South Shields fundraisers the 'Lavender Lasses' hoping to hit £30,000 for Cancer Research UK

A group of South Shields fundraisers are hoping to hit the £30,000 mark for Cancer Research by the end of the year.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 7:00 am
The Lavender Lasses at the Cancer Research UK coffee morning
The Lavender Lasses at the Cancer Research UK coffee morning

Known as the ‘Lavender Lasses’, the seven charity champions have raised £29,000 for Cancer Research UK since 2017 and have become well-known for their ‘crazy’ stunts such as dressing up in corsets and can-can skirts.

Hilary Jago, Janet Bruce, Susan O’Brien, Alex Watson, Joanne Dix, Billie-Jean Morris, Judith Copeland, all from South Shields, have been friends since childhood, but after Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 the women decided to raise some money for Breast Cancer Care.

In 2017 they linked up with Cancer Research UK, and officially formed the Lavender Lasses, setting themselves a target of £10,000.

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Lavender Lasses charity cycle challenge in 2017

Now they hold regular fundraising events throughout the year, including street collections for World Cancer Day and donning their corsets for Tesco Turns Pink. Their sponsored cycle challenge in 2017 saw them take part in a 55 mile bike ride, while several group members have used their own personal occasions to raise donations.

In 2017 Janet hosted her 50th birthday party in aid of the charity and this year, Billie-Jean raised £1,500 at her wedding.

“We aim to raise £10,000 each year,” said Hilary.

“It is growing every year, we never expected it would turn into this, it was just to give a little nod to the work that the charities do.”

Tesco Turns Pink collection

The Lavender Lasses recently joined up with the South Shields fundraising branch of Cancer Research UK to work alongside committee coordinator John Pickering.

“Our money is all ring-fenced to be spent on services and facilities in the North East,” Hilary continued.

“Every one of us has had people in their families affected, or has lost people to cancer.

“If it hadn’t been for the research that has been done in the past Janet might not still be here.”

Lavender Lash Up at Hedworth Hall, March 2017

The group's annual 80s night at Hedworth Hall, Jarrow is due to take place in March 2020 and they are currently looking for sponsors for the event.

Cheque presentation from the 'Supa Santa Sunda' event at The Fountain in December 2018