Businessman Paul Mackings raises thousands for Macmillan after losing father and sister to cancer

A local businessman has backed Macmillan Cancer Support after his family were helped by the charity.

By Pamela Bilalova
Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:21 am
From left to right: Linda Miller, Paul Mackings and Macmillan relationship fundraising manager Jane Curry at Boldon Golf Club.
From left to right: Linda Miller, Paul Mackings and Macmillan relationship fundraising manager Jane Curry at Boldon Golf Club.

Paul Mackings raised £6,000 for the charity after nominating Macmillan for Boldon Golf Club’s Chairman’s Golf Day.

The former chief executive of Newcastle Falcons, who is currently chairman of the golf club, lost his eldest sister Denise to lung cancer in 2020.

Back in 2015, Paul’s father died at the age of 76 following a battle with oesophagus cancer.

From left to right: Mark (Denise’s son), Denise Mackings with Vivienne Mackings (Paul’s wife) and daughter Melissa.

“Losing both Denise and my father to cancer was a terrible tragedy for our family,” said Paul.

"The support, care and advice we received from Macmillan during such difficult times was incredible and I wanted to acknowledge this in some way.

"The fact that our members raised such an amazing figure on the day which was then matched by the club was a wonderful result and I am really grateful to everyone involved.”

Paul, 59, comes from a close-knit Whitburn family and is one of seven children.

From left to right: Charlotte (Denise's niece), Denise Mackings (centre), her sister Joan and daughter Michelle.

His father, known as Billy, worked as a miner at Whitburn Colliery, Boldon Colliery and eventually Westoe Colliery in South Shields. Paul’s mother was a cleaner in a hospital.

Paul, who is also the man behind redeveloping Spanish City in Whitley Bay, added: “Many members of my family have worked alongside Macmillan cancer services and, most recently with Denise, we’ve been on the receiving end of what they do at time of our greatest need. So it seemed like a very natural thing choosing them as the beneficiary of the Chairman’s Golf Day.”

Denise Mackings died from lung cancer in January 2020 aged 63, after being first diagnosed in 2010.

She underwent treatment and was declared cancer free in 2015, but the cancer tragically returned and following a routine annual check-up in 2019 was found to have spread and was incurable.

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Paul said: “For Denise to be declared cancer free and then go through diagnosis again was very traumatic for her and the whole family.

"The prognosis the second time was crushing after she had responded so well to treatment the first time round.

"We had many members of our family involved in her palliative care but there is no replacement for the kind of support Macmillan gives, both in terms of the discussions with Denise and family members and the additional physical care, that allows time to plan for the unthinkable and to have those difficult discussions that need to happen.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Denise was in a more comfortable position in very trying circumstances with the help of Macmillan than she would’ve been without and for that as a family we are very grateful.”

Jane Curry, relationship fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We offer our heart-felt condolences to Paul Mackings and his family for their loss. Our services have never been more in need as they are now and it is no secret that the charity sector is experiencing an extremely difficult time for fundraising. We really value the kind of support he has shown and thank him, his family and the members at Boldon Golf Club who have been so generous.”

If you’d like to support Macmillan email [email protected] or call 0300 1000 200.

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