A fundraiser has received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cause. Over the last 45 years, the Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies society has raised over £1 million for the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. 

The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life.

Annette Beeton, from Peterborough, was named a Cancer Research UK Honorary Fellow in celebration of unflinching loyalty and dedication shown to the cause over many years.

She picked up the award on Friday June 28 at a ceremony in London hosted by Cancer Research UK’s chairman, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

An audience at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall heard how Annette, was nominated for the prestigious Flame of Hope Award in recognition of her incredible fundraising achievements over the past 40 years.

Annette is the Committee Chairwoman of the Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies society who, over the past 45 years, have been fundraising for Cancer Research UK. This year is a special year for the Committee having hit an incredible milestone and raised over £1m.

All the money we raise goes to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute which is one of the biggest cancer research centres in Europe. We have seen massive changes in cancer survival rates and that’s all down to research

Annette Beeton

All the money we raise goes to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute which is the biggest cancer research centre in Europe. We have seen massive changes in cancer survival rates and that’s all down to research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Annette, who has been leading the group for over two decades, got her inspiration and drive from her career in nursing when she was looking after children with cancer at a time when survival was unlikely. It was the memories of those children that gave Annette the determination and passion to do whatever she could to beat cancer.

Over the years that commitment from Annette has never faltered. She has organised many events with her fellow committee members, accepted donations on the charity’s behalf and built relationships with local businesses, organisations and people who continue to support year after year thanks to her personal contact.

Annette, a mother to two daughters, said: “It was fantastic to receive the Flame of Hope Award. I’ve been chair for over 20 years and when you start you don’t really think about these things but it’s always nice to be acknowledged and appreciated. All the money we raise goes to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute which is the biggest cancer research centre in Europe. We have seen massive changes in cancer survival rates and that’s all down to research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.” 

We are incredibly grateful to Annette for her dedication and I’m especially pleased that we have been able to recognise her contribution in this way

Jo Marriot, Local Fundraising Manager for Cambridgeshire

Annette’s tireless passion for fundraising means she is often seen at collections across the region come rain or shine, organising events, attending cheque presentations, receiving and thanking In Memory donations from local funeral directors, and giving talks championing the work of CRUK.

Jo Marriot, Local Fundraising Manager for Cambridgeshire, nominated Annette for her award, she said: “Annette is a fantastic ambassador for Cancer Research UK and is well known as the face of the charity in her local community.  Her unwavering support and enthusiasm for Cancer Research UK has helped the Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies reach £1m this year after 45 years of support.  We are incredibly grateful to Annette for her dedication and I’m especially pleased that we have been able to recognise her contribution in this way.”

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “The Flame of Hope awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to our enormously generous volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work that they do.

“Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work in to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives but that’s only possible thanks to the commitment of our supporters and volunteers, without whom it would not be possible to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.

“Without any government funding for the work we do, Cancer Research UK needs to ensure that people understand why their support is so important and how we can beat cancer together. Today 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. With the help of volunteers and supporters and by building the strongest possible team and working collaboratively, we can achieve the charity’s ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.”

Annette was among a total of 55 individuals and groups from all across the UK recognised at the awards ceremony.

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the East of England, said: “Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound, every hour and every person.

“These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like Annette who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return.

“It’s thanks to the support of the fundraising public and our amazing army of volunteers that we can continue to make a real difference and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”