Aspley couple hope that craft fair in their home is a Christmas cracker
A COUPLE who have held a craft fair in their house every Christmas since their daughter was diagnosed with cancer ten years ago, hope the latest one will be the biggest yet.
Carolyn and Derek Smith, of Franklyn Gardens, Aspley, have raised £10,902 over the past nine years for Cancer Research UK and Hayward House, a specialist palliative care cancer unit at Nottingham City Hospital.
"It started off as just a coffee morning," said Mrs Smith.
"I do lots of crafts, I make cards, sew and knit, we had a stall in the house. The first year we raised £610 and it's gone up and up every year since."
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The couple lost their daughter Rebecca Davys, 37, six years ago to cancer.
"It was all so horrendous at the time," said Mrs Smith.
"She did help at one of them but then she became too ill to help. All our friends and family rallied around us."
On Saturday their home, off Western Boulevard, will be transformed. There will be a marquee in the garden as well as stalls in the house and a Santa's grotto outside.
People can buy handmade Christmas cards and novelty craft gifts that have been knitted, sewed or cross-stitched. There will be a stall selling cakes and preserves. Mrs Smith, 64, said: "It's snowballed. My husband and I still do most things but over the years different people have got involved. There's a whole team of people now who sew and knit and give tombola prizes and help out on the day."
Last year the event raised £2,800 and this year the pair hope to raise more than £3,000. Most of the cash is donated to Cancer Research UK, but last year they also gave £300 to Hayward House. Mrs Smith said: "Hayward House were so good to Rebecca, she spent several periods of time there."
This year's event could be the last one. Mrs Smith, a member of Nuthall and Kimberley Cancer Research UK committee, said: "We thought it's got as big as it gets. We thought we would have a grand one this year and try something different next year, like maybe a Ploughman's in the garden in the summer.
"But we shall carry on fund-raising in the same way."
She thanked family and friends who have helped over the years.
"We wouldn't be able to put this on and raise this amount. We've got the most wonderful group of family and friends that help," she added.
Speaking about cancer, she said: "It is something that touches so many lives in one way or another, there's still so much to be done."
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