STAFF and players at a South Tyneside bingo hall are hoping they won’t hear any calls for two fat ladies as they slim down to raise cash for charity.
Bosses at Mecca Bingo, in Dean Road, Westoe, South Shields, are looking for more slimming hopefuls to join them in raising money for the Gazette’s c/o St Clare’s campaign.
Slimmers are encouraged to sign up to the bingo hall’s rolling five-week challenge.
People pay £5 to take part in the challenge, with £4 going to St Clare’s and £1 going in a pot which the person who loses the most weight by the end of the five-weeks wins.
Blake Robson, who holds the title for National Bingo Caller of the Year, organised the slimming challenge after seeing stories in the Gazette.
The 46-year-old, from Tyne Dock, said: “We’ve already done one five-week challenge and 28 people signed up. Between us we lost 127lb.
“I’m taking part too, and in the first challenge lost 1st 2lb. I’m really pleased with it.
“Marie Curie is Mecca Bingo’s adopted charity, but after seeing stories in the Gazette, we realised how much St Clare’s needed help and we wanted to do something.
“We’re big supporters of local charities, and St Clare’s has helped a lot of local people over the years.”
The hospice, in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, provides palliative care to the people of South Tyneside with life-limiting illnesses.
It has annual running costs £2m – £1.4m of which it must raise itself.
But this year it is facing a £50,000 shortfall and the Gazette is hoping to help raise the funds.
Blake added: “This challenge is for people who want to lose a bit of weight but help St Clare’s at the same time.
“I’ve lost the weight by counting calories and doing exercise and I’m happy to pass on advice to anyone who needs it.
“I do all the weighing and chat to people so that I can pass on advice from people who are doing really well to those who need a bit of encouragement.
“It’s a great way to lose a bit of weight at the same time as helping others.
“St Clare’s is a wonderful charity and will really benefit from the money that we raise.”
To sign up to take part in the challenge, call Blake at Mecca Bingo on 456 0358.