A big-hearted Stonehouse woman has netted more than £11,000 in just nine months for a sick children’s charity with a series of football raffles.

Angela Closs kicked off a fundraising drive last summer during lockdown, starting with street parties and bingo nights where she lives in Glen View.

The generous gran then teamed up with the Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation – a charity based in Wishaw which makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

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Angela said: “During lockdown last year we had a wee street party for VE Day, then in June had a gala day event and raised money for St Andrew’s Hospice.

“That basically kickstarted it because we then decided to have a monthly bingo fundraiser in our street in July, August, and had planned another in September – but it got cancelled due to lockdown restrictions.

“When we were not allowed to mix outside, I decided to set up an online raffle draw via Facebook.

“I used to just buy raffle books, put all the tickets into a bag, and make the draw live on Facebook. Then I started using a numbers system, with anywhere between 100 and 200 numbers, and people buying a number for £5 each.

“The DreamMaker Foundation was providing some great prizes, such as framed shirts and signed boots from Rangers players, and I was making the donations to them.

“But the charity kept coming back to me with more prizes – probably because I could sell snow to the Eskimos – and then it just grew from there.”

Angela has staged three bingo fundraisers and 16 raffles in the past nine months – raising a phenomenal total of £11,282.58 for charity.

And she has been putting the effort in alongside her working from home for the council and babysitting her five-year-old grandson Max when needed.

The Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation helps children going through gruelling treatments, and their siblings, to meet their idols including celebrities such as Johnny Depp, singers Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, and the Scotland football team.

The children are also given the chance to attend concerts, theatre shows, football games and outings to Blair Drummond Safari Park, zoos, or anything they desire to make their lives a little more bearable during difficult times.

The foundation is a small charity with only three employees and relies on donations and support from the public.

Angela Cook, dream manager, said: "Our small charity has been hit really hard through the pandemic, with all of our events and fundraisers being cancelled.

"Angela's fundraising has been a lifeline for us. The phenomenal amount she has raised through her bingo events and online raffles has allowed us to directly support brave children in this local area who are fighting a life-threatening illness right now.

"The support of the people of Stonehouse and the people online is overwhelming. We are slowly getting back to some sort of new normal and Angela's wonderful support will allow us to help more sick children that have been diagnosed during the last year."

For more information on the charity visit the website: www.leshoeymbedreammakerfoundation.org

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