M&S host MacMillan coffee morning to remember loved ones lost to cancer

The world’s biggest coffee morning later this month has a special resonance for staff at Marks and Spencers in Shrewsbury’s Darwin Centre who have lost loved ones to cancer.

The nationwide event in aid of MacMillan Nurses will see coffee mornings held throughout the UK and it will be special for many of the M&S staff, including Ruth Hart, Food Commercial Manager at the store.

Ruth lost a sister, Lorna, and a cousin, Dame Sheila McKechnie OBE, former head of homeless charity Shelter and the Consumer Association, to the disease and both were cared for by MacMillan Nurses.

She said: “We have over 150 people working here at M&S in the Darwin Centre and so many of us have cause to be grateful to MacMillan Nurses which is why we want this to be the biggest event we’ve ever done.

“This is the fourth year running we’ve held a Coffee Morning here and M&S is an official partner for the event which takes place on Friday, September 27, with 50p from every coffee sold going to MacMillan Nurses locally.

“But we will have special items on sale in support of the fund-raising right through to October 2 and our staff will be holding bring and buy and other activities, including a special recipe book, to boost the amount raised.”

Ruth, from Pontfadog, near Oswestry, is the Regional Champion for M&S for 18 stores across Shripshire, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, and she says she is just one of many people who have been touched by the disease.

She said: “There are several people here who have lost relatives and friends to cancer – our manager, Martin Woodhouse, lost both his parents.

“My sister Lorna was only 55. She had breast cancer and within a year of being diagnosed she was dead and so was my cousin, Sheila McKechnie, the following year.

“They were both looked after by MacMillan and the job they do is fantastic and so worthwhile. They are a fantastic charity and we’re delighted to be able to support them and we’re determined to make this our best Coffee Morning ever.”

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “Staff at M&S here in Shrewsbury really throw themselves into their charity work and I’m sure with Ruth in charge this will be another successful event.

“Earlier this summer the store took part in a series of fund-raising activities for cancer charities and they were given a target of £1,000 to raise but they set their own target of £2,000 – they ended up raising over £5,000.

“They are always doing something and have a very active Sport and Social Club which is at the hub of their charity work.”

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