Brother’s plight inspires charity hero Benjamin
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A STAINDROP youngster who has raised thousands of pounds for the hospital which is caring for his poorly brother has been crowned a local hero by dale police.
And as well as receiving a certificate and voucher, ten-year-old Benjamin Hawksby and his brothers Oliver, Joshua and Joseph got a VIP tour of Barnard Castle’s emergency services base – including a ride on a fire engine.
Benjamin decided to raise some money for the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary, where five-year-old Joshua has been treated since being diagnosed with leukaemia in February.
The ten-year-old joined Evenwood Road Runners and took part in the 3k Raby Run in May, hoping to raise a couple of hundred pounds.
However, the total has now topped £3,250 and inspired other fundraisers, including a sponsored horse ride from Barnard Castle to Whorlton which added £453 and a young Staindrop athlete who completed the Great North Run, raising £464.
Another £500 came in from a supporter who ran the York Marathon.
Dad Daniel said the money would be split between wards 4 and 14 at the RVI.
“When Joshua was diagnosed, Benjamin was rather upset in the beginning. He is at that age where he understands quite a bit now,” he said.
“Benjamin and his friend decided to join Evenwood Road Runners as he wanted to run the 3k race at the Raby Runs to raise money.
“He thought it best to keep it small – a couple of hundred pounds – just to say thank you to the hospital for treating his brother, but it really took off.”
Mr Hawksby said that after undergoing treatment, Joshua is now in “maintenance”.
He said: “This means he goes to the RVI once a fortnight rather than weekly.
“He is doing great, attends Staindrop Primary and is back to being a normal five-year-old,” he said.
Benjamin received his award after being nominated as a local hero as part of a scheme being run by the dale's police.
Each month, a deserving youngster from Teesdale receives an award.
Benjamin, along with his brothers, mum Susanne and his dad, visited the new 999 quad hub in Barnard Castle to collect the award.
During his visit, firefighters Owen Carr and Dave Glendinning showed the brothers around the fire station.
They were then taken in the cab of a fire engine before having a go at using one of the hoses.