Penwortham neighbours and Rosemere Cancer Foundation volunteers hit £35,000 in fundraising for charity based at Royal Preston Hospital

Rosemere Cancer Foundation in Preston fundraisers of the year  Norma Blackburn and Margaret Dunn
Rosemere Cancer Foundation in Preston fundraisers of the year Norma Blackburn and Margaret Dunn
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When long-time friends and neighbours Norma Blackburn and Margaret Dunn made a plan to start fund-raising together in memory of Norma’s husband Stephen, they decided to go big.

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What they perhaps didn’t plan in 2011 is that their efforts in supporting Rosemere Cancer Foundation would still be going nearly a decade later and they would raise nearly £40,000.

Their latest big weekend fundraiser, aptly named the ‘Grand Event and hosted annually in Penwortham, where they live, brought in £5,540.41 for the Preston based charity.

The social event has grown so much in the last nine years eager bargain hunters can be found queuing to get in.

Margaret said: "We just like people and we enjoy doing it. We’re now known as the ‘tombola queens’.

“We’re the type of women who can sell ice to the eskimos.

“It was lovely day – we’re so fortunate in the way it is supported.

“We have a great following and an awful lot of donations.

“It’s a big community event, we hold it in our local church and every year we just aim to raise as much money as we can.”

Along with their regular small army of helpers, the pair open the doors of St Leonard’s Church Hall every year to stage their sales and family day.

Norma says this year’s sale and family day, did not disappoint with sale rails stocked with everything from new clothes and stalls of games to delicious home-made refreshments.

Free to enter, it is a grand mixture of craft, produce, games and good quality bric-a-brac stalls.

Norma and Margaret, both from Penwortham, have been friends for more than 30 years and began supporting Rosemere Cancer Foundation in 2011.

Norma lost her husband Stephen to cancer and Margaret had also lost another close friend to the disease.

Both had been treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Norma says: “As one event finishes, we begin organising the next by reviewing what was most popular and working out how to give people more of what they want.

“We also always introduce new elements to keep the event fresh for people who come every year.

“And this year’s event was even bigger and better than ever.”