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Macmillan Coffee Morning host who helped establish cancer support in France

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A LYMM woman who helped to establish cancer support service in France is to host a Macmillan Coffee Morning later this month with a twist.

Pat Bramwell, 74, from Lymm, moved to France in 2005 along with husband Trevor after retiring as a secretary.

In early 2008 while living in Normandy, and with the help of Macmillan, Pat helped to establish a Cancer Support France (CSF) service – the first of its kind in the area.

The service provided help to ex-pats and locals who needed support, either because they had cancer, or were caring for someone who did.

“We’d do things like take people to the hairdressers if they wanted company, take someone shopping or the local doctor’s wife would take people for hospital appointments if they didn’t speak the language. Just anything we could do to help,” explains Pat.

“Cancer Support France is nationwide, but they didn’t have it in Normandy. I was invited along to a group who were looking to establish the service and got involved from there.

“It wasn’t just ex-pats, it was local people too. They’d never had any support like it before.

“Macmillan would send over notes and advice about how to run the service and what sort of help it could offer. I became a fundraiser to help raise money for the service. It was so useful to us and we wouldn’t have been able to make it what it was without Macmillan.”

Sadly, and in a cruel twist of fate, Trevor was to pass away from pancreatic cancer just a year after establishing the centre.

“He was only diagnosed a week before he passed away in January 2009. It was very quick,” says Pat. “He was only 60. He was a real larger than life character, and I miss him.”

Pat moved back to Lymm later that year, and ever since, she’s hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning both in Trevor’s memory, and as a thank you to the charity for its help in establishing CSF in Normandy.

But last year during the pandemic, Pat decided to bring Coffee Morning to the residents of the village rather than host one herself due to COVID restrictions in place.

Supported by family and friends including daughter Katrina, a nurse on the COVID wards, Pat delivered around 40 afternoon tea and cake boxes to locals raising hundreds of pounds in the process.

She’s doing the same this year on Friday 24 September – but wants to go bigger and better after ordering 100 boxes that she’s already started preparing for the big day.

“My job’s quality control,” she says. “I make sure that there’s a sausage roll in each box!”

Louise Osgood, Relationship Fundraising Manager at Macmillan, said: “Pat’s story is fantastic. She’s helped people living with or affected by cancer for so many years now, right back from when she helped to establish CSF in Normandy. She’s clearly such a caring and selfless woman and we really appreciate all she does for Macmillan.

“We’re so grateful that Pat is helping to take Coffee Morning to the doors of the people around her who may not feel comfortable hosting their own events yet. There are so many ways to get involved, whether it’s having an afternoon tea delivered, meeting a friend for a picnic in the park, hosting a coffee morning outside or even raising a mug virtually. We appreciate every single person who is helping us this year, please do get involved if you can.”

Sign up now at macmillan.org.uk/coffee to host a Coffee Morning on Friday 24 September, or whenever suits you best.

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About Author

Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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