X Factor star Lola Saunders is throwing her voice behind a fun draising effort at a South Tyneside hospice.
The 21-year-old, who made it to the live finals of last year’s X Factor, was invited for a tour of St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow ahead of her performance at the charity’s Rainbow Run fundraising event on Sunday.
Lola, from East Boldon, was shown around the hospice, in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, by its clinical nurse manager Vicky Bracey.
After popping into the day care room to meet some of the people who visit the hospice each week, she was shown around the in-patient unit and told about the other services it offers.
St Clare’s has provided palliative care to the people of South Tyneside with life-limiting illnesses for more than 25 years, but also offers day care, clinics, respite and bereavement counselling.
Lola said: “It’s been an amazing experience. I came down to the hospice to find out a lot more about it and what it entails, all the facilities is has and what events it’s got on.
“I’ve met the lovely people in the day care unit, that I wasn’t aware they had, and I’ve seen the rest of the facilities and they’re amazing, I’m gobsmacked by it.
“I’ve also found out about not only what they do for the in-patients and guests but also what they do for the community as a whole, which is truly amazing.”
The Rainbow Run is being held at Monkton Stadium in Dene Terrace, Jarrow, on Sunday and will see people take part in fun runs while powered paint is thrown at them.
The first run kicks off at about 11am and in total, 365 people are taking part, a huge increase on last year, which saw just 80 people join in.
Lola will be singing for the participants and supporters at noon.
She added: “I’m really looking forward to Sunday and meeting the people who are supporting the hospice and to chuck some paint around, I think it’s going to be a lovely day and a fun event for everyone.”
Ms Bracey said: “We invited Lola to the event on Sunday to help us spur on the people who are taking part and wanted her to come along to the hospice to see what we do.
“It’s fantastic to have someone like Lola come along to give their support and a lot of the families taking part will have seen her on X Factor and be excited to see her singing live.
I’m really looking forward to Sunday and meeting the people who are supporting the hospice and to chuck some paint around, I think it’s going to be a lovely day and a fun event for everyone.Lola Saunders
“This visit was all about giving her first-hand experience of the work we do and showing her exactly what her support is helping us achieve.”
To sign up to volunteer at the Rainbow Run, call St Clare’s by 4pm today on 0191 451 6400.