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Thousands raised in battle against cancer by ladies who lunch

The LILAC Ladies' Big Cuppa event at Benji's restaurant in Jarrold store. Left to right, Theresa Cossey from LILAC, Suzi Abel from Jarrold and Gaye Youngman from LILAC.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The LILAC Ladies' Big Cuppa event at Benji's restaurant in Jarrold store. Left to right, Theresa Cossey from LILAC, Suzi Abel from Jarrold and Gaye Youngman from LILAC. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

More than £175,000 has been raised over the course of just over a decade by a group of local ladies who lunch.

Meeting at Jarrolds for their most recent tea party yesterday, the Ladies in League against Cancer also staged their own fashion show, with six volunteers from among their ranks turning their hand to modelling.

It was part of their effort to support Cuppa month, organised by the Big C cancer charity, and brought together by local organisers Theresa Cossey and Gaye Youngman.

The pair have long been involved with the charity, having helped set up the first shop on Castle Meadow around 20 years ago.

“I was a trustee of the Big C since the very beginning, and when I retired I decided I wanted to carry on helping,” explained Mrs Cossey.

“We both started up the first Big C shops together about 20 years, with the first shop in Norwich on Castle Meadow. We begged and borrowed the premises and put out the word that we needed goods. Now it has just taken off.

“We thought, we have got lots of friends and do lots of lunches, so why not do it for this cause? They use to it fund the cancer information centre at the hospital; a centre for patients and their families, which costs £370,000 a year to run.”

Mrs Youngman added the group, now 250 strong, do about six events every year, from tea parties, fashion shows and shopping trips, to women’s only golf days.

“It is basically whatever we can come up with at the beginning of the new year,” she said.

“It is our 11th year this year and over that time we have raised over £175,000.

“That is all just from a group of ladies who lunch. Jarrolds are one of our biggest supporters and allow us discounts which does help to boost the coffers.

“We try to aim to raise about £10,000 a year, but that is open to change. We started off with 11 ladies going to a lunch meeting, and now it has grown to about 250 people.

“A lot of ladies here today have either got family, friends or are suffering themselves with cancer. Every family is connected with cancer in some way.”

LILAC costs £5 a year subscription to join. To get involved contact Mrs Cossey on 01603 720980 or Mrs Youngman on 01603 714818.

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