THREE ultra-caring primary schoolchildren from Teesside have spent their free time over the summer holidays raising funds for a cardiology ward at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.Come rain or shine, the eight-year olds – Stella Powell, Holly Sturgeon and Annabel Stubbs – have set-up and manned a stall at the end of Stella’s driveway in Highfield Road, Hartburn, Stockton. Initially selling sweets and then branching out to books, toys they had grown out of, the entrepreneurial trio collected £100 to give to a cause close to Stella’s heart.
Stella’s granddad Tommy Powell passed away last year. Earlier in 2013 he had been a patient on ward 31 of the hospital and Stella wanted to say thanks for the excellent care the 76 year-old received while a patient.
Last year the best friends, who all attend Hartburn Primary School in Stockton, raised funds for the Butterwick Hospice, which was Holly’s choice of charity and next year the girls plan to boost Cancer Research – Annabel’s choice.
Stella’s mum Claire said: “The girls were so determined to do this. We live near a green and the sweets sold well with adults as well as the children who passed by. Their dedication to man the stall was unbelievable. They even stood outside in the rain sheltering under umbrellas.“We had people calling to the house asking when the stall will next be ‘open for business’. After that, the girls even went round the neighbourhood with flyers advertising their stall and informing households of the times they would be open, but had to have a 7.30pm curfew for ringing doorbells after someone complained about disturbing infants trying to sleep.”
“The whole family are tremendously proud of the girls for what they have achieved as would Tommy have been. He was a wonderful father and grandfather – an absolute gentleman who was funny loving and thoughtful yet modest and wise and whom we all miss so dreadfully. He would have been so proud of what the girls have achieved in his memory.”
Ward 31’s senior sister Karen Strickland added “We are delighted to receive this money. What the girls have done is truly amazing. The money will be put to good use on the ward and once again we are eternally grateful for this wonderful and fantastic donation.”