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Johnís back for annual Southern Hospice sit-out

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Johnís back for annual Southern Hospice sit-out thumbnailJohn has decided to come out of retirement for the 2018 sit-out

THERE is a saying that you can't keep a good man down - and that's certainly the case with John Dalzell.

One of Newry's best known Good Samartians, John has raised over £1.45million for the Southern Area Hospice over 25 years.

John announced last Christmas would be the final of his annual sit-outs. At almost 76 years old, he stated that he wasn't as "able" as he used to be to sit out in his usual Marcus Square spot.

The sit-outs were going to continue with his team taking his place.

However, despite 26 years of sitting out, usually in the coldest, wettest weather, when almost everyone else is buying and wrapping Christmas presents, John has decided to come out of retirement for the 2018 sit-out to help raise vital funds the Hospice.

"I know I'm not as young as I used to be, but who is!" he quipped.

"I have decided that while I am fit enough to continue with my work for the hospice that's exactly what I'm going to do.

"Last year we raised over £73,000.

"I know the Hospice really needs that money to look after the patients and that's all I need to motivate me to keep going until I really can't, and thankfully that's not this year.

"We have been raising money together for the hospice for so long and I really want to thank you all - £1.45million that's some money to have donated and I am so proud of us and I hope you are all too.

"Thank you, thank you all for making my sit-out the success it is today."

John's sit-out will take place at its usual spot in Marcus Square on Hill Street where his familiar trailer will be stationed from December 16-24 from 8am until 6pm each day.

Regional Marketing Officer for the Hospice, James McCaffrey, works with John and his team.

He said, "I have known John for a few years now and it is no surprise to me he has decided to continue on this wonderful Sit Out for another year.

"John and his dedicated sit-out team are an incredible example of the spirit of giving at Christmas. The amount of time and effort they put into this collection for the Hospice each year is truly amazing and it is an honour to work alongside them.

"To date John raised a staggering £1.45million for our cause. On behalf of all of the patients and their families and friends who have been touched by our services in the past 26 years of Hospice Care I would like to sincerely thank John and his team, and everyone who continues to support them."

As well as John's Sit Out on Hill Street, collections will take place around the town at Fiveways Shopping Complex, The Quays Shopping Centre and B&Q, so please keep an eye out for them when you are in town.

John also loves a bit of craic and company to keep him warm on Hill Street so don't be a stranger if you're passing by!

If you would like to make a donation to this appeal in aid of Southern Area Hospice Services please come down to John's sit-out on Hill Street, make a donation to one of his collectors around the town or send your donation to: Southern Area Hospice Services, St John's House, Courtney Hill, Newry, BT34 2EB.

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