A GOLF tournament in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has raised £7,422.00.

Serial fund-raiser Stewart Bailey hosted the event, at Slaley Hall, back in June. It was his 10th annual golf day, and took place at Slaley for the first time.

The avid golfer, from Chester-le-Street, has raised a staggering £621,000 over the past decade with a wide-range of charity events, and was keen to support the air ambulance, which does not receive Government funding.

Stewart said: “The air ambulance is a truly wonderful service which which relies solely on public donations, and they have to raise a vast amount every year just to stay operational.

“Therefore the amount we have raised will make a huge difference to this essential life saving resource.”

More than 100 golfers from across the North-East and beyond took part in the tournament, which took place on the Hunting course at Slaley.

Stewart had the backing of local, regional, and national businesses, and prizes on offer included golf holidays, hotel breaks, and the choice of a Land Rover Velar, or a Jaguar car, for a hole in one.

He added: “The day itself was a huge success. Nobody scored a hole in one this time around, but we had some amazing prizes up for grabs. I really want to thank all golfers who took part on the day, and all of the people and businesses who supported us so generously.”

Stewart’s annual golf event has become so popular, places are usually filled a year in advance. The next event will take place in June 2020, at a venue yet to be confirmed, as he looks to take his overall fund-raising past the £700,000 mark.

The businessman, who runs sweet supplier Pig ‘n’ Mix, started his fund-raising journey after suffering family tragedy.

Within the past two decades, Stewart has lost his mother, Lily, to heart failure, while his father, Jack, and eldest brother, John, were cruelly taken by cancer.

He said he might consider retiring from fund-raising once his grand total reaches £700,000.