Barker and Stonehouse is boosting a local charities anniversary fundraising drive.

Twenty five years ago 73-year-old Luke Rutter from Acklam helped start up the Cleveland Branch of the Motor Neurone Association and contacted Barker and Stonehouse for support.

The North East furniture retailer donated a recliner chair for the charities first fundraising raffle and is marking the 25th anniversary by donating a luxury Ekorness Stressless recliner chair.

Luke said: “Myself and my wife Pat, together with June Nolton, are the only ones left from the group who originally formed the Cleveland Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of a very dear friend, Pat Lockhart who had Motor Neurone disease and sadly passed away.

“Since then we’ve met and lost some amazing people all very close to our hearts but we’ve been able to make a difference to lots of lives due to the generous donations we’ve received.

“Barker and Stonehouse was one of the first and helped us get started and in 25 years we’ve never had to say no to somebody or turn them away. We have been able to help a lot of people and their families.”

After a successful 25 years of caring for sufferers of motor neurone disease and their families, Luke thought it was an excellent time to celebrate the association’s success with a fundraiser.

He asked Barker and Stonehouse to help and was delighted with the response – a luxury recliner chair plus other items for the fundraising raffle to be held at their official 25th anniversary celebration on June 10th at Hartlepool’s Historic Quay.

Barker and Stonehouse MD James Barker said: “We’ve followed the association’s progress ever since Luke first contacted us in 1987 so it was great to hear from him and of course we wanted to help him out.

“We thought that donating a similar model of chair as our original donation 25 years ago was a fitting way to mark the occasion and our continued support for the charity.”

Luke said: “Once again we were thrilled with the response from Barker and Stonehouse, their support helps us continue helping others, it’s fantastic.”

Cleveland Motor Neurone Association helps sufferers and their families with mobility and communication aids and trained visitors. For further information contact Luke or Pat Rutter on 01642 813300.