Blood cancer charity’s carol concert

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The Horsham branch of blood cancer charity Bloodwise are looking forward to adding even more sparkle to their £175,000 fundraising total to date, with a return of the ever popular Christmas carol concert on Saturday December 12.

Founded in 1976 by a group of parents whose children had died from leukaemia, the Horsham fundraising group has gone from strength to strength.

Over the past 39 years the members have hosted ‘Pimms in the Park’, numerous collections in city centres around Sussex and an annual festive concert, all generating tens of thousands of pounds for the charity’s world-class research and patient services.

Current president of the branch and High Sheriff of West Sussex, Jonathan Lucas, lost his brother to leukaemia in 1963.

He says: “My parents, Charles and Thelma, worked closely with another family, the How’s, to found the branch. We had lost James aged just six years old and they had sadly lost their daughter aged 18, to the same disease.

“Bloodwise has been a charity dear to my heart for so many years, and the Horsham community has always been so generous in supporting the cause and getting involved with our events. We can’t wait to get into the festive spirit with this year’s carol concert and look forward to seeing another packed audience and hearing their best singing voices!”

Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Bloodwise, adds: “Our ability to beat blood cancer depends on people like Jonathan and his selfless determination in raising funds for our work, year on year. We can’t thank him and everyone involved with the Horsham branch enough for their loyalty and tireless efforts over the past 39 years.”

In November, Bloodwise launched ‘Susan’s Appeal’, a fundraising campaign which celebrates the charity’s 55-year heritage and the community fundraising at the core of its existence. The charity was formed in 1960 in Middlesbrough by the parents of Susan Eastwood, a six-year-old girl who died from leukaemia, and has raised and invested over half a billion pounds in blood cancer research.

In September 2015 the charity changed its name from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to reflect the scope of the life-changing work it carries out for all blood cancer patients.

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Report contributed by Bloodwise.