Charity cook-off inspired by six-year-old Heartsease boy

A six-year-old Heartsease boy, who next week finishes more than three years of cancer treatment, is planning to cook up funds for a charity which has helped him.

Jack Smith, who attends Heartsease Primary School, will finish his 164-week course of treatment next week, but will be taking part in a Can't Cook Won't Cook style event tonight to raise money for CLIC Sargent.

The cook-off has been organised by family friend Abbey Cullingford, 32, who lives in Bush Road, Hellesdon, and will see Jack and his mother Gayle Larkman go head-to-head against mother and son Sue and Owain Athill from Aylsham, who have also been helped by CLIC Sargent.

Jack was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2008.

Ms Larkman, 40, who lives in Redfern Road, Heartsease, said: 'Abbey is a good friend of mine and has been there all the way through Jack's treatment.

'It's fantastic that she has thought to do this. There will also be a raffle, Abbey has managed to get some great prizes.

'We hope to raise money and awareness throughout the evening. I met her at a mother and baby group back in October 2005.'

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She added: 'It's the ideal time to hold the event as we are nearly at the end of Jack's treatment. It has been a long time but Jack doesn't know any different.

'He is looking forward to the event, he loves cooking.'

Mother-of-three Mrs Cullingford, who works as a Pampered Chef consultant, said: 'As it is cancer awareness month, there will be a pink theme so they will be cooking strawberry and chocolate tarts. We would like to raise �1,500 from the event.'

She has also arranged a raffle in the evening to help raise further funds. Prizes include tickets for Alton Towers and Colchester Zoo, golf lessons and champagne.

CLIC Sargent community fundraising manager for East Anglia, Karen Roberts, said: 'We want to say a big thank you to Abbey for her cook-off event and raising money for CLIC Sargent. Lack of funds means that CLIC Sargent can only help two out of three children and young people with cancer – that's why your support makes such a difference.'

The event will be held at the Jubilee Family Centre in Aylsham tonight at 7pm. Tickets cost �2 and will be available on the door.

Are you organising an event for charity? Contact Evening News reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email