Family who have fund-raised for cancer charity for 40 years set to brew up again

Members of a generous South Tyneside family are set to brew up again to help out a lifeline cancer charity which they have supported for more than 40 years.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 6:00 am
Beryl Coffey and her auntie Maisie Stewart hold an annual family Macmillan coffee morning. Back, Macmilland fundraiser Jane Curry

Former mayor and councillor Maisie Stewart, 88, set up the very first Macmillan fund-raising group back in 1973 and remains active in getting in donations for the organisation to this day.

She even received an award from the Duchess of Kent for her efforts.

Beryl Coffey and auntie Maisie Stewart.

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Maisie’s niece Beryl Coffey has been hosting her own coffee mornings annually for the past five years.

During that time, more than £10,000 has been brought in for the charity.

With this year’s fund-raising events just days away, Beryl is calling on as many members of the public as possible to support the worthy cause.

Beryl, 53, of Jarrow, told the Gazette: “Macmillan has always been close to my Aunty Maisie’s heart.

Maisie Stewart who has fund-raised for Macmillan for over 40 years.

“Her husband Ken died from cancer and we’ve had others in the family affected as my mam and father-in-law also died from it.

“My dad has had it as well but he’s still alive.

“It’s something that’s always been in our lives so we want to do our bit.

“Since the coffee mornings started, we’ve been involved ever since.”

Beryl Coffey and auntie Maisie Stewart annual family Macmillan coffee morning. Left, Macmilland fundraiser Jane Curry

Beryl’s friends as well as her daughter April continue to help out with planning and organising events for Macmillan, with the latest one set to take place next week.

“We’ve raised about £10,600 now in the past five years,” added Beryl.

“We’ve held girls’ nights as well as the coffee mornings and that’s helped.

“I’m always leaning on people to help out and I appreciate everything that they’ve done because we wouldn’t have got anywhere near the same amount of money without them

“My employer Harvest Energy, which is based at Jarrow Oil Terminal, have given me a cheque for £300 which is just amazing considering I haven’t even worked there that long.”

This year’s coffee morning organised by Beryl will take place at the Masonic Hall in Aln Street, Hebburn, from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, September 29.

And despite Maisie being almost 90, she will be there joining in with the others.

“My Aunty Maisie is marvellous,” added Beryl.

“She leaves the organising up to me, but she always does her bit.”