Caroll’s Column Thursday 24th June

14 Jul Caroll’s Column Thursday 24th June


Isn’t it nice to have some sunshine this week and see it staying light until really late? Summer has arrived – hooray!

I hope all you dads out there had a lovely Father’s Day on Sunday.

I spent mine with my lovely dad, David. It’s a nice opportunity to thank fathers for all the lovely things they have done for you over the years: times to treasure.

It was also lovely in the office to receive a few photographs of our families celebrating the day too.

Last Friday was a real “Sunshine” day for us.

Everywhere we visited joined in our Wear Yellow Day, in aid of our £60,000 Go Bananas appeal, and were surrounded by the colour – it was amazing!

I started out dressed as Banana Woman and a group of Superheroes, who were visiting our supporters, volunteered me to join their dance group.

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It was not a pretty sight – luckily not everyone knew it was me.

We had lots of fun before I changed into my banana costume to meet Sam Brown, one of the children we are supporting in the appeal, who was helping us with collections for intu Eldon Square, which is sponsoring it.

Sam smiled the whole time he was collecting; his sister loved meeting the superheroes and their mam told me how excited they are at the chance of getting the all-terrain buggy we hope to buy for him.

This is a very sturdy beach wheelchair with special wheels able to cope with sand and uneven ground.

It would not only allow the family to enjoy days out at Tynemouth Longsands together but also enable Sam to go into the sea – something he’s never been able to do.

His mam also told me she hopes to take it abroad on holiday next year where the water will be a little warmer.

So, fingers crossed we raise enough money to make sure Sam and the other nine children we are hoping to support will all receive their equipment.

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On that note, I am delighted to say we are now more than half-way to our £60,000 target with £32,000 in the bank which is incredible.

This hasn’t been raised in huge chunks but by lots of people hosting the likes of bake sales, raising perhaps £100, or sending in £5 donations. It is all adding up so if you can help in any way at all then please do.

Here’s how:

Why not organise an event with your friends, family or colleagues; get sponsored for doing something wacky; or make a donation by texting GBSF16£3 to 70070 or popping along, or posting cheques, to The Chronicle offices in the Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1ED. Or else visit our Just Giving Page.

All the money raised is going directly to the suppliers of the equipment needed so that the children can receive their items as soon as possible.

And, bringing us up to date events-wise, the Sunshine Run on Wednesday night was a fabulous sight with all the fluorescent T-shirts and yellow inflatable bananas on show along the Quayside.

It was brilliant. Thank you to everyone involved including, of course, the runners.

The biggest thank-you must go to Rebecca Jama who organised the whole event for the first time and did a wonderful job.

Well done Rebecca, you deserve a well-earned rest but I know that’s not possible today as we continue to Go Bananas. Just make sure you have a good rest at the weekend: well done.

And more thanks go to Stuart Maddison from Altonaids Mobility Limited in Gateshead who has given us £300 discount on the trike for another of the Sunshine children, Aaron Armstrong.

It means we need only now raise £700 instead of £1,000 which is brilliant. Thank you so much for your continued support Stuart. We are hoping Aaron can get his trike as soon as next week so that he can start learning to ride it.

Today I’m off to Close House in Newcastle for the ITPS golf day which is raising money for Go Bananas so keep fingers crossed again that the weather stays fine – and the golfers are feeling generous!

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you for all your support.

Best wishes,



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