Stalham’s Doreen raises £32,000-plus for Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of grandson

PUBLISHED: 15:46 04 December 2012

Doreen Wright on her final day of running the Teenage Cancer Trust stall at Stalham flea market.

Doreen Wright on her final day of running the Teenage Cancer Trust stall at Stalham flea market. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

A grandmother who wanted to do something practical to help when her young grandson was battling cancer, has hung up her charity collecting tin after raising more than £32,000.

Doreen Wright started selling bric-a-brac in Stalham Town Hall in 2003, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, when her grandson Nick Wright was being treated for bone cancer at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Nick, a former Stalham High School pupil, died from the disease in 2004, aged 17, but Mrs Wright carried on fund-raising to help other young sufferers.

“Nick was having to go into wards with elderly people, or very young children, which wasn’t very comfortable for him,” said Mrs Wright, of Millside, Stalham.

The trust provides facilities at hospitals for teenage cancer patients, and Mrs Wright was delighted when Addenbrooke’s opened its first such specialist unit this February.

But now she has decided to turn her energies to another good cause and is helping other volunteers to run Stalham’s Poppy Centre charity shop, next door to the town hall.

In just five months the shop, which is open six days a week, is nearly a quarter of the way to its £100,000 fund-raising target to finish the Poppy Centre youth amenities building, on Stalham Recreation Ground.

Mrs Wright said she had loved meeting people and running the bric-a-brac stalls but was looking forward to clearing her house of goods waiting to be sold.

“I would like my house back now. We’ve been living in a bit of a tip - stuff behind and on top of everything,” she added.

But she has not entirely closed the door on the idea of raising more money for the trust in the future.

She said: “If somebody came up with a lot of lovely goodies you never know what might happen - I might run the odd one again.”

Over the years Mrs Wright said she had found that tombolas with teddy bears as prizes had proved a particularly lucrative money-spinner.

She first got involved with the trust through helping another Stalham resident, Jan Sadler, who had lost a granddaughter to cancer, with occasional sales at Mrs Sadler’s home.

After Mrs Sadler bowed out, Mrs Wright carried on in the town hall, helped by loyal supporter Hilary Starling.

Stalham Town Council recognised Mrs Wright’s achievements earlier this year when she was presented with a Stalham Community Award.

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