Legacy of inspirational Pat is in safe hands

Maisey and Ruairi Dillon (11) and Brodie (nine) and Noah McKane (11)  with the cheque for the money they raised for Pendleside Hospice
Maisey and Ruairi Dillon (11) and Brodie (nine) and Noah McKane (11) with the cheque for the money they raised for Pendleside Hospice

A fundraising drive, launched by a group of neighbours in Barrowford who became lifelong friends, is still going strong after four decades.

The neighbours, a group of mums and children, were inspired to do something to help all those years ago by a remarkable woman called Pat Seed, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1976.

She became a patient at Manchester’s Christie Hospital and while there she heard of a new technology, Computerised Axial Tomography, known as a CAT scan.

Red tape rules prevented the hospital from appealing for help to get the equipment, but journalist Pat, was to change all that, using her contacts to launch fundraising across the North West.

She became a national celebrity, winning awards, meeting royalty, writing a book coining the phrase for her campaign, “One In A Million.”

The initial aim was to raise £500,000 for a scanner. But that figure was soon raised to £1.75 million to provide a building to house the scanner and the running costs for 10 years.

Within three years the scanner was bought and up and running in the purpose-built Pat Seed department at the Christie.

Since then around £10m has been raised which has paid for several pieces of high tech equipment and technology for the Christie Hospital.

The Barrowford mums and children, who were inspired by Pat, are now grandmothers and mums but the story of what they achieved in the 70s is inspirational.

Working as a team they sewed and baked for a series of fundraising events. Their children helped by collecting items and the drive culminated in a Bargain Bonanza at St Thomas’ Church, which Pat came along to open.

And it raised the grand total of £1,544 which in 1978 was a terrific amount of money.

Now for two summers in a row, their grandchildren have carried on that legacy, raising £162 in 2016 and £180 this year, all for Pendleside Hospice.

With guidance from their mums and grans, the children baked scones, cakes and biscuits which they sold in one of their gardens during the Tractor Run in August.

Hospice fundraiser Vikki Bassek said: “Thanks to the grandparents for setting a wonderful example to their grandchildren who are carrying on from them.”