Cathy Gilman
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The Big 5 - 0 !

Cathy Gilman
Posted by
27 Jan 2015

On Sunday I was privileged to join the Brentwood, Hutton and Billericay Branch at a very special lunch to celebrate their 50 years of fundraising

Ever-changing world

More than 100 regular supporters sat down to a sumptuous lunch and a celebratory glass or two! Chairman Bill Plummer MBE shared the story of the Branch after lunch. The tenacity and ingenuity of the Branch in finding new fundraising activities in response to an ever-changing world has been incredible. It has also enabled them to keep many supporters engaged for long periods of time.


From military tattoos to gourmet evenings, there is no doubt that they are truly expert in finding ways to part people from their cash. At the heart of this has been a dedicated Branch Committee with loyal members and an exceptional secretary in Tricia Ould keeping everyone on course. Their outstanding efforts have been justly rewarded. By Sunday they had raised £1,166,522.69. But of course with a raffle on Sunday there’s another £500 to add to the pot already!

Conversation in a pub

Dr Sarath Wicks (no relation to our wonderful corporate partners!) the Branch President thanked everyone present. This included members of the local WI, the bowling team and representatives from the Lions and the Rotary. There were even some of the founder members, who started the Branch from a conversation in the pub - I’m sure that many others began the same way!

Saving and improving lives

I was delighted to share the incredible progress that we've achieved for blood cancer patients since the Branch began. From the successful application of chemotherapy to achieve survival from childhood leukaemia; to the development of magic bullet therapies in CML and acute promyelocytic leukaemia; the use of monoclonal antibodies in diagnosis and treatment and more recently the development of cell based therapies and the delivery of national structures such as the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP).

Life is a gift

I feel very lucky to have people like the Brentwood, Hutton and Billericay Branch in my life. They are the living embodiment of our belief 'Life is a gift to be used wisely and lived fiercely'. With friends like these, I know that we won’t stop until we’ve beaten blood cancer - here’s to their next 50 years!



What a remarkable bunch they are! As a blood cancer survivor I cannot say just how thankful I am for everything that the branch has done. I wouldn't still be here today without the fundraising efforts of groups like them and it's a direct result of the work that they've funded that we can now say with onfidence that together we will beat blood cancer - it's just a matter of time!


What a wonderful achievement! I hope we can keep flying the LLR flag in Winterton for that long - a tenth of the way there!