Estate agent John Newhouse’s first involvement with Daisy Chain was to value Calf Fallow Farm for founder Lesley Hanson so he has always been aware of the charity.

After setting up his own estate agency business, Roseberry Newhouse, John decided to choose a local charity to support and after opening a branch in Norton in 2010 Daisy Chain was the cause that came to mind.

‘We had done some fundraising for charity but it didn’t feel meaningful enough so we decided to do something more positive and choose a local charity. Roseberry Newhouse is a local estate agency and we are part of the local community so we want to be involved and support a charity that really matters to that community. My staff are all local and we promote and support the diverse area that is Teesside. Daisy Chain supports families in the same area so there is a synergy.’ 

John himself is originally from Stokesley, his grandfather was the vet there from the war time onwards and the family owned Newhouses department store on Newhouses Corner where Debenhams now is in Middlesbrough. He has worked as an estate agent in Yarm and Stokesley for 25 years after ten years in a London agency. 

In 2004, he decided to set up his own agency and today he employs 14 staff with branches in Stokesley, Yarm, Norton and as of 2017 a new branch in Ingleby Barwick. ‘We all live locally and work in our communities so our ethos is to support that and build on it for the future,’ he says. 

In 2016, persuaded by a friend, John decided to take to his heels for Daisy Chain and run the New York marathon. ‘At that time, I had not run anywhere at all,’ he laughs. But he lost three stone in the training process and completed the 26-mile course in four hours forty minutes, raising almost £3,000 for Daisy Chain. 

‘I thought I was going to die in the process though. The first time I ran a mile with my daughter Poppy I was practically collapsing,’ he chuckles. ‘It was really heavy going and I did wonder why I was putting myself through it. I watched the videos Daisy Chain had made which featured the families and the children were so upbeat, not complaining, just getting on with life. I thought it was amazing how much they were smiling and enjoying the activities at Daisy Chain. It inspired me to continue, if they can keep smiling then so could I. 

‘I have no connection with autism but once I started collecting sponsorship for the marathon, I discovered lots of people I knew, including clients, were connected to Daisy Chain and used the services. ‘I find it amazing and moving how people manage and I know how they rely on Daisy Chain to give them support and a safe place to go with the whole family. It’s fantastic that it has managed to thrive and grow for 15 years.’ 

Since then the father of three has gone on to run in the Middlesbrough 10k and the Great North Run, still training with his teenage daughter Poppy. He is set to complete the Simplyhealth Great North Run in September to raise funds for Daisy Chain. 

John also uses his position as an estate agent to encourage clients who need to empty furniture from homes to donate to the Daisy Chain Superstore, ‘There’s a lot more to being an estate agent than just selling property,’ he explains. ‘We often deal with people who are dealing with stressful situations such as divorce and bereavement so it is good to be able to give advice and they are grateful to know there is somewhere local that can collect.’ 

John is a member of Daisy Chain’s corporate support network, Friends of Daisy Chain. ‘It’s excellent the way Daisy Chain brings together its supporters, you have the opportunity to network with lots of other local businesses and make new connections. For us, the local aspect is the really important element. We want to walk down the high streets where our branches are and know we are doing a good job for the local community and supporting such a worthwhile local cause.’