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Blo’ Norton family overcomes ill wind to raise over £12k for PCRF

14 July 2016

A family from Blo’ Norton, Norfolk, has raised over £12,000 for PCRF through a sponsored walk and family Fun Day – despite their marquee blowing away just hours before the event took place.

Carrie Barrett and her family organised the fundraiser on 09 July in memory of Carrie’s uncle, Charlie Flatman, 58, who died of pancreatic cancer on 23 December 2012, just four months after his diagnosis. 

The sponsored five-mile walk saw 62 female friends, family,  colleagues and children, follow the beautiful Fen Walk route which starts near Carrie’s house – returning to a family Fun Day held on fields Carrie’s family own in the village as a thank you to all those who took part.   “We decided that the women and children would complete the walk in our own time, and the menfolk promised to have everything set up ready for our return,” says Carrie. l-r Carrie Barrett, friend Sharon Ashdown and Carrie’s mum, Ann Ashwell

“However, despite months of meticulous planning and organising, the night before the walk the party tent broke and blew away!  Thankfully our friends Karen and Andrew Warne came to the rescue with another marquee and it was all hands on deck putting it up in time!”

The Fun Day included hog roasts (kindly supplied and cooked by friends Karen and Joel Richardson) and barbecue, bouncy castles, cakes, raffle and live music throughout the afternoon performed by professional singer and musician, Terry Adams, from Norwich. 

“When Uncle Charlie died, it was a terrible shock.  I don’t think we understood just how aggressive pancreatic cancer is, and we’d barely taken in his diagnosis before we lost him. It was a terrible time for the whole family as we felt very helpless,” says Carrie. “The event was about doing something positive that raises vital funds for research and puts a smile on people’s faces - for families and friends to come together and have a lovely time. Charlie would have loved that – and he would have found the saga of the tent blowing away hilarious!”

Carrie, her mum Ann, dad Bob, and aunt Gill Flatman, Charlie’s widow, all work at Gressingham Foods in Suffolk  and the company has generously offered to match whatever money they raise.

“Gressingham Foods has been absolutely brilliant,” says Carrie. “The year after Uncle Charlie died, we lost a work colleague to pancreatic cancer too, and PCRF was chosen as a Charity of the Year.  As a family we’ve fundraised for PCRF in the past, but the chance of having the money we raise matched gave us the idea of doing something on a much bigger scale – we’d hoped to raise close to £6,000 in total, but we’ve raised that amount even before the matched funding is applied!”

“This is definitely a worthy cause and one that’s close to our hearts at Gressingham Foods, as we lost our colleague Penny Reid to this cancer too, shortly after Charlie died,” says company co-owner, Geoff Buchanan.  “Gressingham is a family business and we’re proud to support our staff like this whenever we can.”

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