Pat is the lady sat on the sofa. She’s surrounded by Donna (back left), the manager of our Chandler’s Ford support centre; Phil (back middle), our wellbeing coordinator; and Marion (back right), one of our wonderful befrienders; and friends from her block of flats.
As a charity which receives no government funding, we feel blessed to have superstars in our community who go above and beyond to support local people affected by cancer.
Somebody particularly wonderful is 85-year-old Pat. Since 2015 she’s raised more than £6,000 for us by putting on an annual get-together for residents in her block of flats in Fair Oak, near Eastleigh. It started as a small affair, with a few stalls and refreshments and it’s snowballed from there! Undeterred by the terrible weather, a resident provided a marquee for this July’s event, which raised more than £1000 and featured a bring and buy stall, prize draw and auction, with local businesses donating prizes. What wasn’t sold or won is being donated to our charity shops.
Pat found out about us when her husband died. She visited our Chandler’s Ford centre for bereavement support, and she’s continued to come and see us for support with her own cancer diagnosis for the past eight years. She lost her dear friend, Sandie, to the disease three years ago.
She says: “It’s really scary when you hear the word cancer, but I urge you not to despair. If you visit Wessex Cancer Support they’ll make you feel so welcome. They’ve helped me so much that I wanted to give something back.”
Donna Stroud, the manager of our Chandler’s Ford support centre, said:
“Pat is an inspiration to all of us at the centre. Despite her own health concerns, she doesn’t let anything stand in her way and is determined to help people who really need it. She’s a joy to have in the centre, too. She regularly has us all enthralled as she tells stories of flower arranging for the Queen, and when her feather was Mayor of Eastleigh! Thank you, Pat, we’re incredibly lucky to have you in our corner.”