A WOMAN from Hornchurch picked up the keys to a new Volkswagen car after winning the top prize in the Saint Francis Hospice's Winter Raffle.
Diane Cole was all smiles as she was presented with the keys to her new Volkswagen High up! model by the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Lynden Thorpe, at the Inchcape Volkswagen showroom on Colchester Road in Romford on Monday.
The raffle is one of Saint Francis Hospice's main annual fundraising events and this year it raised over £82,000.
Ms Cole said: "A very dear friend, Gordon Sanders, the former headmaster at Ripple Junior School in Barking, was cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before he died from mesothelioma caused by asbestos dust aged just 57.
"Every year I buy a book of tickets in memory of Gordon. Although I've won the top prize, Saint Francis Hospice is the main winner and it's great to know so much money has been raised for their work."
Councillor Thorpe said: "I'd like to thank everyone for supporting this year's raffle. Saint Francis Hospice is such an incredible place that provides so much for the local area.
"Long may they continue."
Esther Preston, marketing manager at Saint Francis Hospice, and the organiser of the raffle, expressed her delight at the amount of money the raffle had raised this year.
She said: "This has been one of our most successful Winter Raffles and it's all thanks to everyone who bought tickets, along with the Pepperell Trust who donated the Volkswagen High up! and Inchcape Volkswagen who supplied it.
"The money raised will go towards helping our teams provide care in the home, inpatient care at the hospice, day care at our centre, together with a full range of therapies and treatments.
Stephen Greenslade, sales manager at Romford's Inchcape Volkswagen, said: "The charity does some amazing work in the area and it's great to be able to play a small part in raising so much money.
"I'd like to congratulate Diane and all the other winners of the hospice's Winter Raffle."