Anne Rawlings (85) from Bexley has been baking-up a storm for Macmillan Cancer Support for over 20 years.

And on Friday 3rd September, the octogenarian once again hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning, to raise vital funds for the cancer charity. So far, Anne has raised an astounding £10,166 since her first ever Coffee Morning back in the 1990’s, including over £1,540 on Friday alone.

With sign-ups for Macmillan’s annual flagship fundraiser down by around 75% in comparison to pre-Covid years, inspirational Anne is encouraging everyone to get involved in a Macmillan Coffee Morning this year.

Anne: “To anyone thinking about organising a Coffee Morning, I’d say “just do it!”. I’m always amazed by how good people can be…it’s a genuine pleasure to see the public’s kindness in action. That’s what makes it really rewarding for yourself too – it feels great to give back, to see people at their best and to do something positive for others.

“It’s a lovely social occasion too…I couldn’t have put on any of these events without the help of my very good friends.”

A favourite with passing commuters heading to nearby Barnehurst station, Anne and her neighbours’ set-up stalls in their front gardens; featuring home-bakes, hot drinks and handmade crafts.

Local MP, Sir David Evennett, was also in attendance and has supported Anne’s Macmillan Coffee Mornings for many years.

Sir David said: “I am delighted to be able to come along again to support Anne Rawlings with her fundraiser in Barnehurst for Macmillan’s Coffee Morning this year. Anne and her team have been organising these fundraisers for over two decades and they are always a tremendous success and a great community event.

“The Macmillan Coffee Morning itself is a well-loved annual event to support a brilliant charity dedicated to helping people affected by cancer. The pandemic has had a huge impact on charities like Macmillan, so it is good to see the community coming together today to help raise vital funds”.

Anne on some of the highlights of her Coffee Morning: “My apple cakes are always popular – I include lots of grated fruit to make them especially delicious. I baked 15 this year!”

Anne: “I’ve also knitted lots of dolly clothes, Father Christmases and snowmen too. And friends have donated other crafts – all for a great cause!”

Anne was moved to fundraise for Macmillan after losing a number of loved ones to cancer, including her mother and her husband.

Anne: “My mum died of cancer when I was in my 20’s. And I lost my husband Peter two years ago. Not to mention several friends. Sadly, the amount of cancer has only increased – probably because we’re all living longer. That’s what makes it even more important to raise funds for Macmillan. My husband was supported brilliantly by our local hospice, but I’ve many friends who’ve been helped directly by Macmillan. I only wish I had known about Macmillan when my mum was still alive.”

Macmillan is warning that almost 200,000 people living with cancer could risk missing out on care from its famous nurses without the public’s support this Coffee Morning, as sign-ups plummet. The cancer charity says it is facing a £20million income drop as a result.

Nearly all (98%) of Macmillan’s funding comes directly from donations, but disruption caused by Covid-19 means demand for its services is high, while its income remains low. This includes its free seven-day-a-week helpline, which has answered more than a quarter of a million telephone queries from people affected by cancer since the first national lockdown .

The 110-year-old charity is calling on people to sign-up now to host a Coffee Morning wherever, whenever and however they can, to help Macmillan continue to deliver the support that people living with cancer desperately need, now and in the future.

Paul Lyons, Macmillan Relationship Fundraising Manager for London, says:
“It’s worrying to see Coffee Morning registrations are currently lower this year than even last year, when we were all struggling with the impact of COVID restrictions. But amazing people like Anne, still tirelessly fundraising for Macmillan, are so inspirational. Anne and her friends are a shining example of how we can all still get involved in Coffee Morning, stay safe and have fun – all while raising vital funds for Macmillan.

“So, whether it’s a doorstep cuppa with a neighbour before work, a virtual bake-off, or a family picnic in the park. Every penny raised will help fund crucial support for people living with cancer…people who need Macmillan now more than ever.”