Firework night helps to raise funds for hospital charity

Michael Palmer with wife Debbie along with regulars at the Bennet Arms and their cheque for £1,000.

Michael Palmer with wife Debbie along with regulars at the Bennet Arms and their cheque for £1,000. Picture: MY WISH CHARITY - Credit: Archant

It was a night to remember for customers and regulars at the Bennet Arms, in Rougham.

For they helped to raise £1,000 for the Macmillan Unit, at the West Suffolk Hospital, after attending a bonfire night and firework display at the pub which was organised by Debbie Palmer and her husband Michael, who is currently being treated for lung cancer.

And now the cheque has been handed over to the My WiSH Charity, which supports the hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

For the past four years the village, where the couple live, has organised fundraising events and this year decided to support My WiSH with the funds directed towards the unit.

The money came following donations from those attending the event along with cash which had been set up in a tin on the bar.

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The evening included a best guy competition, entertainment, a barbecue along with the fireworks with entry by donation.

Debbie, who works part time in the pharmacy at the hospital, paid thanks to all those who helped with the night including friends Caroline and Toby Walker, Sarah and John Conaty, and Jason and Louise Ranou, who between them organised the fireworks and food, plus Sean Driscoll, the pub’s owner, along with Lakenheath Fireworks who donated £250 worth of fireworks for the evening.

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She said: “We thought that we would do something useful as Michael is using the unit on a regular basis and they are just so wonderful.”

The 60-year-old explained that her and her husband, who is still working full time at Premier Bodyworks, on the Moreton Hall Industrial Estate, were “delighted” with the amount raised.

“We were so pleased and delighted with the money that we raised on the night,” she said.

“We put notices up to advertise the event along with a banner on the front of the pub and the event went really, really well. Michael is quite well known in the village as well.”

Meanwhile, Michael, 69, is continuing with his chemotherapy at the hospital and is now set to have radiotherapy treatment.

“He just likes to keep on working and keep going; as he says he does not want his illness to effect his day-to-day life,” added Debbie.

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