Scores of Beeston residents and businesses are rallying to the aid of an ‘active and loving’ local community stalwart, Val Duggan – who recently was suddenly and unexpectedly struck down with terminal cancer and paralysis. And they are now calling on the wider community to help them push on towards their £10,000 target, and join a major family fun day on Saturday 5 March 2016.
Val is a retired spinal injuries nurse, with a lifetime of volunteering behind her – including involvement with community drama groups, supporting those with disabilities, and helping as a gardener and mentor in her local school, St Anthony’s Primary. But last autumn, she travelled out to New Zealand to support members of her family living there – and there fell into a sudden paralysis from the chest down. This has now been diagnosed as terminal breast cancer, which has in turn caused tumours on her spine.
The past three months has seen the emergence of a remarkable volunteer-led fundraising campaign, featuring many members of the Save Our Beeston network. The campaign is aiming to raise at least £10,000 – to pay for a range of crucial disability adaptions in the home of Val’s daughter Lisa, where Val is now living. January saw 70 people join a ‘Onesie Walk’ through Middleton Park, and £2,700 has already been raised (with another £2,000+ in the pipeline).
And next up is an all-day family fun day on Saturday 5 March at the Tommy Wass pub in Beeston. The event will feature family activities through the daytime, including: cakes, games, hot dogs and burgers, a raffle and tombola, music, and much more. A huge range of raffle prize have already been donated via local businesses; but it’s not too late if others still want to contribute. This will be followed by a evening event (for over 18s only) – for which tickets are limited and selling out fast. To book your evening tickets (note: the daytime event is free and unticketed), email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask directly at the Tommy Wass. Full event info on the Save Our Beeston FB group.
Val’s daughter Lisa comments: “It’s been a quite a shock – she loved her ballet and performing, and was very active. But I’m really overwhelmed with the response – and hopefully, together we can make her life more comfortable.” And Sean Sturman of Save Our Beeston adds: “Let’s just give Val back what she has so freely given”.