Sutton Bridge charity bingo host prepares for her final call

BOWING OUT: Fundraising bingo organiser Hazel Phillippo with some super-size bingo sheets for the final session on Saturday. SG170315-125TW

BOWING OUT: Fundraising bingo organiser Hazel Phillippo with some super-size bingo sheets for the final session on Saturday. SG170315-125TW

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Bingo fundraising supremo Hazel Phillippo will call it a day tomorrow after raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes.

Hazel, 75, from Sutton Bridge, raised more than £200,000 alone to keep her village youth club going and was awarded the MBE for her outstanding work for the club.

In recent years, her prize bingo sessions have been held in nearby Long Sutton.

But the St Matthew’s Drive Community Centre in Sutton Bridge received £300 at last Saturday’s event, while Sutton Bridge in Bloom is set to receive £500 this weekend.

Hazel has had scores of helpers over the years and says together they have raised “thousands and thousands of pounds” for good causes, including Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and local schools.

The pensioner is bowing out to have just a little more time for herself, but she will still be busier than some people half her age.

She said: “I have been doing it for 25 years. It’s a long while and I have just decided to have a little bit of life to myself.”

That will leave Hazel with “jobs” including caring for her elder brother Roland, 86, taking patients to hospital through her work with a voluntary car service, running a Monday luncheon club for elderly people at The Anchor pub in Sutton Bridge and co-ordinating the Diamond Social Club, which meets on Tuesdays at the Curlew Centre.

She added: “I go line dancing myself. I have quite a lot to do.”