Black Country Duck Race raises £5000 for local families

A charity rubber duck race and fun day has raised £5000 for the Mary Stevens Hospice.

On Sunday, 600 ducks took to the canal to compete in the second annual Black Country Duck Race, with more than 1000 people in attendance at the Tenth Lock Pub on Delph Road.

Staff at the pub ran a free family fun day, which included children's characters, The Animal Man, an outdoor ice cream parlour, an outdoor gin bar and live music. The day was officially opened by special guests, Ian Hamilton and Baggie Bird, both from West Bromwich Albion FC.

Canalside Tackle sponsored the purchase of all 600 ducks so that every penny raised could be donated to the Hospice, which supports families and patients battling the impact of life-limiting illnesses in the Dudley Borough and surrounding areas. The day was also covered in full by Black Country Radio and the winning duck received a 1st prize of £100 in cash.

With their latest £5000 donation, staff at the Tenth Lock have now contributed more than £24,000 to patient care at the Mary Stevens Hospice, with more fundraising activities planned for the future including the return of the Black Country Duck Race in 2019. Chere Griffin, landlady at the Tenth Lock, said:

“We love the Hospice, and it is our privilege to put events on like this for our community in support of families who are going through such difficult times.

"To know how much we've raised, and more importantly what that money will make possible, is actually quite overwhelming and we can only say thank you to everyone who has made it possible as it is always a team effort.

"We are supported in our fundraising by some truly inspirational people who give their time and services at the drop of a hat when we go to them with all of our mad schemes, and to see all that hard work make a difference to a family who really need it is so special.”

No strangers to a charitable act, staff at The Tenth Lock Pub memorably received widespread praise during the 2016 flash flooding after Chere waded through waist-deep water to safely open the lock, in order to relieve some of the build up of water and prevent any further damage being caused by the overflowing canal.

In the days following the floods, bar and kitchen staff from the pub also helped local residents to empty their homes of damaged items and even took free cooked meals round to elderly residents who had been affected. Amanda Bowen, Deputy Head of Fundraising & Lottery, Mary Stevens Hospice said:

“Chere has been saying for years that she wanted to do a duck race so when we finally got all the necessary things we need to make it happen last year, it was a special moment.

"Since then, it has become something of a juggernaut of a community event and watching thousands of people stream through the pub to line the canal in support of their local hospice is a memory I personally will treasure for the rest of my life.

"We intend to make it even bigger in 2019 so we hope all of the ducks are back in training ahead of next year's race!”

To find out more about the work of the Mary Stevens Hospice, or how you can support the charity, you can visit


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