Published: March 13, 2012
Burnham-based Breakthrough Cancer Group celebrates 15th year

Burnham-based Somerset Breakthrough Breast Cancer Group has celebrated its 15th anniversary this week.

The group - which has raised more than £300,000 towards supporting people with the disease - was originally formed in 1997 by Christine and John Piper and Ann Carr and Anne Whaley.

Christine, chair of the group, told "We have had loads of fun over the years fundraising for Breakthrough Breast Cancer to support their work in achieving a future free from the fear of breast cancer."

The Somerset group has throughout the 15 years raised considerable amounts of awareness of breast cancer across the county by supporting other events and giving talks, as well as fundraising.

A huge £300,000 has been raised for Breakthrough Breast Cancer during this time.

Burnham's MP Tessa Munt, who is a supporter of the group, said this week: "The Somerset Breakthrough Breast Cancer Group are a truly wonderful group of people who have worked tirelessly over the last fifteen years, raising over £300,000 to help improve the situation of women and men with breast cancer in Somerset. I commend the important work they do to raise awareness of breast cancer and the support and morale boost they give to local people affected."

Bernie Nolan, from The Nolan's Sisters, who is Somerset Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s patron, sent a message this week saying: "Congratulations to the Somerset Breakthrough Breast Cancer Group on your 15th anniversary. Making and keeping people aware of early detection and of course raising money for much needed research is vital and you have done a wonderful job over the past 15 years. Goodness knows how many lives have been prolonged if not saved through your amazing work."

Looking back at the past 15 years, Christine said: "We've met some wonderful people - from our first ever event with a group of children from St Mary’s Church Berrow when we set off 100 pink balloons to a tug of war at Burnham Rugby Club, wicked women evenings, quiz nights, golf events and a Moonwalk."

"Our most memorable was our 'Twist on the Beach' in 2002 when we set a new Guinness World Record. People still talk about that event today!"

2011 saw the group achieve the World's Largest Rugby Scrum at Burnham Rugby Club where the world record was broken for a short time.

The group will be attempting to do this event again this year and 2012 will also see the group holding its fourth ball which have been very successful and fun! The group also has the support of Burnham's Mayor and Mayoress.

The idea of forming the group was Christine's after she watched Sir Ranuplh Fiennes on TV talking about his attempt to walk across Antarctica in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. This - and the fact that Christine’s mother had Breast Cancer twice - was her inspiration. Fellow group member Susie Loosley, who has been with the group for 14 years, is also a survivor of breast cancer.

For more information about joining the group, contact Christine on 01278 793870.

Pictured: Top, Hayley Jones, Eugune Martin, Anna Bedford (Breakthrough HQ) Christine and John Piper Holly MacBeth, Holly Brown & Iaine Selway at a cake cutting ceremong this week; and, above, last summer's rugby scrum world record bid in Burnham


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