A group of Leeds women should be raising more than a cup of coffee to celebrate raising almost a quarter of a million pounds for charity.
The North Leeds Macmillan Committee raised around £20,000 at this year’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, just as it has for the past six years.
This brings the total raised by its inspirational efforts over the past 16 years to almost £230,000 – and the money is still trickling in.
Last year the North Leeds gathering was the most successful World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event in the UK.
And it could repeat that feat once the charity has counted all of this year’s money.
Rosalind Bickler, committee founder, said the group was “humbled” by people’s generosity. The 73-year-old, who last year received an award from Macmillan Cancer Support recognising her leadership skills, said: “We are so grateful to the people who support us because they are giving so much help to others.”
Cash raised by the committee’s 2011 coffee morning meant 7,500 more people received support from Macmillan’s helpline, in Shipley.
This year’s money will support Macmillan nurses working with patients with head, neck, mouth and larynx cancer, at St James’ Hospital in Leeds.
The committee was founded by Mrs Bickler in 1997, when she responded to an appeal in the Yorkshire Evening Post for people to host get-togethers for the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
Months earlier she had witnessed first-hand the help Macmillan provided, when a close friend was dying from cancer.
So she didn’t think twice – she formed the North Leeds Committee and its first coffee morning raised £500.
The hardworking team of six has since developed a winning fundraising formula.
As well as the coffee morning, which attracts up to 100 guests, it also sends out an appeal to its database of around 1,000.
The Alwoodley grandmother said: “We only ask these people once a year to support us – I think that’s why people are so generous.”