Specsavers Gateshead has donated to a local charity to help sponsor seven children on a trip of a lifetime.

The opticians donated two specs vouchers worth £250 to Hosanna House Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) for its charity ball raffle.

The funds raised from the special event are used to fund trips for disabled and disadvantaged children to the famous shrine at Lourdes in France.

A staggering £9,000 was generated this year, allowing seven young children to go on the pilgrimage.

The fundraising and donations from local Newcastle businesses mean sponsored children and their families do not pay a penny.

A word from the store director

Bernadette Glackin, store director of Specsavers Gateshead, said: ‘The charity ball was a brilliant event and to hear that it raised thousands of pounds to allow several children to attend this amazing trip is even better.

‘It just goes to show that if every business donates a little it can really go a long way – all the way to France! It looks like the children had a ball and we’re so glad we could help.’

A word from the charity

Alan Egdell, HCPT North East Chaplain, said: ‘Specsavers Gateshead have donated to HCPT’s charity ball for the past three years and we cannot thank them enough.

‘The vouchers were auctioned off with a variety of other prizes and the money raised was added to the total pot. It was a successful and incredibly inspirational week. Our thoughts now turn to the 2019 pilgrimage.’

The North East pilgrimage is a seven day trip to Southern France, with trips to Lourdes and children can also enjoy visits to the zoo, farms and even the Pyrenees.

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