Fund-raiser Maisie set to retire

94 year old Maisie Polworth of Millside at Morpeth seen with family members.'REF 1709141474
94 year old Maisie Polworth of Millside at Morpeth seen with family members.'REF 1709141474

A stalwart of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has finally taken the kettle off the boil.

Charity champion Maisie Polwarth has supported the event every year since it began 24 years ago, undeterred by shingles or floods.

But now the 94-year-old Morpeth resident appears to have hosted her final coffee morning for the cancer charity after moving into Riverside House residential home.

Mrs Polwarth bowed out last week after inviting her family, friends and neighbours for one last cuppa in her former Millside home.

Her daughter Pamela Cassells said: “We had about 35 people at the house this time and it was very successful.

“My mother collected tins for the Wansbeck Food Bank and spectacles for Africa, as well as the money for Macmillan Cancer Support. She was very happy.

“It was probably her last coffee morning because she is at Riverside House now, although her friends are still able to see her there so who knows, she might organise something there.

“She must have raised thousands of pounds over the years. When she was flooded out of her home she held the coffee morning at Urban Spa in Morpeth, with the help of the staff, and got over £1,000 that year alone. That was her record year.

“She moved to Morpeth in 1988 and I think we can say she has really become part of the community.”

Mrs Polwarth, who has three children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, has always been a fervent supporter of charity and local causes.

As well as the annual Macmillan events, she has held coffee mornings for other charities, was a volunteer librarian at Newminster Middle School and has been a member of the WI and Mothers’ Union.

She has held bring and buy sales for Guide Dogs, and on her 90th birthday instead of presents, she asked her party guests to bring tins for the People’s Kitchen in Newcastle.

She was also a member of The Pennies Folk, a group of Morpeth residents who collect pennies for various children’s charities, raising hundreds of pounds each year.

Mrs Cassells said: “I think all of the charity work has been rewarding in itself, but it also means that a lot of people know my mother and they are coming to see her in her new home to keep in touch, which is nice.

“She is still as lively as she always was, just a little bit more infirm.

“She loves being at Riverside House because she is blind and can still go along to Northumberland County Blind Association and the library.”

Although Mrs Polwarth held her fund-raising event last week, the official Macmillan Cancer Support World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place on Friday.

Money raised helps to fund nurses, therapists, benefits advisers, information services and telephone and online support for cancer patients and their families.

Local events taking place tomorrow include:

lEmily Davison Avenue, Morpeth, 10am to noon. Resident Anne Straker has invited more than 100 friends, with coffee, cakes, a raffle and tombola all on the menu. She hopes to beat the total of £830 that was raised at her event last year.

lMarks and Spencer, Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth, all day.

l Black and Grey, Newgate Street, Morpeth, 11am.

l Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group, Abacus House, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Ponteland, 11am.

l Dobbies Garden World, Street House Farm, Ponteland, 9am.