Friends raise £350,000 over 20 years - with more to come

Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis (inset) mark 20 years of raising funds for numerous worthy causes - with an amazing £356,579 raised in this time.

Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis (inset) mark 20 years of raising funds for numerous worthy causes - with an amazing £356,579 raised in this time. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Two fantastic fundraisers have once more ensured groups and charities will share thousands of pounds after their knitting and poetry exploits sparked a wave of donations.

An amazing £5,000 has been donated to charities across Waveney and Great Yarmouth after Pakefield fundraisers Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis got to work.

Having marked 20 years of fundraising this year after the Paul Cole Cancer Fund was set up in memory of Mrs Cole’s son in 2000, many groups, organisations and individuals have benefitted from the remarkable voluntary work.

With Mrs Ellis self-isolating, Mrs Cole recently distributed cheques worth £500 each to local charities and groups – which included the Louise Hamilton Centre, the Royal British Legion, S.O.L.D, the Sandra Chapman Centre, Little Lifts, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Marie Curie.

Zoiyar Cole with the £5,000 donated recently to numerous worthy causes, meaning an amazing £356,579 has been raised over the past 20 years.

Zoiyar Cole with the £5,000 donated recently to numerous worthy causes, meaning an amazing £356,579 has been raised over the past 20 years. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

This is in addition to funding a defibrillator at Pete’s Plastic on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

It takes the overall total raised by Mrs Cole and Mrs Ellis since they first started fundraising in 2000 to an amazing £356,579.

The money is raised through activities including the sale of knitted Easter chicks, knitted hedgehogs and knitted poppies as well as donations from businesses.

The knitted decorations, including festive snowmen and Christmas trees.

The knitted decorations, including festive snowmen and Christmas trees, which are created and sold to help raise funds for numerous organisations. Picture: Zoiyar Cole - Credit: Zoiyar Cole

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Mrs Cole said: “As with other charities, our fundraising has been severely restricted by Covid-19 this year and our aim was to reach £360,000 this year.

"However I would like to thank Brenda Lincoln and Gloria Newman, June , Molly and Myra who are still knitting for us, producing over 1,000 hedgehogs, snowmen and Christmas trees and to Bev Athorn for selling them for me.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of local people and I’d like to thank everyone who has made a donation and who supported me and Janet over the year – including those who have donated wool.”

Mrs Cole is also a poet and has recently published a collection of poetry called ‘Twenty Twenty’.

She said: “My latest collection of 36 poems have all been written this year and are mostly about coronavirus but they end on a lighter note.

“I started writing poetry six weeks after my son Paul died.

"My first collection was quite sad but I have found that writing poetry has helped me to come to terms with Paul’s death – although you never get over losing a child.

"This is my eighth book of poems and I hope to carry on writing – whilst I keep getting the inspiration.”

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