A WIDOW has celebrated seeing £300,000 raised for an Oxford cancer clinic more than 20 years after her husband died from the disease.

Pearl Livett, 77, founded the Kennington Cancer Fund in 1990, the year before husband Douglas died of cancer of the oesophagus aged 65.

Ever since, Mrs Livett and her team of volunteers have been regularly putting on raffles, jumble sales, cake sales, cheese and wine events, quiz nights, ladies’ shoe sales, and Christmas bazaars.

Every penny has gone to the oncology unit at the Churchill Hospital. After the first year of fundraising Mrs Livett and her helpers presented the unit with a cheque for £1,700. And this year they handed over £15,000.

Mrs Livett, from Upper Road, paid tribute to all those that had helped to reach the impressive total.

She said: “It is really quite an achievement.

“I think we wouldn’t have thought when we first started that that kind of money could be raised by such a small group.

“Although this is something I have started and headed, I couldn’t do it alone.

“There are the people I can call on all the time.”

The pensioner said the treatment her husband received at the John Radcliffe made her want to help others.

She said: “He had a successful operation and he was well for four years after. It was just us giving something back to the hospital.

“They were just building a new cancer unit on the Churchill site so we thought this would be a good place to give our money.

“When he died it was just a case of continuing to see if we could do something to help others and that’s what has spurred us all along.”

The fund’s biggest cheque was for £30,000 and was given about six years ago.

Prof Adrian Harris, who runs the oncology centre, joined the fundraisers for a buffet celebration on August 18 at Kennington Village Hall.

The charity’s next event will be a cake sale at County Hall in Oxford, on September 8 and 9.

Graham Brogden, head of community fundraising at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very grateful to Pearl and her friends for their fundraising over the years, and for continuing to give their support. Long may it continue.

  • FUNDRAISING ventures over the years have included:
  • l 1990 – First event, a cheese and wine evening in Kennington
  • l 1993 – First fundraising fete at the General Elliott in South Hinksey
  • l 2000 – The charity’s Father Christmas and his helper arrive by helicopter at

the garden centre on Oxford’s Southern Bypass

  •  1996 – First golf tournament held at Banbury Golf Club raises £4,000
  •  2009 – Son Steve Livett, 48, raises £3,300 after taking part in the three-day
  • European Crumball Rally with a car he bought for £150.