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News: The Customs House Adds Charity Show To Help Local Family Battling Cancer


The Customs House Adds Charity Show To Help Local Family Battling Cancer


The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly

South Shields Customs House

Tuesday 18th May 2021


The Customs House has announced that they will be presenting a very special charity variety show.

On Tuesday 18th May, The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly, will see profits going to help Willow (9) and Everly (5), whose mother Rachelle is battling terminal cancer. 

Her husband Keir, originally from South Shields worked at The Customs House for more than a decade and has been touched that former colleagues were keen to raise money for the girls.

Rachelle, Kier and their family
Keir commented: "I joined The Customs House as a naive 15-year-old way back in 2000 and spent 12 years brilliant years there making friends and memories for life. To this day it has a special place in my affections and it gave me the experiences that shaped me as a person.

"With everything that the venue has gone through owing to Coronavirus for Ray to reach out and make this incredibly kind gesture to my family is incredibly thoughtful and humbling.

 "As a family we are going through a gut-wrenching journey that sadly, at some point, will result in two beautiful children losing their wonderful, amazing mother and I my wife.

"However, the warmth, love and kindness that has been extended to us by friends, family, colleagues and now former employers has been nothing short of overwhelming.

"On behalf of the four of us, I want to thank Ray, his team and everyone who attends the show for their generosity. It's moments like this where you realise that you may leave somewhere but you never leave the family"

Rachelle and Kier on their wedding day
Rachelle married Keir in April 2019. They received the harrowing diagnosis of cervical cancer in November 2020. Rachelle (33) has heroically fought the disease every step of the way, helped and supported by Keir, but despite audacious efforts from radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy, the family have now been informed that the cancer has sadly spread to Rachelle’s lungs.

Rachelle is currently receiving palliative care from Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, her family around her, fully intent on making her remaining time, which, if chemotherapy begins to work, could be as much as 17 months, but could be as little as nine months, filled with as much joy and love as possible.

Following the family revealing the dire situation they are facing to friends and neighbours, they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support they have received. With Rachelle’s blessing, a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to support their beautiful young girls after the passing of their dear mother, ensuring that they will not miss out on anything. The addition of the variety show at The Customs House; The House is Yours: For Willow and Everly, intends to significantly boost the funds raised for two very special little girls.

Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer said, “The Customs House team, in particular those involved in the show, were really shocked to hear the dreadful news and prognosis for Rachelle and desperately sad for Keir and his family. We hope by doing the show we demonstrate to the Waugh family that they are not alone. We hope the community will buy a ticket and help support the girls’ future needs in this the most difficult of times”.

To donate to the go fund me page go to: 



The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly takes place on Tuesday 18th May at The Customs House with tickets priced at £12. They are available online at or from the box office on: 0191 454 1234.

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