Saturday, 16 December 2017

Two charities benefit from Easter egg raffle

A WOMAN won a giant chocolate Easter egg in a charity raffle after visiting Henley — and then gave it back to raise more money.

Sharon Leyden, a chef from Todmorden in West Yorkshire, was in the town while visiting her daughter Jess, a Team GB rower who trains at Caversham Lakes.

She popped into the Chocolate Café in Thames Side, where the 8kg was being raffled, and bought a £1 ticket.

However, she had returned home before the draw was made on Easter Sunday and the café had to track her down by phone to tell her she had won.

Ms Leyden, 55, said: “I can’t believe I won. I had told the café I’d like to see them try to get it to me in Yorkshire so when they rang me up to say I’d won I thought they were joking. I’ve never won anything before so it was really nice.”

The raffle raised £390, which will go towards research into aneurysms in memory of Claire Peacock, a mother-of-two from Henley, who died after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage in March.

Ms Leyden agreed to give the egg to Marlow charity Ok Our Kids in exchange for a £50 donation to Ms Peacock’s fund.

Ok Our Kids was founded in November and aims to raise awareness of the dangers faced by children. Founder Tony Churchill plans to give the egg to a family in Windsor which the charity has been working with.

He said: “The family has six kids so it will be a really nice treat for them.”

Vivienne Connery, co-owner of the café, said: “This is the third year we have raffled a big egg and everyone who came in was talking about it. We had lots of donations. Everyone was very generous and one person gave us £100.”

Ms Peacock, 37, was a social worker with Buckinghamshire County Council and lived in Grange Road with her children, Freya, 17, and Finley, 14.

The money will be presented to her partner Gary Boys next week.

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