A GOOD cup of tea can do a lot of good.
And Linda Jeffrey knows that only too well.
In her tenth year of hosting fundraising strawberry teas, she is aiming to hit the £10,000 mark for a breast cancer charity.
Not only have the tea parties raised thousands, they’ve also brought her closer to a long-lost friend diagnosed with the disease.
And it all came from simply replying to a leaflet she got through the door about Breast Cancer Care.
Mum-of-two Mrs Jeffrey, 54, said: “The charity wrote to me out of the blue asking for people to do it. Breast cancer affects a lot of people and it just happened to come along at the right time.
“I thought this is something I can do to help. I was going to just do the first year and stop but decided to stick with it.
“Now I just want to be able to raise that last bit because it would feel like an amazing achievement.”
The latest visitor to her tea party was Lisa Bennett, who she bumped into in 2012 after barely seeing each other since they were neighbours about 20 years earlier.
House of Commons chocolates sent by David Cameron for raffle
After learning Ms Bennett had breast cancer, Mrs Jeffrey decided to accompany her to chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.
Mrs Jeffrey, of Minster Lovell, said: “It was purely by chance I met her at the local shop and she eventually told me what she had been going through. From that moment I went with her on a lot of the visits for chemotherapy and just tried to be there for her.”
Ms Bennett, who now lives in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, was diagnosed in May 2012 and her treatment ended in January last year.
She said: “Linda has been an absolutely amazing friend – she was there at the end of the phone or coming to see how I was doing.
Linda Jeffrey, left, and Lisa Bennett
“She’s a very unique lady and says I was always meant to bump into her that day so she could look after me.”
Mrs Jeffrey, who lives with her self-employed decorator husband Ray, 64, began hosting the annual tea party at St Kenelm’s Hall in Brize Norton Road, Minster Lovell, in 2005. In her first year she raised £545 and has set herself a higher target every year since, raising £8,877 overall.
She owns dozens of teapots, milk jugs, sugar bowls, vases and table clothes, which are used for the event.
Up to 100 people attend each year, with some baking cakes and volunteer waitresses serving them.
There is also a raffle and Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron sent Mrs Jeffrey special House of Commons chocolates as a prize.
The strawberry tea party will be held at St Kenelm’s Hall next Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.
RACE FOR LIFE
- OXFORD’S Race for Life starts at 10am tomorrow, with hundreds of runners pounding the pavement to fight cancer.
- Athletes, many decked out in bright pink, will be leading the charge for Cancer Research UK.
- Competitors will be leaving from University Parks before heading down Longwall Street on to High Street, under the Bridge of Sighs, and along Parks Road before coming back into the park at Norham Gardens to complete their 5km route at the cricket clubhouse.
- These roads will all be closed during the event, as will South Parks Road.
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