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NA Gary Colfer third from left, Capt Mark Garratt centre
Macmillan Worlds biggest Coffee morning at RNAS Culdrose
Homemade Cakes
Homemade Cakes
LAC Henry Parish, Cdre Jock Alexander, LAC Andrew Hume

World's biggest coffee morning comes to Culdrose & Yeovilton

Published: 01 Oct 2013

Senior Officers and Sailors at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose threw themselves into the spirit of giving in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support as part of, “The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”. 

The Culdrose event, held in the Air Traffic Control tower attracted keen interest of Commanding Officer Captain Mark Garratt and several senior Commanders from across the busy air station, who took time off to support the worthwhile cause. Organiser, Naval Airman Gary Colfer was delighted with everyone’s generous donations for the Macmillan Cancer Support’s event. ‘It’s an annual appeal that raises money to support the great work that Macmillan does. The Funds raised go towards paying for cancer patients to have care from a Macmillan nurse. Each £100 raised pays for care for one patient to be visited by a nurse.’ 

Gary’s motivation for holding a “Macmillan Cancer Charity Coffee Morning” comes from personal experience. ‘My cousin, who died of cancer several years ago, was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer which then spread to her lungs; she sadly passed away shortly after. Since then I have always been a supporter of cancer charities, and a few weeks back I saw an advert appealing for help by holding a coffee morning so I decided to do so.’ 

Everybody who was available in the tower during the day attended, buying cakes and cups of Tea or Coffee; adding kindly to the fundraising. Gary had asked people in his department to make cakes for sale, but in the end people from across the Air Base donated. ‘I was expecting to raise about £100 but managed to raise £196.40, which was excellent. I can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity and kindness; it was quite overwhelming.’ 

The “Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” is the cancer support charity’s biggest annual fundraising event. In 2012 over 115,000 people signed up, raising a record £15 million. The first Coffee Morning was in 1991, when 2,600 people registered to hold coffee mornings across the country. Since then it has raised over £75 million in total for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Friday morning saw Leading Air Craftsman (LAC) Andrew Hume and LAC Henry Parish of Air Traffic Control at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton host a Macmillan Coffee Morning; 

A respectable £267.45 was raised through the sale of homemade cakes, tea and coffee. Commodore Jock Alexander OBE was first on hand to test the Air Department’s finest Bake Off tributes. 

LAC Andrew Home said “It’s great that so many bakers have helped provide some truly outstanding and delicious cakes, they didn’t hang around long and we are delighted with the money raised.”

All of the cakes were donated by civilian and military members of the Air Department. After much deliberation and tasting carried out throughout the morning no clear winner was decided in the best cake category, in the spirit of charity it was declared a dead heat between all of the cakes given the high culinary excellence and standards displayed. 

A thoroughly successful morning was had by both helpers, baking enthusiasts and tasters at RNAS Yeovilton with a good deal of money going to the MacMillan charity in harmony with 1000’s of coffee mornings going on throughout the country.


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