Generous visitors to a fundraising party at Drovers Way Holiday Park in Elton, Stockton-on-Tees, have provided a £2,200 lift for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.
Almost 200 guests, including local residents and holiday caravan owners, packed the park for an evening of fun and entertainment which included live music.
The event was the inspiration of park owners Helen and Chris Brown who wanted to celebrate the recent move of the Air Ambulance headquarters to nearby Eaglescliffe.
Drovers Way’s new neighbours now have a sizeable boost to their life-saving work, thanks to donations from party guests and a charity auction on the night.
Top of the lots were a number of impressive statues donated by local wood sculptor Lukas Beben which he creates using a skilfully-wielded chain saw.
Timber for Lukas’s statues is sourced by Helen and Chris’s son Steven from local sustainable woodlands which also provide fuel for the biomass boiler on the couple’s farm.
The farm has been in Chris Brown’s family since 1952, and the park’s name remembers the original drovers road to Yarm which was the only place farmers could cross the Tees.
Drovers Way provides 68 luxury holiday homes for private owners, and is a long-time winner of the annual David Bellamy Conservation Award for its many wildlife initiatives.
The park and the farm are run by Helen and Chris with the help of Steven and their other son Richard who featured among the musicians performing at the fundraising party.
They were joined by some of the music pupils Helen teaches in her spare time, helping to make the evening a “fantastic success”:
“Holiday home owners at Drovers Way are very much a community, and a lot made special efforts to attend and to bring along their friends and family,” said Helen.
“Many enjoy walking in the surrounding countryside, and we are always conscious of that fact that if any got into difficulties, the air-ambulance would be a potential life-saver.
“Our guests also appreciate this, and their support of our evening was magnificent,” added Helen.
The cheque for £2,200 was officially handed over to Debbie Gibbs of the Great North Air Ambulance Service at a special ceremony held on the park.
It also coincided with the unveiling of an 8-foot timber statue created by Lukas Beben as a “thank you” to the park for the timber it provides for his work.
The statue depicts a drover who is modelled on a photograph of Chris’s father who originally bought the farm over 60 years ago.