Fifty years for charity

MEMBERS of a Morpeth charity support group are enjoying their own jubilee year.

The Morpeth Cancer Research UK (CR-UK) Fund-raising Committee was set up 50 years ago.

Volunteers over the years have put in a lot of effort to collect money to help doctors discover better treatments, and more than £300,000 has been handed over since 1962. A range of activities has been organised for 2012, with members hoping to raise around £20,000.

Coffee mornings and raffles will take place throughout the year and the first main event was an evening with Herbie Newell, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at the Newcastle Cancer Centre, at Barluga Deli in Sanderson Arcade. This brought in more than £3,600.

One of the current 11 members, Kathleen Lamb, is celebrating her 25th year on the committee.

She said: “It’s a significant milestone to reach and we’re looking forward to putting on some more events before the end of the year, including a Christmas fair.

“We meet every three months, or once a month if we need to plan a big activity. Most of us have been on the committee for many years and we’ve become close friends.

“It’s great that once a year we are invited by the charity to go to Newcastle to see how the money raised across the North East is spent.”

The longest-serving member, Dorothy McBryde, had no intention of joining, but when she dropped in a donation after losing her husband to liver cancer she discovered she knew the then treasurer, Sylvia Hetherington, and that meeting spawned 46 years of service.

Through the years she has played a major part in organising activities, such as strawberry teas, marquee events and concerts, and she has seen the evolution within CR-UK, particularly the advancements and success with research and treatment.

Former member Sue Elliott decided to help the group out for its 50th anniversary by collecting funds for the charity during her birthday party, which totalled about £500.

Cancer Research UK’s Area Volunteer Manager Joanne Evans said: “I would like to thank the Morpeth Fund-raising Committee for the fantastic amount it has raised and the massive contribution it has made to our vital work over the past 50 years.”

New members would be welcome, as would anyone wanting to hold an event in aid of CR-UK. For more information, email Mrs Lamb at