Sutton Bridge granny calls time on bingo

Hazel Phillipo, Sutton Bridge bingo fundraiser bows out. Hazel with super-size bingo cards ANL-150317-161344001
Hazel Phillipo, Sutton Bridge bingo fundraiser bows out. Hazel with super-size bingo cards ANL-150317-161344001
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Bingo fundraising supremo Hazel Phillippo called it a day on Saturday 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.

For the last few years, the prize bingo sessions have been held in the church hall at Long Sutton. Earlier this month, good causes each receiving £1,000 were Long Sutton Church Hall and Marie Curie Cancer Care. St Matthew’s Drive Community Centre, in Sutton Bridge, was given £300.

Payouts of £1,000 to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance and £500 each to Long Sutton in Bloom and Sutton Bridge in Bloom were made at the weekend.

Hazel has had scores of helpers over the years and says together they have raised thousands for good causes, including the hospital in King’s Lynn 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, Sutton Bridge.

Hazel said: “I go line dancing too. I have quite a lot to do.”

As well as friendships made, Hazel will miss doing the shopping three times a week as all of the bingo prizes were food items.