Bourne and Spalding branch of Bloodwise folds after raising £550,000
A group that formed more than 35 years ago folded this week - but on a happy note with the announcement they had topped £500,000 in money raised.
The Spalding and Bourne Leukeamia and Lymphoma Committee, now known as Bloodwise, formed in 1980 and in their first year they raised £2,300.
As the group grew larger, the annual sum sent to the head office of the charity increased yearly and peaked in 2003, when £20,000 was sent.
In more recent years the total has decreased to a yearly average of about £10,000 but now with just eight committee members.
On Monday, at the committee’s annual general meeting, the group decided to fold as many of the members are now older.
But chairman Andy Fuller was able to tell them that the group had raised a massive £550,000 over the years.
At the 2015 AGM, having reached £450,000, the group set a target of reaching the half a million mark within five years but thanks to two large in memoriam donations, the group has been able to surpass that target in a year.
Speaking to The Local, he said: “When I first joined the group in the early ’90s, I would never have believed in a million years that we would reach such a milestone.
“It’s just unbelievable and everyone was very pleased.
“I personally feel exceptionally proud to have served on the committee with these people.
Andy’s young daughter Daisy was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1989 and lost her battle in 1995, aged 10.
He said many of the committee members had personal reasons for joining the group and that it would remain a cause close to their hearts.
Andy said: “I think people were sad to see the group fold but a little relieved as well.”
One of the group’s biggest fundraising events was the McGregor’s annual coffee morning, which is a popular event in the Bourne calendar, and was set up in memory of Dr Michael and Margaret’s son John. Last year’s event broke the £100,000 mark.
The coffee morning will still continue and this year’s event will take place on Thursday, November 24.
Andy said: “The McGregor’s are definitely going to continue with their coffee morning, which is extremely well supported in Bourne.
“I think many of the committee members will be there but as personal friends, rather than as charity representatives.”