Trio of charity champions honoured for their work with national awards

Ann Walsh has raised over �500,000 over the years by organising the Relay for Life, in Jarrow.
Ann Walsh has raised over �500,000 over the years by organising the Relay for Life, in Jarrow.

Charity champions from South Tyneside had their work recognised after scooping national awards.

Among those honoured was Ann Walsh, from East Boldon, who won Cancer Research UK’s fundraising volunteer of the year award for delivering the Relay for Life, in Jarrow.

Hazel and John Pickering have spent over 30 years raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

Hazel and John Pickering have spent over 30 years raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

The annual event is taking place this weekend, and was due to start at 11am today at Monkton Stadium, in Jarrow.

Also recognised by Cancer Research UK were husband and wife team Hazel and John Pickering, from South Shields, who were handed an honorary fellowship award.

The Pickerings have spent over 30 years fundraising for the charity, and are part of the South Shields fundraising committee.

The trio picked up their awards at a special ceremony in London.

It was incredibly humbling to receive this award

Ann Walsh

Ann, who has raised over £500,000 over the last decade for the charity, was also handed a British Empire Medal (BEM) for charitable services last year.

She said: “It was incredibly humbling to receive this award. We got to spend the day with the Cancer Research UK chief executive and he knew all about Jarrow and the great community who support the charity each year.

“I couldn’t do this without every one of them and together we have managed to put Jarrow and the surrounding area on the map for its generosity and passion for wanting to beat cancer.”

The Pickerings, meanwhile, have consistently raised about £25,000 for the charity each year from campaigns, street collections, coffee mornings and donations in memory.

Hazel said: “We had a wonderful day at the awards and it was lovely to see all the other fundraisers from across the country who were being recognised, including a 96 year old!

“We are always overwhelmed by the support we receive locally and couldn’t raise the money without this.”