• Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023

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Two North East fundraisers have received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the cause.

The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life.

Maureen Bainbridge (83) from Teesdale and Pam Ashmore from Teesdale were both named a Cancer Research UK Honorary Fellow in celebration of unflinching loyalty and dedication shown to the cause over many years.

Pam picked up the awards at a ceremony in London hosted by Cancer Research UK’s chairman, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. Maureen was unable to make the event.

An audience at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall heard how Pam and Maureen, who are both part of the Cancer Research UK Teesdale Committee have worked tirelessly, raising £1 million for the charity.

Maureen is the Chair of the Teesdale Committee and is one of the two founder members who started the group 45 years ago.

Maureen has demonstrated outstanding loyalty over the past 45 years, putting her energy and enthusiasm into the various fundraising events she’s helped organise. These include art exhibitions, fundraising balls and Christmas fairs.

Maureen’s so dedicated to her fundraising that she’s got her daughters, Kath and Audrey involved in the committee and is focused on reaching a new target of £1.25 million.

Maureen said: “We’re both very honoured to receive The Flame of Hope Award and would like to thank the Teesdale Committee and also our family, friends and the people of Teesdale for their support.”

Pam is the secretary of the Cancer Research UK Teesdale Committee and has been part of the group for 32 years.

She’s a constant source of inspiration and always looking for new and fun ways to fundraise.  Pam is always keen to encourage and acknowledge the support of the local community and ensures that members and supporters are aware of the difference their fundraising makes.

Pam is always on hand to help organise the fundraising events and manages the supporters on the day. She embraces the essential ingredient to the group’s success – having fun while fundraising.

Pam added: “Maureen and I are delighted to have received these awards. They’re testament to the amazing work of the Teesdale Committee and the community.

“We’d also like to thank our Cancer Research UK Fundraising Manager, Janet Leafe for nominating us and for all the support she gives to the Teesdale Committee.”

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, said: “The Flame of Hope awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to our enormously generous volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work that they do.

“Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work in to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives but that’s only possible thanks to the commitment of our supporters and volunteers, without whom it would not be possible to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.

“Without any government funding for the work we do, Cancer Research UK needs to ensure that people understand why their support is so important and how we can beat cancer together. Today 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. With the help of volunteers and supporters and by building the strongest possible team and working collaboratively, we can achieve the charity’s ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.”

Maureen and Pam were among a total of 55 individuals and groups from all across the UK recognised at the awards ceremony.

Jaelithe Leigh-Brown, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East said:

“Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound, every hour and every person.

“These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like Maureen and Pam who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return.

“It’s thanks to the support of the fundraising public and our amazing army of volunteers that we can continue to make a real difference and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

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