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30 years of coffee mornings

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By Abbey Morton
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30 years of coffee mornings

MAGGIE Thatcher was still running the UK, Maria McKee was top of the charts, Scotland beat England at rugby and a cancer charity held their first ever coffee morning back in September 1990. Since then, every year thousands of people have tucked into cakes and enjoyed a cuppa with pals, neighbours and strangers, raising millions of pounds to fund support Macmillan Cancer Care in their work to help people with cancer. Here, we look back on 30 years of coffee mornings across the region which have raised tens of thousands of pounds and helped countless cancer sufferers and their families.

WHILE Covid-19 may mean people can’t pack into houses, village halls or community centres in the same way they have before, Macmillan is urging people not to let that stop them taking part either virtually or through socially distanced events.

Instead of bringing family and friends together to share a Victoria sponge and a pot of tea, supporters are encouraged to get people together online or challenge colleagues to week-long sponsored baking competitions

Fundraising manager Angela McCormack said: “We had big plans for the 30th anniversary and while we’ve had to adapt, we’re determined that nothing will stop the Macmillan coffee morning going ahead.

“Many people with cancer are more in need of help than ever before as they try to cope with not just cancer, but the additional stresses coronavirus has caused.

“Macmillan has been doing everything we can to support people but while demand for our services is greater than ever, due to coronavirus, we are facing a significant drop in our income.

“While lots of face to face fundraising events have had to be cancelled, the strength of coffee morning is that there’s no set way of taking part.”

Angela commented that while covid means things can’t happen as normal, they are determined not to let it stop the 30th year of coffee morning.

She said: “We hope people across Dumfries and Galloway will join us.”

Macmillan has been supporting people with cancer throughout the pandemic.

As well as ensuring its support line stayed open, even as lockdown hit, the charity has set up ‘Telephone Buddies’ for those facing isolation.

The charity upgraded its online community, a space where people with cancer and their loved ones get together at any time of the day or night to talk about their experiences and support each other.

The official Macmillan coffee morning takes place tomorrow, but supporters are encouraged to hold their event whenever suits them, being sure to do it safely, following all government guidance.

People can also support the charity by buying a limited edition selection of Macmillan products in M&S food halls.

FANTASTIC FUNDRAISER . . . staff and children at Sparklers nursery in Annan raised £110.25 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The children made cakes and sold them to their families throughout last week, and staff rode a ‘coast to coast’ distance on an exercise bike to raise additional funds
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