Councillor in the stocks – for good cause
A councillor was placed in the stocks and pelted with wet sponges at a care home summer fair – helping to raise hundreds of pounds for residents.
Coun Joyce Welsh, from South Tyneside Council, volunteered for the soaking at Willowdene Care Home, in Hebburn, where her mother Joan Welsh lives.
The home’s manager Michael Beaney also entered the stocks in the spirit of the day, receiving a pelting from residents, colleagues and visitors.
Along with other traditional fairground games and stalls, £503.60 was raised at the fair for the residents’ fund, which helps towards outings for those living at the home.
Coun Welsh said: “My sister Lynda and I love to help out at events at the home, especially the summer fair as it raises money for the residents.
“I had an idea one day that people would enjoy seeing a local councillor in the stocks, and get the chance to throw wet sponges at them, so I volunteered. It’s always such a laugh and the children really enjoy it.
“Mum’s lived at Willowdene for nine years. The staff are magnificent and care for mum so well. It gives us both real peace of mind so helping out at events is a real pleasure.
“The money raised at the fayre means that the residents who don’t have relatives will get to go out and about and all residents get a bag of goodies at Christmas too.”
As well as the stocks, Coun Welsh also helped to raise money by helping on the bake stall, organised by her sister and avid baker Lynda Jones.
An alpaca stall organised by a nearby farm was among others at the event, selling cuddly toys and items made from the animals’ wool. The farm also donated a walk with an alpaca for the raffle, won by nurse Gerry Beaney.
The raffle was organised by Rosemary O’Neill, a family member of a resident. There was also a craft stall, run by care assistant Ayesha Jobes, a homemade jam stall, a BBQ, bouncy castle, face painting and balloon animal sculptures.
Michael Beaney said “It’s lovely to have the summer fayre in our sensory garden. The support from relatives who volunteered on the day was fantastic. I can’t thank