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Cambridge community comes together for Macmillan Coffee Morning



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The ever-popular Macmillan Coffee Mornings, which help raise money for people living with cancer, were held again this year all over the country.

The Macmillan Coffee Morning 2021 at Marshall Group Head Office. From left, Diana Petchell, Lady Sibyl Marshall, Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Russ McPherson with Mayoress Carol McPherson, and Christopher Walkinshaw. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Macmillan Coffee Morning 2021 at Marshall Group Head Office. From left, Diana Petchell, Lady Sibyl Marshall, Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Russ McPherson with Mayoress Carol McPherson, and Christopher Walkinshaw. Picture: Keith Heppell

Three of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning events took place in substantial venues across Cambridge, attended by various people active within the community, last Friday (September 24). The concept began in 1990 and donations raised on the day are made to Macmillan. In 2020, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic, more than £10million was raised.

One of this year's events in the city was held at the Cambridge Central Mosque, attended by Daniel Zeichner MP, the Mayor and Mayoress Russ and Carole McPherson, Sharon Allen of Authur Rank Hospice, and Iqbal Khan of the Baraka Khan Foundation - as well as Rev Devin McLachlan of Great St Mary's Church.

Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, Michelle from MacMillan with the group of speakers and organisers of the coffee morning at the Mosque. Picture: Keith Heppell. (51588002)
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, Michelle from MacMillan with the group of speakers and organisers of the coffee morning at the Mosque. Picture: Keith Heppell. (51588002)

Shahida Rahman, a trustee of the mosque, said: "We raised quite a bit of money, which is fantastic. We raised £13,562 and we're really pleased with that." Shahida notes that "well over 50" people came on the day, adding: "because it was Friday Prayers, the coffee morning extended into the afternoon so we managed to sell all the cakes in the end - we didn't have anything left over by the end of the day."

Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Daniel Zeichner MP. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Daniel Zeichner MP. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Russ McPherson. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Russ McPherson. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Iqbal Khan, whose daughter died from lung cancer, seen here representing the Baraka Khan Foundation. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Central Mosque Macmillan Coffee Morning, speech by Iqbal Khan, whose daughter died from lung cancer, seen here representing the Baraka Khan Foundation. Picture: Keith Heppell

Fitzbillies, Tom's Cakes, and Aromi kindly donated cakes for the cause. "I'd just like to thank them all for being part of that," said Shahida, adding: "It [the event] was great; we hope to continue doing it every year. I think it's a good way of raising awareness of cancer within all communities, and also raising funds for the important work that Macmillan do."

The Mayor, Cllr Russ McPherson, also attended an event at the Marshall Group head office in Cambridge, along with Lady Sibyl Marshall and coffee morning organiser, Diana Petchell.

The Macmillan Coffee Morning 2021 at Marshall Group Head Office. From left, Diana Petchell, Lady Sibyl Marshall, Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Russ McPherson with Mayoress Carol McPherson, and Christopher Walkinshaw. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Macmillan Coffee Morning 2021 at Marshall Group Head Office. From left, Diana Petchell, Lady Sibyl Marshall, Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Russ McPherson with Mayoress Carol McPherson, and Christopher Walkinshaw. Picture: Keith Heppell

Meanwhile, over at the University Sports Centre, another coffee morning event was held with Penny Cleobury, chair of the Macmillan Cambridge fundraising group, Kash Bygott, who runs the coffee counter, and Jenny Broadway, also from the Cambridge fundraising group.

Penny said: "We made lots of cakes and biscuits and muffins - individual pieces - and we said they were free for people having a coffee or tea, but you could make a donation - and that's where people do give donations. Not vast amounts but more than just the price of a cake."

In total, the coffee morning at the University Sports Centre raised £121.84, less, says Kash Bygott, than an outside coffee event held last year which raised £350. Penny, who has worked for Macmillan since 1985, added: “It’s an amazing charity...

“I know I'm biased but it's the fact that it does the lot - it looks after you and your family all through the cancer journey. That's why I've worked for them for so many years.”

Macmillan Coffee Morning at the University Sports Centre with, from left, Penny Cleobury, chair of fundraising group in Cambridge, Kash Bygott, who runs the coffee counter, and Jenny Broadway, also of the fundraising group. Picture: Keith Heppell
Macmillan Coffee Morning at the University Sports Centre with, from left, Penny Cleobury, chair of fundraising group in Cambridge, Kash Bygott, who runs the coffee counter, and Jenny Broadway, also of the fundraising group. Picture: Keith Heppell

Michelle Hutchinson, relationship fundraising manager for Macmillan in Cambridgeshire, said: “Macmillan is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes for people with cancer, many of whom are coping with the disruption caused by Covid-19. But the truth is, without the support of the public, we won’t be able to keep up with the demand for our services.

“Every penny raised by coffee mornings goes towards ensuring that people with cancer live, rather than just survive. Cancer affects a great deal more than just your physical health - it can disrupt your relationships, your mental health, your finances, your career – so it’s vital that everyone has the support they need at their fingertips before any emotional, practical or financial issues can spiral out of control.

“That’s what Macmillan services and professionals are here for, over the phone, in local hospitals and online, providing all the tools and information people need to understand their care and the support available. The future of these services depends almost entirely on the generosity of supporters however, so we must never lose sight of the critical importance of fundraising.”

Macmillan Coffee Morning fact box 2021

  • Macmillan Cancer Support’s flagship Coffee Morning - one of the UK’s longest-running fundraising events - is facing a staggering 71 per cent income drop (£20m).
  • Combined with the drop in income from last year’s event, this could mean a total income drop of £40million and risk almost 200,000 people living with cancer risk missing out on care from a Macmillan nurse over the next two years.
  • In 2019, Macmillan’s Coffee Morning raised £27.5million for Macmillan. Estimations show that it is currently on track to raise less than a third (29 per cent) of that this year. Sign-ups are also expected to be down by more than two-thirds (68 per cent).
  • Since the first Covid-19 lockdown, the experts on Macmillan’s support line have answered more than a quarter of a million telephone queries from people affected by cancer.
  • The Macmillan support line team are now helping more people than they were following the first wave of the pandemic, taking 22 per cent more calls in July this year than the same time last year.
  • There have been well over half a million views of the specialist Covid-19 information on the Macmillan website since the first lockdown began.

For more information, go to coffeeregister.macmillan.org.uk and macmillan.org.uk.

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