Spalding food worker Martin Pell can boast of a 50th bithday party to remember after raising more than £800 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
But it was a sacrifice for Martin, of Chaucer Way, after telling family and friends not to buy presents and donate the money to the charity instead.
I knew that my mother-in-law was helped and treated by nurses from Macmillan Cancer Support before she died just over a year agoMartin Pell
About 40 people enjoyed a Macmillan coffee and cake afternoon at the home of Martin’s mum Janet Pell in Weston Hills on Saturday, September 26, two days after Martin reached his half-century of living.
Martin, who works at Spalding fruit and vegetable supplier Fesa, said: “Everybody had been asking my wife Ann what I wanted for my birthday because I didn’t know myself.
“We were sat watching TV one evening and then all of a sudden, a Macmillan coffee morning advert came on and I said ‘we’ll do that for my birthday, rather than having any presents.
“I knew that my mother-in-law was helped and treated by nurses from Macmillan before she died just over a year ago and my sister is going through chemotherapy for her stomach cancer.
“But it was the TV advert that gave me the idea and it took my wife and I about two weeks to organise everything.”
The Macmillan event turned into a memorable birthday celebration for Martin, with workmate Emma Waters and her mum Shirley hosting a book stall.
There were also bric-a-brac and fresh produce stalls, competitions, a raffle and visits by dogs Brillo and Floss, one of stars of TV’s Police Interceptors series.
Martin said: “We held the birthday party at my mum’s bungalow because her back garden is bigger than ours and easier for her to get around.
“People helped us to get all the bits and pieces for the party, including decorations, before setting out the room with cups, saucers and spoons for tea and coffee.
“At noon on September 26, people started coming and we were all ready for them.
“We were helped by the weather because it was sunny and warm, so everybody was outside and it was wonderful to have them all together.”
Martin admitted that the only other birthday to come close to it in terms of memories was his 18th when a party at Weston Hills Village Hall was graced by 1983 Miss Tulipland and her deputy Wendy and Sharon Johnson.
“This was the first time I’d had a birthday party with no presents which made me realise that as you get older, you want a lot less in life and the things you do want, you can’t afford,” Martin said.
Meanwhile, a special drop-in event jointly hosted by Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers Connect is to take place at Spalding Library, Victoria Street, next month.
The charity’s information and support service will be teaming up with the support network for unpaid carers in Lincolnshire to put on the event at the library on Friday, November 6 between 10am and 1pm.
Representatives from Macmillan and Carers Connect will be available to answer questions, offer advice and give information to people affected by cancer in any way.
The drop-in event is particularly aimed at cancer patients and their families, carers, volunteers and fundraisers.
For more information, visit Spalding Library or call Macmillan on 01205 446392.