Roisin Smith and Caitilin Carroll, both 19, were invited by Morrisons and its charity partner, CLIC Sargent, to the chain’s Bradford head office to work in its test kitchen to create six autumnal recipes for Halloween and Bonfire Night. The recipes, which land in stores this week and next week were sampled and tweaked by the panel, which included three other young people from Northern Ireland and Lancashire.
Roisin, from Silkstone Common in Barnsley, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in November 2014, and spent three years having treatment including a stem-cell transplant and high-dose chemotherapy.
She said: “Working with Morrisons was brilliant because, apart from the fact there was lots of free food I also got to meet some amazing young people who were helped by CLIC Sargent. We all had different experiences with cancer and sharing them was very powerful and emotional.”
Roisin helped create a battered cauliflower dish, while Conisbrough teen Caitilin created Halloween-themed jelly lanterns and firework sausage twists. Caitilin, who in August marked being a year cancer free after three months treatment for ovarian cancer, added: “It was such a fun day. We got to try lots of delicious dishes and meet other people who understand our cancer experience, from all over the UK. CLIC Sargent helped all of us in different ways, from providing a social worker to help with the emotional impact of cancer, to giving grants to help us pay for travel to hospital or bills.”
Two Halloween recipe cards land in stores this week, while four Bonfire Night recipe cards will be in stores from October 16. Further recipe days with CLIC Sargent young people and children are planned in the run-up to Christmas, which Instore Marketing Manager, Robert Perrett hopes will raise awareness of the charity’s invaluable work.
He said: “We are delighted to work with a charity that makes such a tangible difference to the lives of children, young people and families affected by cancer. At Morrisons, we want to raise £8m for CLIC Sargent, but we also want to raise awareness of the work they do to help limit the damage cancer causes beyond health and we hope these recipe cards will achieve that.”
Morrisons colleagues chose CLIC Sargent to be its charity partner following a staff vote in January this year. The three year partnership has a target of £8m that will transform the support CLIC Sargent can give to young people facing cancer. The money raised will provide five new nurse educators, who can educate other health, social care and education professionals close to patients’ homes so they don’t need to travel miles for specialist care. It will also fund Home Hubs next to specialist cancer treatment hospitals, so families can take a break from hospital life or do simple things like wash clothes and prepare a meal. The partnership fundraising will also allow CLIC Sargent to extend the grants it offers to families to ease the financial burden of cancer, which is on average £600 a month per family.