King’s Lynn to host gala dinner to mark 50 years of Macmillan

Lord Richard Dannatt ANL-161105-133612001
Lord Richard Dannatt ANL-161105-133612001
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Fifty years of dedicated fundraising for Macmillan in West Norfolk is to be marked with a gala dinner at Knights Hill next month.

It will celebrate the £2 million raised in West Norfolk since Rev George Bridge, rector of All Saints Church, in Lynn, undertook to form a committee to support what was then called Macmillan Cancer Relief.

He contacted several organisations in the town inviting them to provide members and soon he had the nucleus of about 10 volunteers.

Two of these were members of the ladies circle, the wives of Round Tablers, who said they would do it for a year.

Despite having little initial knowledge of the charity they had signed up to support; fund raising started in earnest with wine and cheese parties, jumble sales, coffee mornings.

RevBridge stood down as chairman handing over the reins to Keith Goldsworthy, who in turn handed over to Pam Carter, who served as Chairperson for 30 years.

Forced to relinquish the role due to ill health, the baton passed to Ruth Swithenbank, before current chairman Howard Moore took over.

The work of Macmillan nationally grew exponentially over the years, with the building of hospices and the provision of nurses specialising in the care of cancer patients.

The first Macmillan Nurse was appointed in Lynn and the Macmillan Unit built and opened by the Queen in 2002 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Lynn fund raising committee’s contribution to the work of Macmillan started, in what would be seen today, as a relatively modest way, but over the years almost £2 million has been raised locally and today few people in West Norfolk would be unaware of the tremendously important role the Macmillan Unit plays in supporting cancer sufferers and their families.

To celebrate the committee’s work over the past 50 years a gala dinner is being arranged in the Knights Hill Barn, Lynn, on Thursday, June 9, at which General, Lord Richard Dannatt, is guest speaker.

In addition senior representatives from Macmillan will attend and long service awards will be made to two committee members who were volunteers at the initial meeting run by the Rev Bridge.

Local organisations and businesses have pledged sponsorship of the event and groups from Rotary and Probus and businesses have booked tables.

A limited number of tickets, priced at £50 each are still available. Details of how to support the event may be obtained from organiser Ron Jackson on 07813937071 or email: ronaldjackson08@btinternet.com