The number 30 has taken on a special significance in 2018 for Honiton mum Sue Phillips.
It’s the number of years since she lost her brother to cancer, the local charity she supports has just celebrated its 30th anniversary and the total she has just raised for them has now topped £30,000.
Sue this week handed over the profits from the fourth gala ball she has organised at Lakeview Manor.
Despite having to bring the party to a halt midway through the evening due to bad weather, the event still made more than £6,000 for FORCE Cancer Charity
The previous three had raised more than £21,000 and Sue also ran the London Marathon for FORCE in 2016, gathering £3,000 in sponsorship.
“I never imagined I’d be able to do this but I’m absolutely thrilled for the charity,” said Sue. “People have been so encouraging. There was nothing we could do but cancel half way through when the weather got so bad at the ball last month but the support from everyone there was overwhelming. I’m so grateful and to raise so much money is just fab.”
For the last two and a half years Sue has worked as FORCE’s outreach co-ordinator, taking support and information services to community hubs in Tiverton and Okehampton.
But her connection to the charity goes back much further.
Her brother, Stephen, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in January 1988 when the family first got to know about FORCE. He died two months later, aged just 20.
“It felt especially significant this year as it was 30 years ago that Stephen died. He will never be forgotten and this is a way of dealing with his loss in a very positive way – a legacy that lives on and a great way to remember him,” said Sue.
FORCE is hoping to expand its support services into East Devon this year and Sue added: “I see first-hand the difference that raising money for this charity can make to so many people in their own communities. We are able to make a huge impact on people’s lives and I’m proud to be a part of that.”