush story and wanted to see if we could raise enough funds so we could either buy a new Ambulance or two support vehicles for patients with palliative care.

“That was the mission and we set our target at £25,000.00.

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“Our teams really got behind the fundraising, at times joining together. We have completed a sponsored walk in the Cheviot Hills, had a sponsored football match against the RAF, I struggled in that one if I’m honest! A colleague from Rothbury completed the Cragside 10k run. Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care

“We have had a colleague shave her hair off, legs waxed, and beards off, along with lots of fun days, cake stalls, tombola, raffles & bikeathons.

“I am so proud to say that after all of this we have raised a fantastic £37,231.30, when we pull together for a common good we can change a lot in our communities, we are extremely proud to have helped Daft as a Brush for this very worthwhile cause.”

Daft as a Brush transport cancer patients, free of charge from their homes to hospital in custom made ambulances. For those with more personal needs, the charity operates three smaller vehicles.

Trustee Derek Warren is thrilled with the donation: “We are overjoyed with the amount raised by the Co-Op stores in Northumberland , we are so incredibly grateful to all Co-Op customers for their astonishing kindness and support to the charity. With over 30,000 patient journeys each year it’s vital we reduce our emissions.

“We’re now able replace our smaller vehicles to those operating Electric or Hybrid technologies. At present our team are testing both Nissan and Kia vehicles. We’re very excited!”

Trustee Ernest Young said: “By far this is the largest donation we have received, everyone at Daft as a Brush House is so grateful to the Co-Op and their giving customers.

“We have many patients that require a more tailored transport service; some need palliative care, others have illnesses at more developed stages that require greater attentiveness.

“New vehicles will offer extra comfort, space and facilities and by adopting a greener approach we can help the region into a lower carbon future.”

Daft a Brush Cancer Patient Care offers staffed custom-made vehicles to transport outpatients, free of charge, to and from hospital who are undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy cancer treatment. The charity provides over 30,000 cancer patient journeys each year by 350 dedicated volunteers.

The service entails collecting and transporting the patients in a safe and comfortable environment, from where they are living, taking them to where they will be having their treatment. If required, staying with the patient whilst they have their treatment and then bringing them back home in readiness for their next course of treatment.

Founder, Brian Burnie is promoting the Daft as a Brush Charity nationwide by walking the entire coastal path of Great Britain and Ireland in two years, with a converted double decker bus named ‘Bluebell’ as his home. On his return, the charity aims to create over 1,000,000 cancer patient journeys.