‘This has all been for her’ - £62k raised in memory of popular Zena

Mandy Smart, Connie Gibbs and Tracey Butcher celebrate Zena 10’s fundraising efforts, which have see

Mandy Smart, Connie Gibbs and Tracey Butcher celebrate Zena 10s fundraising efforts, which have seen more than £60,000 raised for St Nicholas Hospice Care in memory of Zena Butcher. Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE - Credit: St Nicholas Hospice Care

A Suffolk family’s determined fundraising drive has become a lasting legacy for a Suffolk hospice after their latest efforts took their tally to more than £60,000.

The family of Zena Butcher came together in 2015 to launch the Zena 10 fundraising campaign in aid of Bury St Edmunds-based St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Initially, the group, led by Zena's daughter Connie Gibbs, Zena's partner Darren Gibbs and her sisters Tracey Butcher and Mandy Smart, wanted to raise £10,000 in four months to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.

But in the years since they have smashed through the £10,000 barrier and have now raised a staggering £62,000 for the charity through a series of balls and other events.

The family of Zena, who lived in Bury St Edmunds, wanted to support the hospice because of the help they received during her six-year battle with a malignant brain tumour.

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It supports those living with dying, death and grief across West Suffolk and Thetford, now amounts to £62,000.

Tracey said: "Zena's personality was infectious, her kindness, her sense of humour.

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"This has all been for her, so we can remember and create a legacy, which I think has been reflected in our fundraising, which has been a celebration of her life.

"The balls we have organised have always been for friends and family to enjoy, and that's what they have been, just as Zena would have wanted."

The team were pushed over the £60,000 mark following their latest annual ball, which raised £4,375.

Mandy said: "Our fundraising really has been a team effort. The response we have had over the years, from companies, businesses, family, friends and individuals has been fantastic.

"People have run marathons, sponsored events, netball tournaments, head shaves and cycle rides and joined in Girls Night Out all of which have contributed to this amazing achievement."

Some of the money raised has been used to fund Nicky's Way, the Hospice's children and young people's bereavement programme, which helped Connie and Darren after Zena died aged 37 in 2005.

Fundraising is vital for the hospice - a registered charity, it has to raise £11,000 every day

The group have their next ball booked in November at Ashlar House.

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