Solo singers including Tony M, Shelia Diamond, Beth McCain and Comedian John Coolie recently helped to organise and perform at an event with a difference. The entertainers not only donated their time to run and perform at the event for free they also presented the audience with a large cheque for coming along! The audience in question were the ladies from The Lily Centre who were invited to The Club Cellar Bar known to many as the old Busman's Club to enjoy fantastic singing, comedy and let their hair down. Some of Lillie's Girls even decided to take to the stage themselves belting out the hits on the karaoke including a performance from the unforgettable and amazing Pam Tibb.
The centre was presented with a cheque for £800 which was raised by the various performers working and fundraising in different venues across the North West over the last year. The licensee of the Bar, Robert Dunne, brother of St Anthony's Priest Grahame Dunne has been involved with supporting the Lily Centre from his days working at Arriva as a Social Secretary. Working alongside the performers, thoughtful Club Cellar Bar staff, Tony H and Sue Coolie in putting the whole day together Robert told the Scottie Press "They know I hate them all really" he chuckled "but I would do anything for the girls at the Lily Centre. I've been involved for a long time now and have been so impressed by what they do. I'd like to thank everyone who has given so much today to such a good cause."
There was also a mention at the event for Pat Thompson, her sister Doreen Scott and family. The Sisters alongside Doreen's daughter Sharon Alonso and granddaughter seven year old Natalia Alonso raised money towards the Lily Centre's cause by taking part in Haydock's Race for Life run in July. We were told as little Natalia crossed the line she blew her Lily Centre whistle for good luck. Doreen's employers Boodles also made a kind donation to support Doreen and her family's kindness.
A famous QC, an Everton legend, a renowned local actress and the 1970 Women's World Wrestling champion were welcomed by the ladies of the Lily Centre on a patrons day visit. Cherie Blair, Dave Hickson, Eithne Brown and Mitzi Muller have lent their time and support to the centre over the years to lift spirits, donate money and raise breast cancer awareness. In turn the patrons are humbled and enlightened by the general dignity, spirit and determination of the members and how they carry themselves, helping each other everyday using friendship and laughter through difficult times. The organised patrons visit coupled by a good turn out of members brought a warm and uplifting atmosphere all round.
The Scottie Press would like to wish warm congratulations to the Lily Centre for being announced as one of the recipients of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups. The centre, which is run by volunteers who have all experienced cancer themselves in some way, has been based in our community for 11 years and offers magnificent ongoing support for breast cancer sufferers and their families.
Created in 2002, the national honour marks the Queen's Golden Jubilee and recognises outstanding contributions made to local communities by voluntary groups.
Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant will present the charity with a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal at a special ceremony to be held in Liverpool later this year.
Friends and volunteers of the Lily Centre based on Silvester Street had an annual social get together heading to Lytham St Annes for the weekend beginning the 14th of May. The trip provided an opportunity for the group to socialise, share stories and provide support to people associated with the centre. The group of 56 planned to have a pink themed night out, each wearing items of pink clothing to show togetherness and raise awareness of breast cancer. Over the years the centre has organised trips to the Lake District, Llandudno and various markets all over the country and sees the breaks as vital for the centres members in providing ongoing care and positive focus whilst enduring the most traumatic period in their lives.
The centre is run by a group of women who have themselves experienced breast cancer and now give their time voluntarily to provide a warm and friendly environment for women and men who have also been effected in some way.
Set up in 1999 by Peggy O'Brien and Winnie Keating and named after their friend and then oldest member Lily Halligan, the centre has provided sterling work in raising cancer awareness in the city, raising money for charity and providing a place for people to come and talk about their experiences. 'The kettle is always on' Peggy tells the Scottie Press 'this centre is for anyone who wants support, we've had a lot of help from the community and local businesses who have helped mould this centre into what it is today'. The centre and its facilities are available to all women and men from any area who have experienced breast cancer as well as their families and friends. The services provided are varied and include counselling support, an opportunity to speak to a welfare benefits advisor or a chance to see a beautician, hairdresser or generally unwind. All of the services are available due to the amazing dedication of volunteers, providing hope and inspiration in our community in the face of adversity.
For further information visit; www.lilycentre.org.uk