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Dedicated cancer committee raises millions in 60 years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 April 2019

Committe chairman Lou Cruickshank with the certificate showing their achievement

Committe chairman Lou Cruickshank with the certificate showing their achievement

james grist photography

A committee that raises funds for Cancer Research UK is celebrating its 60th anniversary during which time it has donated millions.

Cheque being presented by Simon Ledsham, CRUK directorCheque being presented by Simon Ledsham, CRUK director

The dedicated group from Dartford and the surrounding areas says it is amazed at reaching its diamond year.

The Dartford and District Local Committee marked the special occasion at its annual dinner dance at Dartford Football Club at the end of last month.

Guests included Simon Ledsham, director of communities at Cancer Research UK and Dartford mayor, Cllr David Mote.

The committee began fundraising for Cancer Research UK, then known as British Empire Campaign for Cancer Research, in November 1958.

Mayor David Mote and the committee celebrate amazing 60 yearsMayor David Mote and the committee celebrate amazing 60 years

It has since raised an astonishing £3.75million for the charity’s life-saving work.

In the early days, donations and public houses were the group’s mainstay when it came to bringing in vital cash.

There was even an annual so-called Knockover evening in local supporting pubs where stacks of coins that had built up over the year on the counter were literally knocked over and counted. Since then, the group has raised tens of thousands each year, working on a host of different fundraising events including golf days, sponsored horse rides, motorbike events and much more.

Brian Porter, special events co-ordinator at the Dartford and District Local Committee, said: “Our sincere thanks to all of our wonderful past and present supporters who have enabled us to raise the magnificent sum of £3,754,477.81 at end of December 2018.

Cheque being presented by Simon Ledsham, CRUK directorCheque being presented by Simon Ledsham, CRUK director

“We are now off heading towards our next milestone of £4million and we are greatly looking forward to our year ahead with some exciting planned fundraising events in our programme

“We would appreciate occasional assistance with weekend store collections so if you can spare a few hours we would love to hear from you or perhaps you may consider joining our committee come along to a meeting to see for yourself without commitment.”

The money raised by the committee funds research to beat cancer sooner, helping to ensure more men, women and children in north Kent and across the UK survive.

Senior local fundraising manager in the south east, Lynette Farley said: “We cannot thank the committee enough for their tireless support over the past six decades. We’ve seen survival rates double in this time thanks to research funded by amazing supporters like this group.

Mayor David Mote and the committee celebrate amazing 60 yearsMayor David Mote and the committee celebrate amazing 60 years

“That sum of £3.75million could cover the cost of one of our research groups for 18 months which is a phenomenal achievement.

“The committee is keen to find new volunteers to join ther group and will also provide great support to any fundraisers in the Dartford and Gravesend area.

“If you’d like to get in touch with them to build on their 60-year success, I know they’d be really pleased to hear from you.”

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Its vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured, from the most common types to those that affect just a few people.

One in two people born in the UK after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Right now, half of the people diagnosed with cancer will survive the disease for at least 10 years.

The charity’s ambition is to accelerate progress and see three in four people surviving cancer for 10 years or more by 2034.

Cancer Research UK’s 4,000 doctors, nurses and researchers work to prevent cancer; diagnose it earlier; develop new treatments and optimise existing treatments to make them more effective.

The charity receives no government funding and relies on supporters such as Dartford and District Local Committee to fund its work.

To find out more about Dartford and District Local Committee, please email Brian on brian.porter@hotmail.co.uk .

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit cruk.org.

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