Sussex couple host their 25th Macmillan Coffee Morning in memory of their daughter who died of cancer aged 32

Sussex couple host their 25th Macmillan Coffee Morning in memory of their daughter who died of cancer aged 32

Doreen and Dave having a coffee break on the terrace of the Macmillan Horizon Centre


Doreen and her husband Dave, from Hastings, volunteer at the café in the Macmillan Horizon Centre, located next to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, every Monday making cups of tea, coffee and sandwiches for visitors affected by cancer.

“We only wish something like this existed 25 years ago when our daughter, Ingrid, was being treated for cancer. We used to sit on a wall outside the hospital to get some fresh air and eat our sandwiches. Everything we do and have done for Macmillan over the years is in her memory,” says Doreen.

Ingrid sadly died from breast cancer in September 2002, aged just 32.

Doreen and Dave with Ingrid (left) at their younger daughter, Kari’s graduation.

Doreen and Dave are also prolific fundraisers for the charity all year round having raised thousands of pounds over the years through Coffee Morning and other events including balls, concerts and golf days. Last year alone they raised £29,000.

“Our first coffee morning raised about £300. Now the total is closer to £2,000 as things have just grown over the years.  We sell gifts, homemade jams and crafts and run a Tombola with all the donations we receive.

“It’s a great way to get people together and we invite everyone! Normally the weather is good, so we have chairs and tables in the garden but one year it rained so we had to bring everything inside. We squeezed everyone inside and used all the available space, even the loo!

“We meet new neighbours every year and it’s a great way of getting people together.

“But we couldn’t raise the money that we do without the help of good friends. They are amazing and we always go for a meal in the evening to relax and talk about the day so it’s a social occasion too.

“Local businesses are great too. A farmer allows us to pick fruit for free that we freeze and then make jam with to sell, and a local baker donates scones every year that always go down well. Weald Crafts also give us free tables at all the fairs they run so we raise a lot of money doing tombola’s there which adds to our total each year.

“It’s great to see how Macmillan has grown over the years and offers so much more than before. There’s the support line and benefits advice as well as Cancer Support Centres like The Horizon Centre. It’s nice to think that our coffee mornings have contributed towards these improvements. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported our fundraising over the years.”

To find out more about hosting or attending a Macmillan Coffee Morning visit: https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/