Raffle held for Stroke Association tribute fund

A raffle has been held in West Auckland to raise money for a memorial fund.

More than 20 local businesses donated prizes for the raffle, ranging from a fish and chip supper to a hotel stay. The raffle was organised by Stroke Association volunteers Joyce and Melvyn, in aid of the John Gregory and Alf Remembrance Fund. More than £600 has been raised for the fund.

The raffle was due to be drawn at a planned event earlier in the year, and after the event was cancelled Antiques on the Green and Molly’s Team Room in West Auckland stepped in to host it before Christmas.

Volunteers Joyce and Melvyn both have a personal connection with the Stroke Association.

“John Gregory was my loving husband and he was only 38 when he took a stroke, and took mini strokes and epilepsy all his life,” said Joyce.

“And Alf is my best friend, who was my husbands best friends dad, and they both died of a stroke, so it’s very close to both of our hearts.”

Melvyn says the Stroke Association were instrumental in getting John home after his stroke, rather than being in a nursing home.

“It was the Stroke Association who came on board and supported us throughout those negotiation processes to the point where we were able to get John home in County Durham,” explains Melvyn.

Equipment was also provided for John and Joyce.

“They gave us the hospital bed, the hoist, the feeding and the pads – everything that John needed, because he was paralysed from the neck down,” said Joyce.

The volunteers have taken part in other fundraising activities, including a sponsored swim and publishing a recipe book. The book contains recipes written by Melvyn’s mum and is available to buy from Molly’s Tea Room in West Auckland.