‘Susie’s Sisters’ celebrate raise £50,000 in a decade in memory of loved ones for South Shields charity Cancer Connections
Over the last 10 years Fran Manson, 67, Lynda Lamb, 67, Laura Morland, 66 and Mavis Maughan, 57, have organised annual charity nights and fundraising events, entertaining the community while raising thousands of pounds for the South Shields charity.
The campaign began in October 2008, with an ABBA tribute night in memory of their mutual friend Maureen Turnbull, who passed away from cancer at the age of 57.
Since then they have taken to the stage for everything from Motown nights to Girls Aloud and Strictly Come Dancing tributes, choreographing the routines and making all their own costumes. They have also organised numerous 24-hour fundraising walks and taken part in boxing days dips.
Their most recent event, held at the Cleadon Club on June 29, 2019 was an 80s ‘glam rock’ night, which saw them reach the £50,000 milestone.
“I don't think there's anybody we know who hasn't been affected by cancer," said Fran. "It’s surprising how many people don’t know about Cancer Connections and the facilities that they offer here."
After the death of Fran’s sister, Sue Bell, to ovarian cancer in 2012, aged 58, the women continued to fundraise for the charity in her name and became known as ‘Susie’s sisters’.
Sue, who used Cancer Connections services herself, was a driving force of the fundraising campaign, Fran said:
“Sue was such a big part of it at the beginning, she wanted to raise a lot of money."
Mavis added: “She would be laughing up there if she could see us now.”
Over the years they have had support from local companies, including Barclays Bank and the Asda Foundation, as well as the generosity of friends and family.
“We just want to thank everyone,” said Fran.
“It’s not just us that’s raised this money, it’s people who have donated and supported us over the years. It's down to the community of South Tyneside."
Now the four are already making plans for next year’s event and are set to hold another of their popular fundraising walks soon.
“We’ll keep doing it until there’s a routine for us in our wheelchairs," added Mavis.
Deborah Roberts, from Cancer Connections commented: “It’s just inspirational of them, to do this to help others when they have gone through losing somebody close to them.”
She added: “We can’t thank them enough. We will never be able to repay them for what they have done for us.”