North Devon fundraisers celebrate fifty years with nearly £600k pot

North Devon Gazette

A local Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising group formed in 1973 is celebrating entering their 50th year with an incredible lifetime total of £586,601.76 raised.Â

Over the years, the group has held various fundraising events such as coffee mornings, lunch parties and suppers, a Christmas Fair, carol concerts, and quizzes, together with regular public collections.Â

Group treasurer and former chair, Andy Jones, spoke of the reasons for the groups longevity and success, he said: “The local community is at the heart of our work both with our fundraising activities and where the money is spent. No activity is ever done unless it is fun, and whilst our current group is only the three of us, we really could do with some new members with new ideas.”Â

Around 8,160 people are diagnosed with cancer each year, that’s over 22 people a day in Devon hearing life-changing news they have cancer. And 690 of these people live in North Devon.Â

Citizens Advice Torridge, North, Mid & West Devon secured some £2.158 million in welfare benefit payments for people living with cancer in Devon in 2020. Macmillan funded the service to help people with cancer cope with the huge financial pressures many face as a result of the illness.Â

Colonel Tony Hare, former chair of the group between 1993 until 2014, shared his fond memories, and thanks to members both existing and past, he said: “It is an amazing achievement. The group has grown and waned over the years, but they remain a key part of the community - raising money for local people affected by cancer.’’Â

Andy Jones, added: “I am proud to have been involved with Macmillan Cancer Support for over 20 years. The last two years have been particularly difficult. We are very fortunate to have lots of lovely 'helpers'. But we could always do with a few extra pairs of hands to help with organising our regular activities, like the South Molton Christmas Fair, our public/store collections, coffee mornings & quiz nights.''Â

Atalia O’ Leary, Relationship Fundraising Manager, shared her thanks and explained how others can get involved: “A special heartfelt thanks to Andy, Teresa, John and all of the wonderful volunteers - Thank you for being such an important part of your community and for representing Macmillan in North Devon. Last year alone, the group raised an incredible £12,762.66 despite the challenges. We are so grateful to the group for their ongoing support.”Â

If you are interested in joining this wonderful group as a volunteer, or you know somebody that might be please email, AtOleary@macmillan.org.uk

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