Denise Robertson’s legacy lives on in charity headquarters

Denise Robertson.
Denise Robertson.

A charity has named its new premises after East Boldon agony aunt Denise Robertson in honour of her support for the cause.

Thousands mourned the passing of Sunderland-born Denise, who lived her later years in South Tyneside, after she lost her brief battle with pancreatic cancer in April aged 83.

A passionate charity supporter, the This Morning broadcaster threw her weight behind North East charity FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together) as its patron.

Next week the charity will launch its new headquarters in Swalwell which it has named Denise Robertson House. The centre, which will serve as a main support, advice and education centre, will be opened by Denise’s husband Bryan and son Mark, as well as Dr Chris Steele from This Morning.

Joanne Smith, who founded FACT after her own battle with breast cancer to help increase the levels of support available to cancer sufferers and their loved ones, said she had planned to name the building in honour of Denise even before her untimely death.

She said: “Denise has been a friend, support and inspiration to me since the day she agreed to be a patron of FACT, and we had wanted to name our new home in her honour, rather than in her memory.

“It was decided well before she died that we wanted the building to be named Denise Robertson House in tribute to all the time and effort she dedicated to us, although it makes me very sad that we never got to tell her that. We are devastated that she is no longer here, but her legacy will live on with the charity.

“We have grown so much over the past few years and are now able to work with more people and families, and to hold more sessions and classes, than ever before. Our new building gives us the capacity to hold multiple events at once and we are hoping to add to our existing programme even more in the coming months.”

FACT was supported in its premises move by Newcastle law firm Sintons, which is the long-standing legal advisor to the charity, and handled the real estate work for its relocation to Swalwell from Newcastle.

Paul Liddle, partner in the real estate team, said: “FACT has grown in just a few years to become a leading regional charity which provides vital support to individuals and families whose lives have been affected by cancer. Their significant expansion to accommodate demand is a testament to how sought-after their services are. We wish them every success as they continue to grow.”