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Celebratory service will support people living with cancer and remember those who have lost their lives to the disease

PUBLISHED: 17:14 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 November 2019

Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising group members Judith Miller (left) and Diane Evans with Broadland Ukes founder member Ernie Hall, who will be performing at a Christmas service supporting people living with cancer.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising group members Judith Miller (left) and Diane Evans with Broadland Ukes founder member Ernie Hall, who will be performing at a Christmas service supporting people living with cancer. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A festive church service featuring music and song will offer hope and support to people living with cancer, and give families and friends a chance to commemorate the lives of loved ones they have lost to the disease.

Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising group members Judith Miller (left) and Diane Evans with Broadland Ukes founder member Ernie Hall, who will be performing at a Christmas service supporting people living with cancer.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLMacmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk fundraising group members Judith Miller (left) and Diane Evans with Broadland Ukes founder member Ernie Hall, who will be performing at a Christmas service supporting people living with cancer. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Now in its third year, Macmillan Cancer Support North Norfolk dedicated lights service, which takes place at St Peter's Church, Sheringham, on December 1st, is organised by the cancer charity's area fundraising team, which was last year presented with the Macmillan best service award for the south and east of England.

It was the idea of committee members Diane Evans and Judith Miller who, after losing a close friend to cancer, wanted to offer "hope and love" at Christmas to people in a similar situation.

The two friends, both of whom are north Norfolk fundraising group founder members, helped set up a monthly Macmillan Neighbour drop-in support centre at Sheringham two years ago.

With the help of fellow committee members, they have since launched similar groups at North Walsham and Overstrand, also recruiting 10 trained 'neighbours' who provide advice and information to people with cancer and their families.

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Mrs Evans, who was recently presented with the Macmillan award for 'most inspiring' fundraising team leader, said the drop-ins aimed to give people an opportunity to talk in a relaxed, friendly setting.

"It's a chance to get information about Macmillan services, find out about grants and benefits, and to talk about things that are perhaps difficult for people to discuss with their families," she explained.

Mrs Miller, who underwent treatment for cancer 20 years ago, said her own experience gave her an insight into the issues affecting people attending the drop-ins.

She added: "It is quite inspiring; some people want to really let rip, while others just want to sit, hold your hand and tell you what is going on in their lives."

Macmillan Neighbours drop-in centres run from 2-4pm at St Peter's church hall, Sheringham on the first Wednesday of the month; at the Methodist church lounge, North Walsham on the second Tuesday of the month, and at Overstrand sports ground on the third Thursday of the month.

For more information, phone 07908 061781.

The Macmillan dedicated lights service, featuring the Broadland Ukes ukulele group, Harmony choir and St Peter's Church choir, runs at St Peter's Church, Sheringham, on December 1st at 6.30pm. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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