A Bangor GP receptionist who is retiring after 29 years has left a lasting legacy at her practice after raising over £75,000 for charities over the years.
Jo Spratt has been a much-loved figure at the Castle Park Practice in the Bangor Health Centre and has become known for her kindness and compassion to help others in her community and across the world.
Alongside her work helping and supporting patients and her colleagues, she has dedicated her time to fundraising for important causes and charities, primarily through the sale of books from a special stall that she created in the reception of her practice.
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She started her fundraising efforts in 2005 after the devastating Tsunami in South East Asia and set up her first book stall in order to try and raise much needed funds for those who had been impacted by it and quickly raised £1,800.
After this she continued her work, focusing on charities and causes in Northern Ireland, such as the Cancer Fund for Children and local families in need of support during difficult times.
In the end she has managed to raised £75,500 from her book stalls with her most recent efforts raising nearly £200 for the victims of the Syrian Earthquake.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Jo said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Bangor Health Centre these past 29 years but am now looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends.
"The support that I have received over the years from our community through selling the books has been phenomenal and I am so thankful to everyone who has supported the appeals over the years, including Dr Drew and Dr Nichol who first endorsed the stall and our brilliant caretaker who would carry boxes of books into the practice from my car every week, and I don't think I could have managed without him.
"Along with supporting local charities and causes, the book stall evolved into quite a social thing for our patients, who would share the books among their friends and chat about them, often bringing them back so they could be sold again to others. There are some books that may have been sold four or five times.
"The community here have been so generous to the appeals over the years and I never would have been able to raise as much if it wasn't for them and while I am looking forward to retirement, I will miss working with so many wonderful people."
Ruth Campbell, reception manager at the Castle Park Practice, said: "We have loved working with Jo over the years here at the practice and she will be deeply missed by all of our colleagues and patients, and we hope that she will enjoy a well deserved retirement."
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