The line up of nominees for the Challenge Award

The £1,000 Challenge for Breast Cancer Kent 2018

NewmanEye Admin Events, News

The Annual Evening of Celebration and Awards Presentation for the ‘£1,000 Challenge for Breast Cancer Kent’ 2018

On a beautiful, sunny summer evening we gathered at Leeds Castle in Maidstone to celebrate the achievements of Kent companies, organisations and individuals who had been nominated for our £1,000 Challenge award.

The Challenge was set at the end of last year, in 2017, to see if £1,000 could be raised by local Kent organisations and businesses to support the work of Breast Cancer Kent.

This was the first time this idea had come to fruition and the challenge was taken up, wholeheartedly, by many retailers, businesses, organisations and individuals all sharing a desire to help Breast Cancer Kent in its work with local breast cancer patients.

Leeds Castle, who have supported the charity for several years, played host to the event in the library and dining room of the main castle building.  We were privileged to be able to enjoy such luxurious surroundings on a warm and sunny July evening.

Canapes and bubbly were served on the croquet lawn whilst entertainment from ‘The Singing Magician’, Lewis Fuller, was very much enjoyed.  Nominees, Charity Trustees, Committee Members and valued guests were able to chat about their fundraising initiatives, their motivation for choosing to support Breast Cancer Kent and the guests were able to find out more of the detail of the charity’s work.

An awards presentation took place in the dining room of the castle with each participant receiving a memento to thank them for their support. The top three fundraising achievements received a special engraved award.  The trustees of the charity, all consultants involved directly in patient care at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust, gave some background as to how the funds raised for the charity are used and stressed that all money goes directly to patient care as all of the trustees and committee give their time on a voluntary basis.

In 3rd place was the Lingerie Department team at Marks & Spencer, Bluewater, who held a bra fitting and breast cancer awareness evening.  This helped showcase their post-surgery bra range and offered complimentary pampering treatments.   A few weeks later, the staff pedalled hard, all day, on an exercise bike in the Food Hall.  They were dressed in Breast Cancer Kent t-shirts and were a spectacle for all to see!  Marks and Spencer would like to thank their most generous customers who helped them to raise just over £2,000 by making donations at these events.

In 2nd place was a group of staff members from Leeds Castle, itself, called the ‘Leeds Castle Lovelies’.

They put together a fundraising programme which consisted of cake sales, a staff disco and to top it all off…..a gruelling trek to the summit of Snowdon! They raised £4,100 for their incredible efforts. Well done, Leeds Castle Lovelies!

However, the 1st place accolade went to the ladies of Business Legacy Ltd.  They run the Kent Women in Business Awards and the Kent Health and Beauty Awards.  They took up our challenge with gusto, having had personal links to breast cancer. During the months that followed they were able to raise £5,400 from award dinners, raffles and generous donations.  Hilary Steel, Sue Smith, Trisha Wood and Gill Huntley were surprised and delighted to receive the special award.

Following formal photographs, guests were invited on a private tour of the castle by the Leeds Castle tour guides.  Two very informative and enjoyable tours set off on a 45 minute exploration of the rooms within the main castle building.  A journey spanning nearly 900 years of history, during which time the castle has always remained inhabited!  Beautiful furnishings, tapestries, paintings and ornaments were on display and gave a real feeling of the past ownership of the castle.

The evening closed with some songs from our ‘Singing Magician’ and the chance to view a collection of images from the portfolio of Imelda Bell   – a professional photographer and patient of the Breast Care Unit, who is currently undergoing treatment.  This has inspired her to create a project ‘The Faces of Cancer’ which has already won a photography award.

Guests were then presented with ‘goody bags’ on leaving and taken back to their cars in the Leeds Castle golf buggy.  We think we can safely say that an excellent evening was had by all, and the Trustees and Committee would sincerely like to thank all those who attended and the staff of Leeds Castle for such a successful evening.

The £1,000 Challenge has raised a grand total of £18,800 for Breast Cancer Kent.  A BIG THANK YOU to all those who took part.

Are you interested in taking up the challenge in 2019?  Then please get in touch for more information by emailing

Would you like to get involved in helping the Trustees and Committee in running the charity?  Do you have a skill to bring?  Or just some spare time and lots of enthusiasm!  Please get in touch.

Special thanks to Graham Taylor of Graham Taylor Engravers, Tonbridge for not only taking part in the fundraising activities, but for organising our beautiful trophies presented at the evening.

The full list of those involved in the £1,000 Challenge for Breast Cancer Kent 2018 is here:

Business Legacy Ltd, Maidstone

The staff of Leeds Castle

The Lingerie Department, Marks and Spencer, Bluewater

The Walsingham Lodge, Dartford

Vicki Cook’s Glowing Fitness, Maidstone

Genesis Care, Kings Hill

Emma Young of Harrietsham

Julie Aylett’s Zumba Fitness, Snodland

Intelligent Building Automation Ltd.’s team of

‘Kent Ladies Against Breast Cancer’

Sharon Prior’s Orhids Occasions, Harrietsham

Graham Taylor Engraving Ltd, Tonbridge