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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-11-24

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Aughton fundraisers hit 50 year milestone of support for cancer research

A group of local fundraisers is celebrating more than 5 decades of fundraising activities, helping secure thousands of pounds for cancer research projects in the region.

The Aughton based fundraising committee of North West Cancer Research was formed 50 years ago by founder Amy Armitage, who, along with a group of friends, wanted to help those with cancer and their families by funding research in the region.

With just a handful of volunteers the group started by organising regular coffee mornings and grew steadily over the years. Today, there are 10 volunteers who work tirelessly to organise regular events and activities including coffee mornings, quiz nights, stamp selling, race nights, local concerts and even a fashion show.

Since 2012 the group has raised ?30,733 for North West Cancer Research, which funds lifesaving cancer research projects at the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and Bangor University.

Longest serving member Pauline Welsh has been fundraising with the committee for the last 35 years. She was motivated to join after her mother sadly died of breast cancer. Pauline believes advances in cancer research are vital if we are able to overcome this killer disease. She said:- "What we know about cancer and cancer treatment has developed so much since my mother had cancer all those years ago, but there is still much more research to be done to save more lives. That's why raising money for North West Cancer Research is so important to me. There are people out there who want to do the research to one day eliminate the disease, they just need funding to do so and that's where we come in.  By organising regular fundraising events, we are helping to raise funds and increase awareness of the importance of research in the fight against cancer. Thanks to fundraising, cancer research has improved so much, which is why every penny we raise is so important."

All money raised by the Aughton fundraisers has supported lifesaving research, including projects looking at skin cancer and head and neck cancers at the University of Liverpool. It has also helped to fund the next generation of research scientists, as North West Cancer Research currently funds 16 PhD studentships as well as 7 intercalating students.

Current chair of the Aughton committee, Anne Holland, became a member by way of accident, after she volunteered to help with a tin collection in her local pub. She said:- "After 50 years of fundraising and raising awareness of cancer research, it's inspiring to see the work that is being done on our doorstep to tackle one of the region's biggest health problems and makes us more determined to carry on contributing to the fight against cancer."

North West Cancer Research is the regions? biggest cancer research charity and raises money to fund projects to develop a better understanding of cancer. It has committed to funding more than ?13 million of research over the next 5 years across the North West and North Wales.

Bobby Magee, fundraising manager at North West Cancer Research said:- "The Aughton committee has done an incredible job over the past 50 years. Its success is testament to the hard work, time and energy its volunteers devote to support us year after year. The money raised has made a huge difference to North West Cancer Research, allowing us to fund scientists working locally to help in the fight against cancer. Thanks to research, half of all people diagnosed with cancer will now survive. We want to ensure a constant flow of research to further improve our understanding of cancer and to ensure that in the future everyone diagnosed with cancer will have a chance to survive."

The next Aughton committee event will be a quiz night hosted at the Aughton Institute, 27 September 2016.


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