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Lord Mayor hosts fundraising tea party for a six year old and launches Big C’s 2016 Cuppa campaign

Lord Mayor hosts fundraising tea party for a six year old and launches Big C’s 2016 Cuppa campaign 

The Lord Mayor’s parlour in City Hall, Norwich, was transformed into a tea party venue today (Tuesday) when Cllr Brenda hosted a special fund-raising event with cakes and games for Ruth Carpenter, her  lively six year old neighbour who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment following removal of a tumour on her kidney in November.

The event also launched Big C’s 35th anniversary Big Cuppa initiative, inviting people across the county to host their own Cuppa parties in the most unusual or fun locations during the month of April.

Friends, neighbours, teachers and school friends all joined the lively Norwich girl as she encouraged them to have a go at the games she had devised and handed out balloons as they entered. Held on the day before Ruth faces her next dose of a year’s chemotherapy treatment, the event raised £341.25.

Ruth had the idea for the party having seen a poster last summer, but was too ill in the autumn to host the event. Once she had received her treatment and was well enough to cope with the party it was Cllr Arthur who kindly arranged to host it in the parlour.

Ruth’s mother Deborah recounted how her normally energetic older daughter had complained of a bad tummy ache and rapidly deteriorated. She was diagnosed with a tumour on her kidney which was swiftly removed at Addenbrookes Hospital six weeks later, followed by the start of a year long course of chemotherapy and genetic testing. Deborah said one of the hardest parts for Ruth was walking into the ward and seeing pictures of Disney Princesses around the walls. “She had been growing her hair long, and it was dark and wavy, as she said she wanted it long enough to sit on,” recalls Deborah. “Sadly it fell out very quickly after the first chemotherapy.”

Deborah, and husband Nick, who have two other children a daughter aged four and one year old girl, have nothing but praise for their daughter and how she is still a bundle of energy. “The prognosis for her is good, which is a great comfort. We have talked a lot with her explaining all that is happening and we all just get on with life.”

They also praise the NHS for their help and support. “The NHS was amazing. My calls were returned, we were advised and given resources and the playspecialists were with all the various interactive activities to help Ruth understand what was happening were wonderful.”

Councillor Brenda Arthur said: “It is a privilege to co-host this Big C tea party with Ruth and great to be able to raise money for a charity which has touched the lives of so many people in the city.”

Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive Officer for Big C, said: “Ruth is a real inspiration and we are grateful to the Lord Mayor for hosting the Cuppa party to benefit Big C, Norfolk and Waveney’s cancer charity. Last year Big C benefitted from around £16,000 from supporters hosting Cuppa parties. It’s a great way for people to join together in a simple and fun fund-raising activity. We are hoping to double this amount to help families affected by cancer during our 35th anniversary year.”

Big C would like to hear your stories and pictures from the various locations around the county from your Cuppa parties - whether it’s at the end of Cromer pier, a coffee to warm up the workers out on the rigs in the North sea, or a mad hatter tea party  in Thetford woods. It is a great excuse to get your friends, family, colleagues and local community together to enjoy a nice cup of tea or whatever your tipple. Send your images to

Click HERE to find out more about hosting your own Cuppa event. 

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