Campaigners ‘turn Tonbridge pink’ to raise awareness of breast cancer

Kentish Pip Wild Summer Sparkling Elderflower Cider
In the pink: (L-R) Tina Plant, Michelle Milton, Michelle Hall, Clair Miller, Lisa Pearson, Annette Locke, Diane Evans and Amy Milton

The campaign coincides with the charity Breast Cancer Now’s national Wear It Pink Day and the group have approached shops and businesses to help their cause.

Lisa Pearson said: “We have had amazing feedback from local businesses who are decorating their windows and premises, and  their staff are wearing pink.

“We originally approached just the High Street, but word has spread and other businesses in the area have kindly got involved. Local scaffolders and builders have had pink T-shirts printed to wear.”

“Several businesses are holding coffee and cake mornings including Santander, Burnhill Kitchens, Ismini Phillips and Waghorn Estate Agents.

“The generosity has been overwhelming with donations of raffle prizes. Both Penny’s Boutique and Haywards Farmshop are holding their own raffles.”

The raffle and an auction will take place at a party fundraiser held on Friday evening at the George and Dragon pub on Shipbourne Road, where the group is based.

Wear It Pink Day, formerly known as the Big Pink, is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, having raised £33million since it was launched in 2002.

In April, Breast Cancer Now joined forces with Breast Cancer Care to create one charity. The proceeds will support people affected by breast cancer as well as funding research.

Clair Miller said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago. I work at Tonbridge School as a house matron, and over the last few years I have got more and more involved in the school’s annual Pink Day, which raises awareness and monies for breast cancer.

“Each year, as a school we have gone bigger and bigger, a boarding house, the whole chapel and then school buildings – all turned pink.”

“Before the summer break I was chatting to a colleague who lost her husband to cancer and we bandied around the idea of going ‘bigger’. I said, ‘do you think we can turn the town pink?’

“Five other women from across the community joined us and the seven of us have spent the last three months leafleting and speaking to businesses and the community, building up support, which has been amazing!”

The campaign has certainly struck a chord in the town. “So many of the people we spoke to advised that they had family members who had suffered from breast cancer, and a couple had just been diagnosed,” said Mrs Pearson.

If you would like to get involved, email or visit Facebook and Instagram at #turningtonbridgepink

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