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Is that a Snowdog on the boat?!

DFDS Captain Niels Vestergaard welcomes Skipper the Snowdog on board Princess Seaways following his trip along the Tyne Credit: DFDS

Skipper the Snowdog is setting off on a month long adventure - displaying his artwork to passengers on board the DFDS ferry Princess Seaways.

The newly decorated Snowdog, designed and painted by Newcastle-based artist Joanne Wishart, is part of a pack of the creatures that will make up a trail across Tyne and Wear for 10 weeks from the 19th of September.

They'll be 59 other giant sculptures, and 95 little Snowdogs dotted around the region later this year.

The Great North Snowdogs has been organised by St Oswald’s Hospice, in partnership with Wild in Art, and all funds raised will go to support the regional charity’s Children and Young Adult’s Service.

Great North Snowdogs is a wonderful campaign for us as it enables us to raise our profile in a fun, innovative and very visual way, right across the region.

People will be encouraged to become tourists in their own cities and towns by visiting some well-known, and some lesser-known venues and locations where our pack of Snowdogs will be placed for the ten weeks of the trail.

Once the trail has ended, the large sculptures will be auctioned to raise much needed funds for our Children’s Hospice.

– Jane Hogan, Project Lead, Great North Snowdogs, and St Oswald’s Hospice

Honour for St Oswald's Hospice

Dr Andrew Hughes, Jill Nandy, Lymphoedema Team Leader, Jill Lisle, Practice Development Lead and Dr Owen Lever, Speciality Doctor

St Oswald’s Lymphoedema Service, based in Gosforth, Newcastle, has won the British Lymphology Society’s awards for ‘Innovation in Practice’ and ‘BestNovice Poster’.

The awards recognise St Oswald’s pilot Patient Education programme which was created by the nursing team after feedback from Lymphoedema patients. It offers the opportunity to access sessions about skin care, exercise and movement.


Charity recruiting more helpers

Potential volunteers can find out more about how they can help a Newcastle hospice by chatting to people already in the role.

Existing volunteers will talk about what it's like to volunteer for St Oswald's Hospice at a coffee morning designed to recruit more volunteers for the charity's shops.

The Volunteer Coffee Morning takes place from 10.30am to 12pm on July 16 at St Oswald's Gateshead shop, in Jackson Street.

The store manager and current volunteers will be available to talk to prospective recruits.

St Oswald's wants volunteers regardless of their ages, backgrounds and experience.

Anyone who is unable to attend can find out more by calling the hospice's volunteer office on 0191 2469125 or emailing

"The coffee morning is a great chance to come and find out more about the volunteer opportunities available.

"Not only is the help invaluable to the charity, but it can give you the chance to meet new people, gain new skills, and provide the opportunity for you to make a difference to your local community."

– Andrew Moir, St Oswald's head of retail

Charity fishing contest raises money for Newcastle hospice

People are being encouraged to sign up for an annual fishing competition, which is now in its eighth year, to support the work of a Newcastle hospice.

Amble Angling Centre wants people to sign up for the Bob White Memorial Competition in aid of St Oswald's Hospice.

The competition was set up in memory of Bob White, the previous owner of the centre, who died at St Oswald's Hospice in 2005.

The competition takes place between 8am and 4pm on July 13, with registration open at 7am at the centre, in Newburgh Street, in Amble.

"We need to raise £6.5 million each year to continue to provide our services to North East families so the support of Amble Angling Centre year in year out is invaluable."

– Lyn Cain, fundraiser at St Oswald's

Newcastle education scheme to be extended

A pilot scheme at a Newcastle hospice which helps patients with a long-term illness to manage their condition has proved so successful it will be extended.

St Oswald's Hospice ran the one-year Patient Education Programme within its Lymphoedema Service.

It was designed to give patients knowledge and skills to be able to self-manage their condition.

Each programme runs for six weeks and covers skin care, exercise and movement, nutrition, lifestyle changes, lymphatic massage and use of compression garments.

"Lymphoedema can be managed effectively when diagnosed and treated early and this includes the promotion of self care.

"We've always provided education to our Lymphoedema patients during their appointments - however, patients told us they can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to take in.

"Our new programme allows us to provide practical help and advice in bite-size chunks.

"The sessions also provide an opportunity for patients to share their experiences, support each other and consider how to cope with a chronic condition."

– Jill Lisle, practice development lead

St Oswald's has been providing a Lymphoedema Service for the last 25 years.

It now supports more than 1,400 patients from across the North East.

"Due to the success of the pilot we will be continuing the Patient Education Programme, inviting the majority of our patients to take part from now on, and we are looking forward to developing the programme further."

– Jill Lisle, practice development lead

Open garden day to support St Oswald's

The gardens at Whalton Manor are being opened up to the public Credit: St Oswald's Hospice

An open day is being held at gardens across Northumberland to help raise money for St Oswald's Hospice - a charity that provides specialist care for North East adults, young people and children with life limiting conditions.

The open gardens event is taking place this weekend Credit: St Oswald's Hospice

Whalton Manor Gardens, Meldon Park house and gardens, Chipchase Castle grounds, Chillingham Castle gardens, Kirkley Hall gardens and Mindrum garden will all be open as part of the Open Gardens weekend which is taking place this weekend


North East author opens hospice's bookshop

Author Celia Bryce has opened a charity's first book shop which will raise funds to keep a Newcastle hospice running.

The former nurse was on hand for the official opening of St Oswald's Hospice book shop in Gosforth's High Street.

As well as books it sells DVDs, CDs, records and retro-style new goods.

Celia was born in Jarrow and now lives in Tynemouth. Celia donated a signed copy of her new novel Anthem For Jackson Dawes, for sale in the bookshop.

The store has an easy-reach children's section as well as sections for fiction, cookery, history, military, biography, and reference.

St Oswald's needs to raise £6.5 million each year to continue its work with families in the North East.

"I was so pleased to be asked to be involved in the opening of the shop. It looks absolutely fantastic, just like a proper local book shop should.

"You can really see the effort that has been put into it. Christine and her volunteers should be very proud. I'll definitely be popping in again soon."

– Celia Bryce

"We're very excited to be opening our first dedicated bookshop on the high street. It's a great opportunity for supporters to see the huge range, and the quality, of books which are donated to our shops, from fiction and biographies to cookery and text books - and everything in between.

"The shop will also sell CDs, records, DVDs and vintage-style new goods so there's something for everyone. Buying items from our shops is a fantastic way to support a local charity."

– Andrew Moir, retail services manager for St Oswald's