Marie Curie cookbook funds Norfolk dementia nurse

A cheque for £100,000 is handed to Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie (right), by (from

A cheque for £100,000 is handed to Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie (right), by (from left) Vanessa scott, Mary Kemp and Melinda Raker at Croxton Park yesterday. Picture: KEIRON TOVELL - Credit: KEIRON TOVELL

An afternoon tea recipe book has raised £100,000 for the Marie Curie charity.

Three afternoon tea fans with a vision are at the heart of a £100,000 charity fundraiser that will help people at the end of their lives.

Norfolk patron of the Marie Curie charity, Melinda Raker, and local food campaigners Vanessa Scott, owner of Strattons Hotel in Swaffham, and Mary Kemp, cookery writer and demonstrator, combined their knowledge and love of Norfolk ingredients to launch a recipe book last year to raise money for Marie Curie.

Norfolk's Own Cookbook: Everything Stops for Tea, packed full of recipes celebrating teatime, sold at £20 a copy, the sum needed to fund one hour of a Marie Curie nurse's time, with the aim of raising the profile of the charity in Norfolk as well as funds. All overheads for the book's production were covered by the generosity of the contributors, sponsors and supporters.

After a 5,000 copy sell-out in six months, the fundraising trio handed over a cheque for £100,000 to Marie Curie at a special event on Friday at Croxton Park, near Thetford.

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The money will fund a new dementia nurse specialist in Norfolk, and interviews for the new post are already under way.

Mrs Raker said: 'The fact that the funds were staying in Norfolk definitely contributed to the book's outstanding success.

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'It is a wonderful achievement to be able to fund a dementia nurse and I am so grateful to all those who gave such tremendous support to make this possible.'

Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie, added: 'The book is a credit to Melinda, Vanessa and Mary, and a wonderful example of a community coming together to support a good cause.

'Norfolk has an older population than the national average, and with that a higher prevalence of dementia diagnosis. For this reason, we felt it important to create the post of a dementia nurse specialist, who will provide support to people and families in Norfolk when they need it most.'

Norfolk's new dementia nurse will be one of only two in the country, testament to Norfolk's special issues and the county's commitment to helping people living with dementia and their families.

Dr Collins said people tended not to associate palliative care with dementia, but it was an end-of-life illness, and one which deeply affected families – traditionally a key focus for Marie Curie nurses.

Earlier, Julia Stafford-Black made a presentation on behalf of the National Gardens Scheme, which last year contributed £500,000 to Marie Curie.

More than 70 gardens in Norfolk are open to the public this year, many offering light refreshments – some using recipes from Norfolk's Own Cookbook: Everything Stops for Tea.

Special presentations were made to people who have provided outstanding help to the Marie Curie charity:


Deven Seetanah.

Susan Boggia.

Alexandra Evans.

Zena Fisher.

Sharon Gooding.

Clare Peacock.

Gail Walter.


Wilbur and Jeanette Notley, who have been collecting for Marie Curie for the last 27 years.

Myke Shipp.

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