Shotley: Abandoned fundraisers scramble for �10k

A clueless crowd of fundraisers found themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere with no money or maps after being whisked away from Shotley Gate.

More than 100 people were plonked blindfolded in a mystery rural location and challenged to make it back to the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant in Shotley Gate in the fastest time.

The teams of four, fully clad in fancy dress, were taking part in St Elizabeth Hospice’s adventurous Olympic-themed Great Xscape.

For the first time, the increasingly popular event was fully subscribed, leading organisers to arrange another Great Xscape on April 21 starting in Lowestoft.

All teams were sponsored and helped raise �10,000 for the hospice, which costs �6.6m a year to run and relies on fundraising.

Members of the public who spotted the Great Xscapers out and about were asked to get involved and send Twitter or Facebook updates to St Elizabeth Hospice.

The first team back was the Hollesley Calendar Girls in 87 minutes, with Breheny, dressed as prisoners, just a minute behind, and Framfield Ailments turning up a further two minutes later.

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The prize for best fancy dress went to the Whisky of Oz – dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Event organiser, Rachael Maidment, who thanked the Shipwreck, TMAC Solutions for providing mobile phones and coach firms GM travel and Harlequin, said: “It was a fantastic day and we would like to thank all the teams and everyone who supported them. It was a fun way of raising thousands of pounds for the hospice and making a difference.”

To sign up for the next Great Xscape on April 21 visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk