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Teesdale family mark anniversary of crash with fundraising bid

MAKING‚ÄąPROGRESS: Sophie and Jack Handyside

A FAMILY who survived a horrific  car crash are planning their next fundraising drive  for the charities which supported them.
Jack and Sophie Handyside, from Butterknowle, suffered life-changing injuries when an elderly motorist smashed into their car on the A688 on September 29, 2012.
Sophie’s skull was fractured in the crash while ten-year-old Jack was left with a significant brain injury requiring emergency surgery.
Their dad, Darren, was left with severe leg injuries and ten broken ribs.
Four years on, the young pair are now living in Barnard Castle. Their mum, Julie Elstob, has helped organise fundraising events at Butterknowle Village Hall every year since the crash.
“This year we’re raising money for Brainbox and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS),” she said.
“Hopefully we will keep it going – we have a new band this year to keep people interested.”
Jack, 14, and 12-year-old Sophie are both are pupils at Staindrop Academy.
The pair are making good progress but still live with some of after-effects of the crash.
Jack regularly to Newcastle to work with brain injury support charity Brainbox and has continued visits to the Royal Victoria Infimary in Newcastle.
“We’ve had a lot of support since the accident through counselling and things like that,” said Ms Elstob.
“Both of them are at Staindrop and they’ve had a lot of support there.
“Jack still has physio and regular appointments at the RVI but they don’t have as many as they used to.”
The GNAAS sent two of their helicopters to the scene of the crash in a matter of minutes.  Ms Elstob said the service proved itself vital in the dale time and time again. 
“You think you’ll never need them but people you know use it,” she said.
“David Armstrong, from Copley, was on the scene when the crash happened and he ended up needing the air ambulance himself this year.
“They get there so quickly – to get them to the hospital within that first hour is so important.”
Butterknowle Village Hall will host this year’s charity pie and pea supper starting at 7.30pm on Saturday, October 29, and finishing at midnight.
Ms Elstob added: “I would like to ask local businesses to give raffle prizes – they would be greatly received.
“We can raise a lot of money through the auction of prizes.”
Tickets to the evening cost £10 each. For more information call Ms Elstob on 07707 793954.


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