Morecambe Volunteer Helps Cancer Support Group Achieve ‘Bucket List’

on Sunday, 04 January 2015.

An 81 year old volunteer who has dedicated 12 years of her life helping a local cancer support group turn a ‘bucket list’ of wishes into a reality is retiring this month.

Local Grandmother Doreen Challenger has been running CancerCare’s weekly Morecambe Drop in Group for local cancer patients and their family members since 2001 and will retire from voluntary service in December.

doreen challengerDoreen (pictured right with Community Fundraiser Helen Hartin) says:

“I was first introduced to the CancerCare group by a friend after losing my husband to cancer many years ago. She suggested I come along and meet the other members and I’m so glad I did. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t been there. Quite simply, they saved my life.”

CancerCare host a number of Drop in Groups in the local area providing valuable support, help and information to those living with cancer, their families and their carers. The unique local charity was set up over 30 years ago starting out as a small volunteer led telephone helpline service based in an office within The Royal Lancaster Infirmary Hospital. Today, CancerCare offer a wide range of free professional services throughout North Lancashire and South Lakeland including Counselling, Massage, and a dedicated Children and Young People’s Service.

Doreen adds;

“In 2001 I put myself forward to take over the running over the group after another member left and the first thing I did was to ask everyone to put together a ‘bucket list’ of all the things we’d always dreamed of doing or places we’d like to visit. I then made it my mission to make them happen!”

“Over the years our members have enjoyed world cruises, a trip on the Orient Express and even travelled by Concorde!”

As well as arranging various outings for the group, Doreen has also organised fundraising events and hosted coffee mornings to raise vital funds for CancerCare.

“Even though I’m retiring this month we will all keep in touch.  We’ve all become such close friends over the years and we meet up all the time. Every year we arrange to go out for our Christmas meal together so I’m very much looking forward to that.”

“The past 12 years has been a fantastic experience and it’s wonderful to know that our group has provided a lifeline for many local people – including me – who have been affected by cancer.”

For more information about CancerCare visit www.cancercare.org.uk. Follow CancerCare on Twitter @CancerCareLocal or on Facebook at ‘CancerCareCharity’