On Saturday 26th August 2023, Graeme Haran, a member of Strathearn lodge, met with Chris Couhig from the Newcastle Hospitals Cleft Charity Fund to present a cheque for £2,040 on behalf of the lodge members.
This cause holds a special place in Graeme’s heart because they have personally helped his family when his granddaughter Eden was born in 2017 with a cleft lip and palate. This diagnosis was a life-altering moment and the family were overwhelmed with uncertainty, questions and the emotional weight of the journey ahead.
Newcastle Hospitals Cleft Charity Fund is based at the Great North Children’s Hospital (RVI) and provides specialist care and treatment for babies and children with cleft lip and palate. The Cleft Lip and Palate Association(CLAPA) work alongside specialists and both are dedicated to providing assistance, resources and support to individuals and families and play a vital role in helping those who face the challenges associated with this condition, offering a lifeline of hope, understanding, and practical assistance.
CLAPA and specialist staff at the RVI entered their lives and became a pillar of strength. They continue to provide invaluable emotional and physical support to her parents, guiding them through surgery and ongoing treatment in addition to CLAPA who supplied cleft-specific feeding bottles and continued assistance after her birth.
Graeme and Stephen Lancaster along with the help of their wives Sam and Tracey raised the substantive figure of £2,040 with the support of 70 guests including members of Strathearn Lodge, other Lodges and friends attending their 2nd Summer Ball, which was held at Marine Hotel Seaton Carew, Hartlepool on June 24th 2023. This included a 3-course meal with live music from local band “The Jades” as well as a raffle with lots of prizes donated by local businesses and a “closest to the bottle” (coin shove).
Just prior to this event happening, Stephen Lancaster’s wife Tracey and her friend Jackie Bonner had gone out of their way by visiting some local businesses trying to build up support for this event.
- Cash donations were given by
- Reactive Design, (Andy Kennedy) Strathearn Lodge
- Cranwell Motors (Nick Cavilla) Strathearn Lodge
- JLA Dance (Jemma Louise Flounders) Graeme’s daughter.
- Businesses who donated were
- Sambuca’s Restaurant
- Matteo’s (local family run restaurant in Seaton),
- The Marine Hotel
- Towers Hairdressers and Barbers
- Spennymoor FC
- Mrs C’s Cakes
- Lyla Bells café
Graeme gave personal heartfelt thanks to the aforementioned businesses and to everyone who donated cash, prizes and attended the evening, which made it such a fantastic success.