A caring grandmother has been opening up her home to the community for more than three decades, all in the name of charity.
Pat Bashton marked her 35th year of holding Macmillan coffee mornings at her home in Beauchief, Sheffield, by clinking cups with the city’s Lord Mayor Peter Rippon.
And the two weren’t alone. During the charity event 70-year-old Pat welcomed 150 people through her door and raised around £1,000 for the worthy cause.
“My coffee mornings last from 9.30am to 8pm,” said Pat. “Thankfully we never run out of anything, apart from energy perhaps, but it’s all worth it.”
Big-hearted Pat first began fundraising for Macmillan after moving to Ecclesfield in the 1970s with her husband Tony, when their two children were young.
Having previously worked as a medical secretary at the Christie cancer hospital in Manchester, Pat had learned first-hand about the crucial support the charity provides to cancer patients.
She formed a committee with a handful of fellow housewives in the area and the fundraising began.
Each year the committee members would host an array of events, from jumble sales and race nights to, of course, their coffee mornings.
The committee reluctantly ceased operating in 2000 after jointly helping to raise at least £140,000 for the charity, though several members, including Pat, still continue to hold their own annual coffee mornings. An annual gala continues to this day and has raised £70,000 since 2000.
“I’ve made some great friends through the coffee mornings and have met some fascinating people,” said Pat. “Each year we see a lot of the same faces and new ones too – it’s become an institution and people are very generous.
“It can be hard work but it’s enjoyable. You get hooked on fundraising because you know it’s going to a good cause. I shall keep going while I’m fit enough.”