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Donations are made to charity Borderland Voices in Leek in memory of group founder Sue Gaukroger

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Pictured from left, Anna and Joe Tatton, Andy Collins of Borderland Voices, and Victoria Rowe, Dave Watkinson and Elspeth Walker from History Live. Inset below, Sue Gaukroger.

  • The late Sue Gaukroger who founded Borderland Voices in Leek.

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CASH raised in memory of a community stalwart has been donated to two organisations.

The family of the late Sue Gaukroger, who founded Borderland Voices in Leek, has been raising money in her memory after she passed away last October at the age of 70.

The Wellsprings Healing Arts Fund, which began with donations at Sue's funeral, has been set up with the aims of benefiting the healing arts namely reminiscence, creative writing, art and music therapy.

Last month, Sue's children Anna and Joe Tatton, presented donations to both Borderland Voices and History Live on behalf of the Wellsprings Healing Arts Fund.

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At a special gathering at Hollinsclough Village Hall, a cheque for £500 was presented to Andy Collins from Borderland Voices, and another cheque for £500 was presented to Victoria Rowe, Dave Watkinson and Elspeth Walker from History Live.

Joe said: "Our mother Sue Gaukroger died on October 16 last year. She had asked for money to be donated to arts for health organisations instead of flowers at her funeral.

"We set up a fund, the Wellsprings Healing Arts Fund, and asked for donations to be made to this at the funeral and then online at the website www.wellspringfund.org.uk.

"So far just over £2,000 has been raised and we are still receiving donations.

"Borderland Voices and History Live are two projects that mum had a part in founding in the Staffordshire Moorlands."

Wellsprings Healing Arts Fund is currently welcoming applications from other mental health charities and organisations in this area that may benefit from a grant towards a project. To apply contact info@wellspringsfund.org.uk for further information.

Donations to the Fund can be made at www.wellspringsfund.org.uk or send a cheque made payable to 'Wellsprings to Old School House, Hollinsclough, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 0RH.

Sue founded Borderland Voices in Leek in 1998. Initially people, frequently those with past or present experience of mental health issues, met informally in her home to share the benefits of creative writing.

Sue's friend Sheena Barnes soon began contributing expressive arts workshops, thus creating the blueprint for Borderland Voices' activities ever since. Andy Collins, who now runs Borderland Voices, which is based at 57 Queens Drive in Leek, said: "Sue was that rare thing: not only a creative and inspiring person but also someone able and willing to sit down and write a good grant application.

"This latter ability was essential to setting Borderland Voices on a firm footing and establishing it as a highly-respected organisation. "For example, Borderland Voices was one of six different arts and mental health projects chosen to take part in the research on 'Arts and Mental health: Developing the Evidence Base' carried out by Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Central Lancashire in 2004/5."

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