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18 Feb 2019 Community

University of Huddersfield’s festive fundraiser for Kirkwood Hospice

A Team from the University of Huddersfield’s Estates and Facilities department put on a festive fundraising project back at the end of 2018 to raise funds in memory of dear friend and colleague, Tracy Butters.

The department created 15 hand-crafted wooden reindeer sculptures which were then sold, raffled and bid on to raise essential funds for Kirkwood as a special tribute to friend, Tracy Butters.

The idea came about through Director, Colin Blair, who is a keen handyman in his spare time. As well as creating toy boxes amongst other creations for his children and grandchildren, Colin first created his signature reindeer back in 2017 as gifts for friends and family.

Tracy's Reindeer


One of these reindeer was gifted to friend and colleague, Tracy Butters, who was diagnosed and living with cancer at the time. After receiving her gift, Tracy subsequently decided to name her reindeer ‘Colin’ after her friend.

Back last Christmas, 15 more reindeer were created as a fundraiser to raise money for Kirkwood Hospice, and were named ‘Tracy’s Reindeer’ in her memory.

Colin’s signature trademark of his creations is to feature a wooden heart somewhere within the design, and this year was certainly no exception with all hearts all being for Tracy.

The University of Huddersfield Team (Left to Right: Joanna Fulton, Sandra Hirst, Gary Skyrme and Colin Blair) present the cheque to Kirkwood Hospice's Kathryn Box


A real team effort from everyone involved, members of the department all pulled their weight to make the reindeer a reality and got stuck in in all areas - from making to marketing and finances to photography.

The herd of 15 were created in different sizes – from small to large – and managed to rein in a whopping £1,061.50 in bids and donations from staff at the University.

As the venue for numerous Kirkwood events in the fundraising calendar throughout the year, The University of Huddersfield are key supporters of Kirkwood Hospice and now their support has come full circle.

Event Organiser at Kirkwood, Kathryn Box, said: “It has been so nice to work with the University and see their support from another angle, as well as see how Kirkwood touches so many lives across our community.

“The reindeer are such a clever and unique way of not only raising money for Kirkwood, but also pay a lovely tribute to Tracy which is so special for her husband, Allan, and son, Ethan to remember her by.

“We couldn’t continue to provide the care that we do across Kirklees without the support of people like this in the community so we are extremely grateful for everything the University have done. Thank you so much.”

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