Cancer victim walks Norwich ring road as part of drive to raise £125k

Jo Loombe who has walked the Maids Head ring road to add to her fundraising over the last 17 years,

Jo Loombe who has walked the Maids Head ring road to add to her fundraising over the last 17 years, and now she is having treatment for breast cancer. With her is her husband Steve. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

An idea over a pint to raise a few hundred pounds has evolved into an annual march against cancer raising almost £125,000 in memory of Cheryl Sissen.

Easter Ring Road walkers presenting Macmillan with a cheque at the Maids Head pub

Easter Ring Road walkers presenting Macmillan with a cheque at the Maids Head pub - Credit: Archant

Regulars of the Maids Head pub in Old Catton, Gordon Collingsworth and Ivan Chettleburgh wanted to chip in after hearing the news Mrs Sissen, wife of local policeman Richard, was suffering from cancer.

They dreamt up the plan to walk the 11.5 miles around the Norwich ring road for Macmillan Cancer Support, and after their 17th year, Mr Collingsworth said he is amazed at how the humble event had grown.

'At first we just thought it was going to be two people walking it, and maybe bring in a couple of hundred pounds,' said Mr Collingsworth.

'The landlord heard us talking and asked what are you two scheming? After we told him it just snowballed from there. Sadly she [Cheryl] died before the first walk took place, but the whole thing has built from there.'


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The event has now raised a total of £124,755.39 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

This year 23 walkers turned out and raised a total of £5,882, supported by Morrisons in Old Catton who opened their doors to fundraisers.

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One of those walking this year was 48-year-old Joanne Loombe, who has raised nearly £400.

Diagnosed with cancer last November and now entering her last round of treatment, her father recently lost his own battle with the disease.

The 1cm tumour at the back of her breast was picked up 'purely by chance', she said.

'If it had been left another year I would have been a real goner. I had only recently had a mammogram, and that didn't pick it up. It was only small but because it was level 3 it was a nasty one and I needed to go through chemo after they removed it.

'I have been an Old Catton girl since I was about 13, and I used to work in the Maid's Head pub, which is where I met my husband, so I knew about the walk.

'My sister joined me because of our dad, and we were the last to leave and the last to finish; by a long way. It took us nearly four hours but it was a beautiful route.

'When my dad died he didn't want flowers, he wanted donations to charity because of what I was going through.'

Fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support Shaun Campbell added: 'Without the support from the walkers, the pub and the community, we wouldn't be able to support those who need it most.'

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