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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”