Charity date at vet for Blue Peter star

Michelle Lingard (right) at Moy Farm Animal Medical Centre, Out Rawcliffe, with (from left), Laura Talbot, Emma Barton, Sandra Pryar, Andrea Westbourne and Vicky Barlow and (below) the late Mark Lingard.

Michelle Lingard (right) at Moy Farm Animal Medical Centre, Out Rawcliffe, with (from left), Laura Talbot, Emma Barton, Sandra Pryar, Andrea Westbourne and Vicky Barlow and (below) the late Mark Lingard.

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A VET will celebrate 20 years serving the community when a Blue Peter star pops in for a fund-raising event in memory of her late husband.

Michelle Lingard opened Moy Farm Veterinary Centre in Out Rawcliffe with her husband Mark in 1992.

The late Mark Lingard

The late Mark Lingard

Sadly Mark died in September last year – sixteen months after he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.

But his family – including the couple’s children, Kate and Oscar – hope to raise awareness of the devastating illness and the lack of funding available.

Michelle told The Gazette: “I wanted to mark the 20th anniversary but because of the way our lives have turned out I felt I would have more motivation to organise an event fundraising for the Samantha Dickson Brain Cancer Trust.

“We started fundraising in September and have raised £6,000 so far, our target is £10,000 a year so we are on track to do it.

“It sounds odd but it’s not a ‘trendy’ tumour, it doesn’t get the publicity or the funds when it is a condition which is more likely to affect younger people and children and is a frighteningly common cancer.

“Mark’s cancer was very much out of the blue, he slurred his words for a few days and went to see his GP, the next thing we know he has a brain tumour and has three months to live.

“But because we had an early diagnosis we were able to spend another 16 precious months with him.”

The charity open day will be held on Sunday May 20 and will be supported by local celebrity and Blue Peter presenter, Barney Harwood

Michelle said: “Barney came to us for work experience aged 15 when he wanted to be a vet – I think we must have put him off.

“He spent a lot of time with Mark and I think he was touched to be asked to support us, we are grateful he can come and help out on the day.

“It is a very different life for us now, the kids are doing remarkably well, they are being really good teenagers and keep me going I think.”

The event, at the veterinary centre on Chapel Lane, will take place from 11am to 3pm. It will include donkey rides, guided tours around the clinic, raffle and BBQ. Get tickets at £3 or £1 for children from the Animal Medical Centre or on the day.