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Charity group says farewell after 36 years

Left to right: Paddy Mills, Mary Muir, Norma Ablewhite, Jennifer Freeman and Mavis Brace. NNL-140414-161357001

Left to right: Paddy Mills, Mary Muir, Norma Ablewhite, Jennifer Freeman and Mavis Brace. NNL-140414-161357001

A Banbury charity group that has raised more than £420,000 for cancer research since forming 36 years ago has held its last event.

The Banbury branch of Cancer Research has raised funds in the town since 1978 and members announced their retirement at their final coffee morning held at Marlborough Road Methodist Church on April 3.

Norma Ablewhite has been secretary of the group since the start and said despite being sad at having to call it a day, everyone in the group was proud of the work they had done.

She said: “Everyone has done a wonderful job. Unfortunately two of our members are retiring and with only seven of us it suddenly meant we would be doing a lot of work.

“When we first started the group many people did not even mention the word cancer. But the word became known more and people started to know someone who had been affected by it.”

Mrs Ablewhite, Paddy Mills and Mavis Brace were founding members of the group.

Chairman Jennifer Freeman and treasurer Mary Muir have both served for about ten years and Ann Grierson, Mary Harris and Pat Walker have all been members for about 25 years.

The group first held coffee mornings at Mrs Ablewhite’s Bloxham Road home before using various halls in the town to host their events. They organised dinner events, collections and fashion shows.

Mrs Ablewhite said: “We have all been close friends for a very long time and I think that has helped us raise as much money as we have –at the start I couldn’t have imagined we would raise as much as we have.

“The support we have had in the town has been absolutely fantastic, especially from Banbury Lions, Tony Lawford and Humphris Funeral Directors.”

 

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