THIS crafty St Annes woman put her skills to good use and has raised more than £20,000 for a cause very close to her heart.
Pat Billingham first started making hand-made greetings cards in aid of the Christie Hospital in Manchester, after her previous husband Ron Bullock, was treated there for cancer.
He sadly passed away four years ago, but Pat has kept her fundraising efforts going, steadily raising £2,000 a year for the last decade.
And now Pat, helped by current husband Mike, aims to raise £50,000 altogether.
She makes everything from birthday cards and Christmas cards, to new baby cards and get well soon cards.
She sells her cards once a month at the Solaris Centre and at the cafe in Stanley Park. She also takes orders from customers.
And making the cards for the charity has given Pat a new hobby, which she really enjoys.
The grandmother-of-four said: “I like arts and crafts and I thought it would be good to try card-making.
“I was working at the Halifax in Ansdell at the time and the girls I worked with asked how I was getting on, so I brought some cards in and they suggested I sell them.
“I asked the boss and he said yes and because my husband was treated at The Christie for cancer, I decided I would give the money raised to them.
“When they closed that branch of the Halifax, I went to the Solaris, and when the cafe there was taken over by the people who owned the cafe at the park and I was able to go there too – they’ve been really good.”
Pat is already starting on Christmas cards ready for the festive season.
She said: “I’ve had a couple of people asking already and will be taking orders too.
“I have a lovely photo I managed to get last year of Lytham windmill in the snow. It looks beautiful. So I will be using that on Christmas cards.”
And she has no plans to stop her card-making.
She said: “I never really thought I would be doing this for 10 years.
“It’s just the care The Christie gave my husband was so good and they help so many people – including many on the Fylde coast. They give exceptionally good treatment.
“Because of the research done by people like Christie’s, people can have their cancer detected earlier and of course that means the best chances.
“Christie’s have made tremendous advances in the last 15 years.
“My current husband has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is being treated at the Rosemere Centre, who are wonderful.
“So I am thinking of starting to divide funds between Rosemere and Christie’s because they both do such a good job.” Anyone who would like to contact Pat to order cards can call her on (01253) 713418.