Pickering celebrates a ‘dream’ week with birthday gala night and buying own home

Pickering celebrates a 'dream' week with birthday gala night and buying own home

More than 200 specially invited guests attended a gala dinner at the Spa Hotel where close to £70,000 was raised during an auction of donated prizes. The money will replace some of the £675,000 that Pickering last week paid Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for the centre which the charity had been renting from the authority.

Since Pickering was launched 15 years ago it has become one of the most popular charities in the town.

Each year the centre, which has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, helps some 3,000 people from across the region whose lives have been touched by cancer, including family and friends.

Everyone one at the centre is a volunteer and those who ‘drop- in’ receive help, advice and certain treatments, such as remedial massage, free of charge.

Co-founder Polly Taylor, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work with the charity, said: “To have such an amazing evening with all our volunteers and friends on the Saturday and to have actually bought our very own home the day before, was just a dream come true.

“Buying the centre means we can leave behind a lasting legacy that will continue to help people, many of them young children, for generations to come.”

Polly paid tribute to all those who have worked over the years to make the Pickering ‘dream’ come true including her ‘right hand’ at the centre Gaynor Ratcliffe.

“It really has been a team effort,” she explained,” with tremendous support from the local business community, particularly our friends at the Markerstudy Group, who have never failed us when we have reached out for their help.”

The night of cabaret at the Spa Hotel was hosted by local businessman Anthony Gerrard–White, who kindly gave his time for free, and saw Polly popping out of a giant birthday cake.

To round off the weekend celebrations some 60 people from ‘Pickering Families’ pulled on their skates at the council’s newly opened ice rink in Calverley Grounds. “They absolutely loved it,” said Polly. On Tuesday (November 26), the actual birthday, Pickering is staging an open house at the centre in Monson Road from 11am till 3pm.

 To find out more about Pickering visit pickeringcancercentre.org.uk


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