Shirley launches hospice fundraiser with kiss of luck

STRICTLY Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas has helped to launch a North-East hospice’s latest fundraising appeal with a kiss for luck.

Shirley Ballas, who starred in Jack and The Beanstalk at Darlington’s Hippodrome Theatre, puckered up for Butterwick Hospice’s #AMillionKisses appeal by sending a ‘kiss card’ and message of support.

Butterwick Hospice marketing manager Jo Wallis said: “It’s wonderful to have a household name like Shirley Ballas take part in our #AMillionKisses appeal. We’re very grateful to Shirley for taking the time to send us a kiss and record her message of support.”

The #AMillionKisses appeal asks supporters to put on lipstick, kiss a special Butterwick Kiss Card, and return it to the hospice with a donation. Staff plan to display the collected cards together as a testament to the love and support given to the charity.

Strictly’s “Queen of Latin” sent her love to everyone at the hospice, and wished them good luck for the appeal, before she kissed Darlington goodbye after her stint in panto.

Jo added: “Our Family Support Team have used ‘kiss cards’ with families for a while now. Patients put on lipstick, kiss a card, write a special message, and the card is passed on as a tangible symbol of their love which their families can keep forever.

“It was this simple but meaningful practice that has inspired the #AMillionKisses appeal. We hope as many people as possible will take part, send us a kiss, and donate just £1 to help us share the love.

“We’re hoping we really can get one million kisses and raise £1m for Butterwick this year.”

The appeal is part of Butterwick’s My One In A Million campaign, which celebrates the unique and unforgettable people in all our lives. It was inspired by the charity’s first ‘one in a million’, Mary Butterwick, who sold her home to found Butterwick Hospice Care in 1984.

To take part in the #AMillionKisses appeal, pick up a kiss card from Butterwick Hospice or its charity shops, or text ‘Million1’ to 70140 to donate £3 to Butterwick Hospice Care – Registered Charity Number 104481. Texts cost £3 plus your network charge. Butterwick Hospice Care receives 100 per cent of each donation. For information and customer care, call 01642 607 742.

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