Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall helps Cancer Connections celebrate 10th anniversary

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A South Tyneside charity which is making a difference to the lives of people affected by cancer celebrated its 10th anniversary with a star-studded celebration.

 Cancer Connections, which serves people affected by cancer living in South Tyneside and beyond, held a party at The Word in South Shields to mark the impressive milestone.

Jade Thirwall of Little Mix speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

Jade Thirwall of Little Mix speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

 The charity, which is based on Harton Lane, South Shields, marked their birthday along with Little Mix Star and charity patron Jade Thirlwell.

Calling the anniversary an ‘incredible’ achievement she said: “I have been patron for five years and have done things for the charity since the beginning when I was 14.

“It’s nice to be here and celebrate with everyone. I was asked to be a patron after X Factor and try to be involved as much as possible.

“I love coming home and when I get time off it’s really humbling to come to Cancer Connections and see everyone.

Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

“It’s great just to celebrate its 10th anniversary.”

She added: “It was such a small charity when it started and it has come so far in 10 years.

“It’s going from strength to strength. It’s amazing.”

The celebration also marked the release of the charity’s book – called ‘Connecting With Cancer’ by Reg Hall, one of the charity’s founding members.

Jade Thirwall of Little Mix speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

Jade Thirwall of Little Mix speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

It tells the stories of 
those affected by cancer who have been helped by the charity.

It is now on sale at The Word and at the Cancer Connections base.

During the party Jade made an emotional speech to those gathered thanking the charity for caring for one of her family members when they battled cancer.

Executive director of The Customs House Ray Spencer MBE was the compare for the evening – leading 
the speeches to over 100 guests.

Ray Hall's book Connection with Cancer launched at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

Ray Hall's book Connection with Cancer launched at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

The charity’s co-founder, Debra Roberts, says she was thrilled with the anniversary and thanked everyone involved, including patrons, Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig and Dame Margaret Barbour.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted and we can’t thank people enough.

“I am so proud of how far we have come as a charity and the support we have received from the people of South Tyneside.

“Everything goes hand in hand and it has made me so proud of this town.”

She added: “The book is about different people who have gone through cancer telling their story.”

Ray Hall speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields, where  book Connecting with Cancer was launched.

Ray Hall speaking at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields, where book Connecting with Cancer was launched.

Compare Ray Spencer talkiing to two young people  at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.

Compare Ray Spencer talkiing to two young people at the Cancer Connections 10th anniversary celebrations at The Word, South Shields.