Garforth landlady presents cheque to Yorkshire Air Ambulance after raising £12,000

A landlady who spent a year fundraising thousands has presented Yorkshire Air Ambulance with a charity cheque.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:45 am

Jo Heywood, of the Gaping Goose in Garforth, has raised more than £12,000 for the life-saving charity after a series of fundraising efforts this year.

She said she couldn't have done it without her team and support from the community.

Jo, 36, from Kippax, has been hosting events throughout the year to raise money.

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Jo Heywood, of the Gaping Goose in Garforth, presented Yorkshire Air Ambulance with a cheque for £12,000 after a year of fundraising events.

The events include spooky, Halloween themed events, raffles, quiz nights, Christmas and New Year's Eve parties, as well as a meet Santa Claus event for children.

Her fundraising efforts came after the success of her drive-thru Santa experience in 2020, which she had held to give families a bit of festive cheer while Leeds was under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

After the overwhelmingly positive response from people in the area, she and her staff decided to set the ambitious target of £10,000 by Christmas Day.

The pub team surpassed that total by £2,000.

Jo said she was "over the moon" to have raised so much.

She said: "The charity runs on the goodwill of people across the country. It wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the community of people supporting it.

"People in Garforth have been so supportive, even more so over the last year. That's one good thing that Covid has brought out in people; it's brought us back to reality and I hope it continues.

"Through the fundraising I have heard so many heart-breaking stories, including a woman who's brother died many years ago who always donates because she says if the YAA had been around then he might have survived.

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"There are so many people who told me the charity is close to their hearts and many families who have a connection to the charity.

"People have shared such personal stories with me and its good for them to be able to talk about these things.

"I don't think we fully understand how amazing this charity is and how much it actually does.

"Every charity out there is brilliant but when you save a life you don't just save that one life you save the rest of the family's lives too because a death changes everybody."

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