Marking five years of hugs

Debbie Marr (right) and Jacqueline Rhodes who have set up the charity "Hug in a Bag".
Debbie Marr (right) and Jacqueline Rhodes who have set up the charity "Hug in a Bag".
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A charity set up five years ago to help provide special ‘hugs’ to support breast cancer patients will mark its anniversary with a fundraising ball.

Hug In A Bag Blackpool was set up in 2012 by friends Debby Marr and Jacqeuline Rhodes.

The idea originally came from a group of women in Sunderland, who had supported each other through breast cancer treatment and wanted to do something to help others going through similar situations. They put together special bags, containing a variety of items to offer comfort during dark times – including beauty, cosmetic and pampering treats, a teddy bear and a pashmina. The hug stands for Help, Understanding and Glamour.

The Fylde coast Hug In A Bag project came about after one of Debby’s friends received a Hug In A Bag in the north east.

Debby and Jacqueline made it their mission for every patient diagnosed with breast cancer at Blackpool Victoria Hospital – men and women – to be given one of the special ‘hugs’.

They kicked off their fundraising with a masquerade ball at the Hilton Hotel five years ago and on Saturday, November 18, again at the Hilton, the charity will mark five years of giving hugs with a celebration ball.

The night will be hosted by Linda and Brian Nolan and include entertainment by Daniel Sings.

Songbird Linda, who rose to fame with her sisters as The Nolan Sisters, is patron of the charity and currently fighting her own battle with secondary cancer.

The ball will start at 6.30pm and tickets cost £35.

• For information or tickets, email blackpool@huginabag.com or call 07761 071650.