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Midsomer Norton Community Group to celebrate two years

Two years of fundraising for a new cancer care centre are about to be celebrated by a Midsomer Norton fundraising group.

In the two years the Midsomer Norton Fundraising group has raised thousands of pounds for vital work through events including walks, bucket collections and fairs.

The anniversary is being marked with an information evening on Monday, February 22, at Welton Rovers Football Club.

The evening will give people the chance to hear about the progress of The Forever Friends Appeal and the building of the new Cancer Centre at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

The friendly group of volunteers meet once a month to organise and take part in fundraising events and activities in the community.

One of the group’s most successful fundraising ideas comes in the form of their supermarket spinathons, which they have held twice in Paulton’s Tesco store.

For both of these events, volunteers came forward to meet the challenge, completing hour spinning slots throughout the day to help raise funds.

Through the hard work, determination (and sweat) of these volunteers, the spinathon events have raised a combined total of more than £2,500.

One of the group’s members, Graham Darke, was referred to the RUH 14 years ago following unexplained blackouts. An X-ray revealed a grapefruit-sized mass between his lungs and his ribcage, which turned out to be a rare form of cancer – related to testicular cancer.

After four spells in hospital for chemotherapy over the three months following this devastating diagnosis, Mr Darke is now fit and well – with no sign of the cancer returning.

He joined the group to show his gratitude and give something back for saving his life and giving him more time with his two children, who were eight and 10 at the time.

The keen cyclist cycled 84 miles with his cousins from the RUH to Musgrove Park, Taunton, raising more than £2,000 for charity, to celebrate his tenth anniversary of recovering from cancer.

Mr Darke said: “I joined the Midsomer Norton Group with the aim of helping to organise similar active challenges to help the RUH build a state-of-the art facility and get over the limitations their wartime buildings have (such as lack of privacy when in the shared wards at a vulnerable time in your life).

“These challenges are always more fun when shared with other enthusiasts. One challenge I would like to set up, for instance, is to cycle from Welton through the newly reopened Somerset and Dorset railway tunnels up to the RUH and then possibly on to the cycle track to Bristol and back again.”

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