COFFEE and cakes galore were sold across the Henley area in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, held last Friday, is the charity’s largest fund-
raiser and takes place every year.
Clubs, schools, community groups and businesses hosted events and asked for donations from their guests.
Paralympic rowing champion Helene Raynsford, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, was among 80 people who attended a coffee morning at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, which raised £455.
Museum staff each brought in an assortment of cakes and brownies while Raynsford, who won gold in the women’s single sculls at Beijing in 2008, came with her own cinnamon rock cakes.
She said: “Breast cancer runs in my family but, like many others, I thought it wouldn’t happen to me, especially so young. Thus it was a reality check when I was diagnosed with an aggressive form earlier this year.
“I am nearly at the end of six months of chemotherapy with surgery and radiotherapy planned but hopefully will have a break from treatment in the New Year.
“When I heard the River and Rowing Museum were taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning I wanted to lend a hand. Macmillan does fantastic work.”
Badgemore Golf Club raised £945 in three hours, which will be split between Macmillan, the Stillbirth research fund and the Samaritans.
About 150 guests each paid £3.50 for a coffee and piece of cake.
Eight stallholders selling items including handmade jewellery, cashmere shawls and ceramics paid £25 each for a pitch and then donated 10 per cent of their takings.
Organiser Naomi Nothen-Ellis said: “People were very generous, giving £5 and not asking for change. The lady members of the club had made some wonderful cakes.”
Friends Linda Webb and June Fisher held an event in Wood Lane, Sonning Common, which raised £429.
Mrs Webb said: “We had an amazing response and thanks to everyone who donated, came along for a cuppa, cake and a chat.”
About 50 people attended a coffee morning and raffle at Leena Wisely’s home in neighbouring Grove Road, which raised £279.
Mrs Wisely, who has been hosting coffee mornings for 12 years, said: “The generosity of everyone in the village has been huge. People have been dropping off cakes and raffle prizes.”
“It was so fantastic to have so much support. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone.”
Kidmore End Pre-School raised £166 by selling refreshments, cakes and apples at the parish rooms in Wood Lane. More than 50 people attended, including Linda Hull, the new headteacher of the village primary school, and former pupils.
Manager Nicky Liddon-Horncastle, who has run a Macmillan event since 2004, said: “It’s a really good cause as everyone knows someone who has died of cancer.”
The Harpsden Hoppers playgroup raised £42.52 at its first ever coffee morning held in the village hall.
Organiser Tracy Westall-Reece said: “We were really pleased with the way things went.
The children had a great time decorating cupcakes and everyone really got into the spirit of things. We hope to take part again next year and raise even more money for a great cause.” Henley Rowing Club held a coffee morning in its clubhouse on Saturday, which was attended by about 30 members, coaches and parents of the juniors and raised more than £130.
The Lemongrove art gallery in Henley has raised about £150 so far.
It held a coffee morning all day and had about 30 people visitors who were a mixture of customers and visitors.
Reading East MP Rob Wilson popped into Queen Anne’s school in Henley Road, Caversham, for its coffee morning, which raised £420.
The school’s kitchen staff had baked a selection of cakes to serve to pupils, staff, parents and local residents.
Among those who attended were former teacher Mary Drive and her sister Jo, who is an alumnus of the school.Staff at Woodcote software company Halarose not only held a coffee morning but also an auction of promises for which they had to source the lots.
Led by Zhenzhen Ma, the staff collected six home-made bakes and 42 promises including bridge lessons, golf lessons, a guided walk by the Woodcote Stylehopper and the creation of a Java game of the winning bidder’s design.
They raised £778.46 (before Gift Aid) and the company’s managing director agreed to double the total.
Ellie Griffiths, senior marketing co-ordinator, said the company wanted to thank all the individuals and companies who made promises, including the Highwayman Inn in Checkendon, Nakhon Thai resaturant in Cane End, Red Lion in Woodcote, Crooked Billet in Stoke Row and Cray’s Pond Garage.
The Cannelle beauty salon in Hart Street, Henley, is holding a collection until the end of October and so far has raised more than £120.
The Christ Church Centre in Reading Road, Henley, was holding a coffee morning today (Friday).
Centre manager Vanessa Bird said: “Last year we raised over £420 and this year we hope to do even better.
“We will continue to sell cakes and coffee throughout the afternoon and on Saturday for people attending the Henley Literary Festival.”