A warm-hearted Grandad is set to become a social media sensation at the age of 85, after launching a new Twitter campaign in the final push to give the Friarage Hospital its own MRI scanner.
Bill, a retired prison service worker and well-known, friendly face at the Friarage, has raised a massive £6,200 for the Northallerton hospital’s MRI Scanner appeal in less than a year, initially selling car raffle tickets, before going on to hold a regular tombola stall of his own.
And now, in a bid to get more people behind the campaign and help raise the last £500,000 needed to secure a new MRI scanner for the Friarage, Bill has revealed how his late wife Pamela inspires him to raise funds as part of the #MyReasonIs campaign.
The campaign encourages those who have made a donation to tweet their picture and reason for giving to @STeesCharity, using the hashtag #MyReasonIs. You can also email your pictures and reasons to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will use your pictures to create an online work of art, reflecting the massive community support for the MRI Scanner Appeal at www.friaragescannerappeal.org.uk/mri.
As a couple, Bill and Pamela – a “warm and caring” lady who worked as a care assistant at Dales School – had always enjoyed raising money for good causes, and after Pamela passed away almost five years ago at the age of 76, Bill found a new sense of purpose in raising money for the hospital where Pamela was cared for during her short battle with leukaemia.
Bill said: “I think Pamela would be over the moon with what I’ve done! It’s kept me going really.”
Bill, who has battled bowel cancer and also lives with Parkinson’s Disease, had himself been due to travel from his home town in Northallerton to The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for an MRI scan – but was able to have treatment without it in the end.
However, he knows first-hand how vital an MRI scanner closer to home for people across Hambleton and Richmond is.
Bill, who worked in the prison service for 28 years, said: “My daughter, who lives in Ripon, would have had to have taken a day off work to get me to that appointment and my late wife also went to James Cook for her blood tests before she was diagnosed with leukaemia – although she had her treatment here at The Mowbray Suite.
“The Friarage Hospital is so valuable to people all over North Yorkshire and it gives me great satisfaction to be able to support it.”
Bill is hoping more people will text a donation to the scanner appeal and share their reasons for supporting the campaign, whether simply to support local health services or, like him, for more personal reasons.
As part of #MyReasonIs, running on Twitter via @STeesCharity, donations of between £2 and £10 can be made, by texting SCAN46 plus the amount to 70070.
Other ways of donating can be found at www.friaragescannerappeal.org.uk/mri and you can also send a cheque to: Appeal Office, Executive Offices, Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, DL6 1JG Tel: 01609 764936
After donating, tweet #MyReasonIs plus your reason and a picture of yourself @STeesCharity
You can also be part of a community promoting the campaign through a social media “Thunderclap” at http://thndr.me/Mn5MvQ.
This is set to hit Twitter and Facebook on July 20 at midday, so don’t miss out on being part of this huge social media bang!
Businesses across North Yorkshire are already Tweeting their support, including Northallerton shops like Sugar Rush sweet shop, Natural Nature Wool Shop, Joanna Marco Interiors and Lewis and Cooper Fine foods.
So get involved and share your reason using #MyReasonIs