Friday, October 14, 2011


A charity swing dance has raised an impressive £27,000 to go towards extra research nurses for the breast cancer clinical trials unit at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping, and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
The event, in memory of keen fundraiser Kerrie Fitzjohn, from Harlow, who died in July aged 36, was organised by Amanda and Tim Barr, who live in Sawbridgeworth; Gill Gammage, from Elsenham, Mick Mahon, from Little Hadham and Janice Page, who lives in Hatfield Heath.

Fundraisers danced to big band Any Swing Goes led by band leader Glenn Dunn and enjoyed close-up magic from Fay Presto at the Manor of Groves Hotel, High Wych. 
Auction lots included lunch for two at Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Padstow,Cornwall, with a private plane there and back and dinner for six at the Chef’s Table at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.

The Alexis Lewis Charity Challenge was launched on the night, which will see the person raising the most money for the cause receiving a special award at next October’s event.

Ashraf Patel, associate specialist in breast surgery at PAH, said: “Since April 2003 we have raised over £1million and these funds have been used to fund and conduct breast cancer clinical trials.”

Amanda, 48, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and given the all-clear in 2009, has raised more than £100,000 over the years. The mum-of-two said: “The swing ball was fantastic fun but also raised a tremendous amount for this very important cause. Thank you for all the donated prizes and to everyone that attended. The money raised will help them to appoint additional research nurses within the breast unit so that they can run more clinical trials.”