THIS month marks the 25th anniversary for Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Centre and to celebrate they will be running events throughout the month.

Karen Millington, who was a centre user in 2016 after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39 and is now a centre coordinator, said: “We had many things planned including afternoon tea, craft activities, get togethers and, most importantly, our black tie event at Halton Stadium.

“At the moment we are still offering our services but in different ways.”

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Karen and family

The charitable organisation has already held a successful afternoon tea with raffles and prizes and a virtual evening at the stadium, supported by Widnes Martial Arts, has been organised for Friday 15 May where people can help with table settings and decorating their rooms.

Party packs will be issued with people encouraged to email pictures of them partying at home.

50 percent of fundraising provides income for the charitable organisation but with the centre now closed for the foreseeable this is providing many difficulties.

Operations Manager Nicola Donoghue said: “We have raffles, giving links, donate buttons etc from our website and facebook pages. We have been very fortunate in getting our usual 50 percent of income from Halton Clinical Commissioning, Halton Borough Council and Public Health. We have also had some emergency funds from Steve Morgan Foundation and Liverpool City Region Community Foundation (LCR Cares) so I would like to say a huge thank you to all of them and to those who have donated.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Nicola Donoghue

“We have adapted our services to support people affected by cancer during this time while we cannot offer face to face drop-in service. Our staff team are working from home taking inbound calls and making weekly wellbeing calls to anyone currently registered or anyone new to our service.

“We can refer to local vital support services during the pandemic. We have moved our counselling service to telephone counselling and our children and young people can access web-chat and facebook support group activities online.”

She added: “We would like to thank Halton Clinical Commissioning, Halton Borough Council and Public Health who immediately made contact to offer their support ad are doing an amazing job to look after our community. “We have also had some emergency funds from Steve Morgan Foundation and Liverpool City Region Community Foundation (LCR Cares) for which we are very grateful.

“There any many individuals who have donated whatever they can to support us in continuing our services which will help us to keep running until we can reopen and hopefully beyond. The resilience of our service users, staff, volunteers and community is simply amazing. As the leader of our charity, I am overwhelmed with the support and kindness which is all around us and I am very fortunate to be part of such a dedicated team of staff, volunteers and trustee board members. “ The centre has also set up a 25 Things in May fundraiser asking people to get creative and do 25 of anything they like such as dances, films, walking and bike rides.

Anyone wishing to donate and join in can do so by visiting their webpage: Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group or contacting the centre on: 0151 423 5730.