Charity in memory of Leeds woman who died of ovarian cancer aged 32 awarded almost £10k lottery cash

A charity formed by the friends and family of a popular Leeds woman who died of ovarian cancer has been awarded almost £10,000 in lottery cash to continue their work in her memory.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:45 pm

Vicki Aldwin of Oakwood, died aged 32 in January 2019 after a brave battle against her diagnosis - during which an appeal by her friends helped her to fulfil many of her bucket list wishes.

Vicki - who was a manageress of The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton - was able to fulfil wishes including learning taxidermy, visiting Berlin and going on a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Despite failing health, Vicki also travelled to London, and Venice with her friends and family in the three months before her admission to St Gemma’s Hospice.

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From L-R Nina Britton, 35, Leanne Aldwin, 37, Katy Winship, 35 and Carys Barker, 33

After her death, her friends vowed to set up a charity in her legacy - with a mission to spread awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to assist people with their end of life aims and ambitions.

The charity was co-founded by Vicki's best friend Katy Winship, 35, and named 'Lemonade' in honour of the group who made 'lemonade from lemons' after Vicki's diagnosis.

The 'Lemonadies' decided to dedicate their time to honouring Vicki's memory by raising awareness of ovarian cancer in women under 60 and assisting others with achieving their bucket list, as well as offering help and support to friends and families who may be affected by the disease.

To help support their cause, the charity, which has faced difficulties due to covid, has carried out a number of fundraising activities including a charity ball and a March Mile A Day running challenge.

Katy Winship, 35

More recently, the team applied for National Lottery community funding to help kick start an educational campaign with regards to ovarian cancer and smear testing.

The Lemonadies are keen for women to understand that whilst smear testing detects cervical cancer, it can’t detect ovarian cancer.

The National Lottery Awards for All funding application was accepted in May and Lemonade was offered £9,900 to implement their campaign and spread awareness in the local community and beyond.

Speaking at a a celebration of the funding outside The Mustard Pot on Thursday, Katy told the YEP that the money would be used to target an advertising campaign across Yorkshire.

From L-R Leanne Aldwin, 37, Carys Barker, 33, Katy Winship, 35, Nina Britton, 35,

She hoped the symptoms would become ingrained in the minds of woman across the county - with the charity's previous research showing only around a quarter of women could recite the signs of the cancer.

Katy said: "We submitted the application in May and were delighted to be awarded the funding.

"We are going to use the money to pay for printing our advertising campaign and believe it could reach up to a million women in Yorkshire.

"Our aim is to have four or five different styles of poster showing the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

"We already have placed some in ladies toilets and Sikh temples and hope to target areas with a large footfall."

Carys Barker, 33, is a trustee of the charity.

She said if the charity helped just one other person, all of their work would be worth it.

She added: "This will be the legacy of Vicki going forward.

"We would welcome any help or donations, it would be very interesting to hear from people across Yorkshire who may be able to get involved."

Another trustee, Nina Britton, 35, said the pandemic had been difficult for the charity.

However, she said support had "exploded" in 2021.

Nina said: "People have come forward with so many stories.

"We are hoping the media campaign will reach a lot of women."

Vicki's sister Leanne Aldwin, 37, told the YEP she hoped the charity in her memory would be a lasting legacy and help save the lives of others.

She added: "Vicki was so young, we just want to raise as much awareness as possible."