AN afternoon of strawberry tea and fundraising will be on the cards for one south Wirral nurse this month as she tries to raise vital funds for a leading cancer charity.
Jo Peers, from Neston, will host a strawberry tea party in Chester this month in aid of Breast Cancer Care – the only UK-wide specialist support charity.
The 35-year-old staff nurse was inspired into action following her unexpected diagnosis of secondary breast cancer diagnosis in December and hopes to raise awareness and funds for the charity close to her heart.
“When I was diagnosed I felt as if the bottom had fallen out from under my world,” explained Jo.
“Breast cancer tends to be a disease associated with older women and I was shocked to be diagnoses, and at such a young age.
“The weeks following the diagnosis were awful, having to tell my family and friends as well as trying to get my head around the fact I had cancer. I felt petrified and at the same time was trying to maintain a brave face.”
Breast Cancer Care’s Strawberry Tea campaign, which is sponsored by fine bone china teaware specialist Royal Albert, runs until August 31.
Jo’s party takes place at The Grosvenor Nuffield Hospital on Tuesday, August 12.
She added: “I’m excited about hosting the strawberry tea as it will be a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the breast cancer care charity and the important work they carry out.
“I contacted breast cancer cares helpline and they helped answer some of my questions and put me at ease about some of my fears.”
Raising £25 would pay for someone facing breast cancer to speak to a member of the team on a confidential helpline, something Jo says can be a massive help.
She added: “The idea is that people bring a donation in exchange for a piece of cake. My friends, family and colleagues are all chipping in and donating all sorts of cakes, pavlovas and muffins. And one of my friends from the ward is donating a tea set and bunting to use on the day.”
Jo’s workmates took part in the Race for Life at Birkenhead Park last month, raising just over £200 for cancer research, and she hopes the strawberry tea afternoon will be a way to thank them.
She said: “I’ve had some dark times and my colleagues were, and still are, constantly visiting me at home or meeting up with me in town to keep me occupied and upbeat.
“Even though my cancer cannot be cured, I know that it is a disease that can be controlled and that many people live with for years.”
Georgie Burchell, Strawberry Tea fundraising officer Breast Cancer Care, added: “We’re so grateful to Jo for holding a strawberry tea in aid of Breast Cancer Care. We rely on supporters like Jo to ensure we can continue to provide our vital emotional support network for free.
“We help thousands of people find a way to live with, through and beyond breast cancer.
“With one in eight women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, there has never been such an urgent need for our support services.”
If you would like to hold your own Strawberry Tea you can order a free fundraising kit at breastcancercare.org.uk or call 0870 164 9422.