It has been another crazy year with volunteers going the extra mile to raise vital funds to improve breast cancer care in the county.
Successes from the last 12 months were celebrated at the annual general meeting for the Wellingborough-based Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal.
The charity, set up by Glennis Hooper after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer 12 years ago, has now raised £1.7m in total to help improve breast cancer care at Kettering and Northampton general hospitals.
And it was revealed at yesterday’s meeting held at Wicksteed Park in Kettering that they are hoping to reach the £2m milestone by early 2015.
Treasurer Marilyn Clapham told the meeting: “We have had another successful year.
“General donations have been up by £20,000. This is particularly pleasing knowing that we have been going through a difficult time.
“In the last financial year we have raised £221,000 – that was our income, an overall increase of £17,500.
“Support from the general public and local companies never ceases to amaze us.
“We know we are well thought of in the county.”
She said this year’s annual sponsored walk at Wicksteed Park, which had to be postponed due to snow in March and was rescheduled for a very wet evening in May, had raised about £50,000 and sponsorship money was still coming in.
Looking ahead, including next year’s sponsored walk taking place on March 23, 2014, she said: “If everything goes to plan, we should reach the £2m in 2015.”
The charity’s president Dr Roy Mathew also addressed the meeting, which was mainly attended by committee members and supporters.
He said: “We have had an extremely busy year, full of organising activities, expanding our work and making our presence felt in Northamptonshire.”
A common theme during the meeting was about the charity’s base on the Finedon Road industrial estate in Wellingborough.
Dr Mathew said: “I think the time has come that we somehow or other find a place more suitable, more inviting, more appropriate for people.
“I personally think its better to move out of the industrial estate.
“We should use all of our efforts to get that going in this coming year.”
Dr Mathew said the weekly coffee and chat mornings, which are open to anyone going through treatment for breast cancer, had already been extended due to their popularity.
He said the charity had donated £100,000 split between Kettering and Northampton general hospitals during the past year, and added: “I can see in front of my eyes the difference this charity makes in the care of breast cancer patients and my sincere wish is that we will be able to continue this activity for years to come.”
Miss Hooper, the charity founder, spoke passionately about the work of Crazy Hats and said: “I feel very, very proud that we have such a fantastic team on board, I can’t emphasise that enough. It’s very special.”
But she added: “We are looking for more people to come on board.
“We do need some new blood on board, most definitely.”
And Miss Hooper reiterated Dr Mathew’s appeal for the charity to find a new base with more room and more suitable facilities.
She said: “We have got to move premises.”
Miss Hooper appealed to anyone who knows of premises in the Wellingborough area which may be suitable for the charity to contact her at the office on 01933 442999.
Anyone who would like to hold an event for the charity or would like to get involved with its work can also contact the charity.
For further information go to www.crazyhatsbreastcancerappeal.co.uk.