A local hospice has received a £1,000 boost to its COVID-19 emergency fund thanks to the efforts of Blackwell Grange Golf Club Ladies’ Section.

When Jacqueline Heaton became the Lady Captain of Blackwell Grange Golf Club in November 2019 she nominated St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington, as her charity for the year.

St Teresa’s needs to raise over £3m a year to provide its core services free of charge for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire. These services include in-patient and community care, as well as family support and bereavement counselling.

The Hospice launched a public appeal for support after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of its charity shops and the cancellation or postponement of a host of fundraising events.

Despite the Golf Club being closed for over two months during the lockdown period, the Ladies had already raised a substantial sum.

Normally the funds raised by their charitable activities are presented at the end of the Lady Captain’s year which would be in November 2020. However, because of the exceptional circumstances this year, the Ladies decided to make an interim donation to the Hospice of £1,000.

Jacqueline Heaton, the Lady Captain, said: “I was delighted to choose St Teresa’s as my charity of the year because it does such a wonderful job in supporting individuals and families from Darlington and the surrounding area. It now feels vital that St Teresa’s itself is given the support it deserves at such a difficult and challenging time.”

The Ladies’ Section, which currently has around 100 playing members, will continue to raise funds for St Teresa’s Hospice between now and November. They hope to be able to present another significant cheque at the end of the year.

Jane Bradshaw, Hospice Chief Executive, said: “This is a very thoughtful gesture, and we are incredibly grateful for the donation at this time. The Ladies have made a tremendous effort to raise £1,000 so far. I’m delighted to hear that they have continued to save up donations at home during lockdown, thinking of those who may need to use our services.”

Funds donated to the emergency appeal now total more than £92,000. The appeal is continuing until a deficit is no longer predicted, and donations can still be made at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts