A SPECIALIST cue maker has raised £7,000 for charity by raffling a piece he made in recognition of the impact the global pandemic is having.

Jonny Carr, of Excel Cues, decorated a cue with a rainbow, which has become synonymous with the lockdown period of the coronavirus crisis.

He set up a raffle among his customers and managed to raise £6,990, chucking in the last tenner himself.

Mr Carr, 30, from Chester-le-Street, donated almost half to St Cuthbert’s Hospice, and went on shopping spree spending £3,450 at wholesalers to stock up local food banks.

Mr Carr also distributed £20 vouchers to his binmen and postman to thank them for continuing to provide essential services.

Mr Carr said: “I have got a good following on my work page and am well established in the cue-making world.

“Everyone knows what we are going through so I dyed a load of veneers in the colours of the rainbow to make the cue.

“Everyone hopped on it and donated loads of ten pounds.

“We started at 9.30am and I stopped it at 8pm and I raised £6,990.

“It was nice to be able send the money to hospice because they are not getting any funding at the moment.”

Mr Carr collected enough food for over 1,645 meals for people in Durham and Chester-le-Street.

He said: “It was heart breaking when we went to the food banks.

“There are people going there an hour-and-a-half before they open just to try and get a box of food for their family.

“One family sent their kids down without any socks and shoes on.”

Mr Carr took three days off work to complete the mission.

He said: “Getting the stuff for the food bank was hard work but very rewarding.

“I did it with some friends. We went to Makro about five times and we went to Batleys about five times.

“I went to Tesco and had a word with the manager at the beginning of the day and went back at the end to get as many left over tins that they had.

“I have got this thing in life.

“The more you give out the more you get back.”