FUNDRAISING: A thumbs up from brave eight-year-old Abigail Ford
FUNDRAISING: A thumbs up from brave eight-year-old Abigail Ford

PEOPLE in Barnard Castle are rallying round to raise as much money as possible to support a family whose young daughter faces a tough battle with a rare form of cancer.
Abigail Ford, 8, from the town, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage four neuroblastoma in May.
The youngster faces long and intense treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy as well as surgery. Risk of infection due to a weak immune system and the added threat of Covid-19 means Abby is having to isolate.
After hearing the news of Abigail’s diagnosis, family and friends have vowed to help in any way they can.
Barnard Castle Workingmen’s Club has organised a prize raffle, which will be drawn next month.
Tom Howe, club steward, said: “My girlfriend Katie is friends with Abby’s mum, Helen, and when we heard the news we thought the best thing we could do is raise as much as we can for the family so they can do as much as they can to make memories and to have money for alternative treatment if needed.”
The raffle, which will be drawn on August 1, has seen a raft of prizes donated by businesses, individuals and committee members.
He added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of people and businesses and we’ve got a lot of prizes.
Babul’s have given a meal voucher for £100, McFarlane butchers, Barney’s post office, Connelly’s, Andalucia and Star Flowers and lots of others have been so generous. All the proceeds from the raffle will go directly to the family.”
Tickets are £1 a strip and are available to buy in the club or at Barnard Castle Post Office.
A fundraising page has also been set up by family friend, Rebecca Gatenby, who hopes the cash will help give Abby and her family “peace of mind and the chance to make memories as a family at this difficult time”.
She added: “The money will help us to give Abigail the chance to still live the life that an eight-year-old girl should be able to live and allow us to create safer opportunities for her to enjoy her chosen wishes and experiences.”
Anyone wishing to donate can visit