Sunday, 17 April 2016

Swapping clothes, raising money and a hint of romance

A couple of weeks ago I spent a very enjoyable evening at a welcoming, well organised charity fashion swap.

The general premise of the evening was that you could take clothes you no longer wore and swap them for other people’s unwanted items.  We all have clothes we are fed up with, are too big or too small or we just no longer like. A clothes swap is a perfect way to clear your wardrobe, add new pieces and help raise money for a very worthwhile charity.

There was a very fun, relaxed atmosphere and everyone was trusted to hang up their clothes and swap for the same number they had donated. If you wanted more clothes than you had donated you could also donate financially. The £10 paid on the door and the money raised from refreshments went towards the charity, as did a fee for anyone setting up a stall.  (There were several make up stalls, handmade cards and manicures and pedicures on offer.)

A raffle with donated prizes was also good for raising money and two of Sarah Parry’s children did a sterling job of pulling the tickets and managing the rowdy crowd. (Women with raffle tickets clutched firmly in their hands, eyes on the prize, are a hard crowd to control!)

Cancer Research UK, a hugely important charity, was the recipient of the money made at the clothes swap and donated through Mandy Mole’s Just Giving page in memory of her best friend Sarah Parry.

Sarah died at the age of 44 after a battle with breast cancer. She left behind her husband Phil and their four lovely, funny, confident children. Her best friend, Mandy helped to look after Sarah’s children, supported Phil and has tirelessly raised money for cancer research.

Mandy, Sarah and Phil had been friends and neighbours for many years and their children had grown up together, been on holiday together and shared many happy events.  After her divorce in 2011 Sarah and Phil supported Mandy even though they had their own tragedy unfolding behind the scenes.  Mandy was with Sarah and Phil in the hospice for Sarah’s final days.

Previously, in 2010, Mandy had survived skin cancer and started to raise money for cancer research as she was extremely grateful for having been able to survive this awful disease and for her mother having also battled with, and won, against uterine cancer.

In a bid to raises their spirits Mandy and Phil went, as friends, to Phoenix and Las Vegas on holiday and returned a couple.  Mandy was the perfect person to continue helping raise Sarah’s four children as she had always been part of her life. Having met the fantastic four I have to say that Sarah, Phil and Mandy have done a fabulous job.

While battling with cancer Sarah and her 3 daughters worked through and got their black belts in karate. Their little brother is now working towards his. To have that bond with their Mum must be a fantastic feeling and memories to treasure forever.

If you want to donate to the Just Giving page for Sarah Parry this is the link:

I will be publicising any future fund raising events and hope you will attend as many as you can.  Having helped my Dad battle with cancer and survive, I know that no one is immune to this dreadful disease. Some people have had their own struggles and others have had someone close to them, but we all know one or more people who have been there.