Thorpe pub’s fundraiser for cancer charity

A Thorpe St Andrew pub is hoping to give a new male cancer charity venture a major boost this weekend by holding a two-day fundraising event.

The charity weekend in aid of the Blue Ribbon Foundation (BRF) kicks off at the Rushcutters on Friday with a balloon release at noon before a blue-themed fancy dress day at the Yarmouth Road-based pub the following day.

The establishment of a BRF, which hopes to do for men what the Pink Ribbon Foundation has done for women with cancer, would be the culmination of a dream for prostate cancer survivor Mel Lacey whose recovery from the disease prompted him to want to do something to help others.

Trisha Murphy, who runs the Rushcutters pub with partner Ben Cooke, said: 'We want to support Mel and raise awareness of the Blue Ribbon Foundation by highlighting to men they have somewhere to go for advice when faced with often difficult health problems.

'One of our team leaders will also be having a leg and back wax on the night if we raise more than �3,000, so we are encouraging our guests to show their support in any way they can.'

'We have received some fantastic raffle prize donations so far, ranging from free meals to free haircuts and we are welcoming any others. Guests can also fill in donation slips which we've left on the tables.'

Mr Lacey, 62, said he was delighted to have received support from the Rushcutters. He said: 'Trisha's fantastic. She's been the driving force behind it and has just been so focused.'

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Mr Lacey said he hopes the charity, which has a major new backer in HastingsDirect.Com, the national insurance company, will be officially launched later this year. Jonathan Prince, chair-elect of the BRF trustees who is also chair of trustees of the Pink Ribbon Foundation, said: 'After two years of hard work, that is all now coming together. With a major national sponsor, Hastings Direct, coming on board at the end of 2010 and now the wonderful hospitality of Rushcutters here in Norwich, we feel we are finally on our way.'

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, will also be attending the event on Saturday. She said: 'I wish every success to the foundation as it sets about the task of raising the profile of cancers and other health issues.'

The website, is expected to be launched in the coming weeks.

Anyone interested in supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation should contact Mr Lacey via