Celebrating 30 years of fundraising in Limavady for cancer charity

Members of the Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK (back row)  Carol Laird and Janet Thompson. Front row: Anne Jervis and Merle Whyte.
Members of the Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK (back row) Carol Laird and Janet Thompson. Front row: Anne Jervis and Merle Whyte.

A Limavady group which fundraises for a cancer charity is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK was formed three decades ago. It started with coffee mornings, organised by one of the founder members, Ms. Ritter of Roebank in Limavady.

Members of the Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK some years ago.

Members of the Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK some years ago.

Carol Laird, another founding member, recalled how she came to be involved through her role with the Girl Guides.

Little did Carol know, however, 30 years on she would still be an active committee member.

As time went on, the committee grew to between 12 and 15 members who meet around four times a year.

The committee members say they’ve enjoyed fantastic support from people for all of their events, including street collections, quizzes and coffee mornings.

Without a doubt, I’m sure we’ve made a difference. We’ve done our little bit.

Merle Whyte, committee charirperson

They also say local traders have been very supportive.

Committee treasurer, Anne Jervis knows only too well about the impact of fundraising. She became involved with the committee after her sister-in-law lost her battle with cancer. She wanted to do something to help. However, she found out through personal experience why fundraising was so important.

When Anne turned 59 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was hit with a second diagnosis in May, 2016.

“Without Cancer Research I might not be here today,” claimed Anne, who has recovered well.

Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK members at a recent fundraiser.

Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK members at a recent fundraiser.

To celebrate her 60th birthday, Anne requested family and friends make a donation to Cancer Research UK in lieu of presents. Close to £3,500 was raised.

Committee secretary, Janet Thompson, has been involved for almost eight years.

“People in Limavady are so supportive and we are very grateful for that,” noted Janet.

Janet said raising money, knowing that it will help others, is something she takes great pride in and adds that it’s satisfying knowing they’re giving something back when they hold events and people have a good time.

“When you’re asking for money from people, it’s nice to give something back,” smiled Janet.

To date, the committee has raised approximately £200,000 for Cancer Research UK, something the ladies are extremely proud of.

However, committee members are quick to stress that without the support of a generous community in Limavady, none of what’s been achieved would have been possible.

Committee chairperson, Merle Whyte, believes the committee’s work has made a difference.

“Without a doubt, I’m sure we’ve made a difference. We’ve done our little bit,” said Merle.

Members have seen at first hand where funds raised go and have visited the Cancer Research Centre in Belfast.

The committee members all agree the new Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital will make a huge difference for people receiving treatment and their loved ones.

“It’s a godsend. It’s just a pity it wasn’t here sooner,” said Anne.

The committee hopes they can bring some new members on board and urge anyone who is interested to contact them via their Facebook page ‘Cancer Research UK - Limavady’.

This Sunday, March 19th, the Limavady Committee Cancer Research UK will mark their 30th anniversary with a special thanksgiving ceremony at 7pm at Christ Church in Limavady with music by ‘Counterpoint’, Drumachose Music Group and Gospa-Christ The King.

The committee members hope people in Limavady will join them and they say everyone is welcome.