Woodville funeral home raises record amount for Macmillan cancer support charity

Woodville Co-op funeral home has raised its highest ever amount for the annual Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event – with £300 raised in the first hour alone.

The total was boosted by a generous £100 donation to the cancer charity from an elderly widower in memory of his wife who died last year. The man, who did not wish to be named, said he wanted to show his support for the organisation as “it is such a good cause.”

The well-attended coffee morning at the Co-operative Funeralcare home in Granville Street raised £468.75, with some donations still to come in.

Visitors to Macmillan coffee morning with funeral staff and funeral celebrant

Some of the visitors to the Macmillan coffee morning pictured with Woodville Co-op funeral staff and local funeral celebrant Chris Knight (right).

Funeral director Lorraine Walker said: “We’re all delighted because this has not just been a great effort from our staff. A lot of local businesses supported us by giving raffle prizes. It’s the highest amount we’ve raised in the five years since we’ve been organising this event.

“Cancer touches the lives of so many people and we obviously see the effects of that in our professional lives all the time.”

Several people who popped in for a cuppa and a cake had their own poignant stories to tell of how Macmillan nurses had provided invaluable care to loved ones struggling with cancer.

Woman with photograph of parents at Woodville Co-op coffee morning

Dawn Wallis with a picture of her grandparents Ronald and Joyce Patrick. Ronald, who was born in Overseal and lived in Woodville, was cared for by Macmillan nurses in his final days.

Funeral director serves coffee and cake to parents and daughter

Funeral director Lorraine Walker (left) serves up coffees and cake to Alan Taylor and his wife June, from Woodville, and their daughter Dawn Wallis.

Dawn Wallis, from Branston, brought in a photograph of her late grandparents who both died from cancer. Ronald Patrick, who was captured by the Italians during World War II, succumbed to prostate cancer at the age of 97. He had worked as a security guard at an engineering firm until he was 86 and previously ran his own carpentry business. But while Ronald lived a full life, his wife Joyce died young from breast cancer.

Dawn, an intensive care nurse at Burton Hospital, said: “I remember the excellent care my granddad received from the nurses. In the last two days of his life they gave him pain relief and I was with him when he slipped away in his sleep.

“My mother-in-law and a good friend also died from cancer and I see my colleagues in the chemo unit having to deal with patients suffering from this terrible disease, so I felt it was important to be here. I also made a donation at work.”

Woodville Co-op funeral arranger raising cup at coffee morning with other VIPs

Woodville Co-op funeral arranger Sandra Wyatt raises a ‘toast,’ watched by (left-right) Dr Selwyn Goodacre, masonry consultant Lorraine Bolger, funeral celebrant Chris Knight and funeral director Lorraine Walker.

The coffee morning on September 27, 2019 was opened by retired doctor Selwyn Goodacre who worked at Swadlincote Surgery for 40 years. He said: “I was always tremendously impressed by the Macmillan nurses. As a GP you could always call on them for their specialist care.”

Despite the serious nature of the event, there was a light-hearted atmosphere and lots of laughter from visitors. They enjoyed an array of delicious cakes made by Jayne Knight, whose husband Chris, a local funeral celebrant, helped organise the fundraiser. Buckley’s bakery in Swadlincote also supplied bread. The many raffle prizes on offer included a hamper from the Co-op, a family day out at Twycross Zoo, a strimmer from Massey’s DIY in Woodville and a chocolate bouquet courtesy of Swadlincote-based Weddings & Flowers R Us.

Dozens of similar coffee mornings took place up and down the country during the month. The first fundraiser took place in 1990 and has since generated more than £200 million.